Experiential Educator Feature
What does experiential learning mean to you?
Experiential learning is the process of learning through reflection on developing real-world applications of knowledge.
Why is experiential learning a priority for you?
There is an increasing gap between universities and businesses. Experiential learning is a priority for me because it can convert this gap into university-business collaboration opportunities that can synergistically enhance our education and economy.
Can you give us an example of a successful experiential learning engagement that you've coordinated/delivered?
Similar to most other university professors, I provide my students with experiential learning through my sponsored projects and funded projects. I have gone through 12 research and development projects with my students over 20 years. Considering the fact that most professors are skewered towards the discovery and education of knowledge over the application and integration of knowledge, it is natural that we, professors, are always looking for much more application and integration projects to provide our students with enough experiential learning opportunities.
Why do you use experiential learning?
To gain knowledge, people need to experience the development of some memorable application they can reflect on.
How do your students benefit from experiential learning?
Students can experience four columns of scholarship through experiential learning — Discovery, Education, Application, and Integration of Knowledge. The university can play a major role in the discovery and education of knowledge. Meanwhile, each collaborating business can play a role in the application and integration of knowledge.
What's the most challenging part of being an #ExperientialEducator? (coordinating/delivering an experiential learning curriculum to students)
The most challenging part of being an experiential educator is coordinating/delivering enough real-world application projects to students that they can participate in the development and reflect on.
What skills do your students use when engaged in experiential learning?
Student’s skills are often represented by software products they use. Software products used in businesses are chosen to meet needs that differ from those used in academia. The university-business collaboration in experiential learning can introduce students to some of skills that are used in the business world. This can also provide the business partners with graduates who are already trained with these required skills.
What advice do you have for faculty and institutions considering experiential learning?
I know you are all busy for the discovery and education of knowledge. Therefore, you need to find a way of efficiently building collaboration with external partners.