Experiential learning is the process of learning through which a student develops knowledge and skills through direct experiences. Several forms of experiential learning can be acquired both within and beyond the classroom. Some of the types of experience learning include the following:
The internship is a way of experience learning involving a real-world experience in an off-campus setting away from a classroom. A student is attached to an institution such as a company, business or a non-profit agency. It is often supervised by an employer who is not a faculty member and assessed by the student’s lecturer.
The students get the opportunity to work with practicing professionals and hence acquiring practical experiences. This also helps to support the integration of practical experience and theory gained in class. The internship may be offered for credit or on a non-credit basis.
Service learning is an experience learning which usually involves working with a non-profitable organization within a given community on a volunteer basis. In this experience, the student takes part in an organized activity whose main agenda is to meet the needs of the community. This experience will help the student to relate the meaningful community service with their course content and enriching their learning experience.
This type of experience learning lets a student work in close cooperation on research projects with a faculty mentor. The research projects may either be initiated by an individual student, or they may contribute to an ongoing research being undertaken by a faculty member.
Studying abroad offers a student a unique experiential learning opportunity through the new cultural background the student will embrace. The experience of having to overcome the challenges of living in a new place and cultural background builds one’s global knowledge and skill. While abroad a student can also take internship and service learning experiences, based on his/her field of study.
This learning experience is especially suitable for pre-professional teacher education. The students get the chance to practice their teaching in a real class under the supervision of a certified master teacher. The student teacher experience lasts about the length of a semester or as per the college’s approved tasks to be accomplished.
Practicum is a form of experience learning where a student is required to observe and document how professionals undertake their duties. The students expected to participate in performing tasks to some extent and usually presided over by a professor. It is similar to an internship but in this case, it requires less responsibility and time.
Field work refers to practical work, teaching or research activity done out of class to allow a student apply the theory taught in class in real life situations. This experience learning allows a student to gain practical knowledge through first-hand observation. The approach used in fieldwork varies depending on various disciplines.
This type of experience learning incorporates both practical work experience learning and classroom-based studies. The students alternate between work and study in a structured manner. For instance, some weeks are spent in studies after that the next number of weeks are spent at work.