Academic journal article Indian Journal of Economics and Business

But Can They Work? Students Learning outside of the Classroom

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Economics and Business

But Can They Work? Students Learning outside of the Classroom

Article excerpt

Abstract

As society changes and technology advances, the educator's need to increase engagement in the classroom is paramount. Modified teaching channels must be incorporated into the stale classroom experienced by previous generations. The current research explores experiential learning, specifically Service Learning, as the communication channel for course material. At a faith-based institution valuing Christ, Community, Scholarship, and Service, intentionally integrating these principles into the subject matter can be a challenge. As a result, a more wholistic approach to the course design was sought. The outcome was a comprehensive learning activity which supported the discipline material and more fully engaged students into the service project.

I. INTRODUCTION

The teaching and learning of business curriculum typically happens in the classroom. The tools of historical professors would be PowerPoint and a whiteboard, with a dabbling of in-class exercises sprinkled throughout the term to further assist students in absorbing the content and relating such to the well-published case studies presented and discussed in class. These means of learning, though the social norm for most business disciplines, are not always the best way to address the subject matter. This is not to say that traditional methods do not work, but rather, the circumstances might be different. The audience, university students of today, have a vastly different lens through which they see the world and engage with it on all levels. Furthermore, the method of teaching must change to incorporate the wholistic view of some student bodies.

So, these new circumstances call for desperate measures of committed faculty. As students dwell in a multi-media forum continuously, their engagement with learning as a precept is interactive and not static. This generation does not learn from case studies. Nor do they contemplate their decision-making abilities based on what model is drawn on the whiteboard. Rather, they are a high-touch, high-feel group that must breathe in the wisdom imparted to them.

II. RELEVANT LITERATURE

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning takes students out of the textbook and provides an engaging experience with which to connect concepts from the course. Theories reviewed (Hoachlander, 2008; Nygaard, Hojlt, Hermansen, 2008) incorporate existing learning models with a service component and agree that increased learning and retention is achieved through experiential learning exercises. In the current study, it is the community service component of the class activity which narrows the scope of experiential learning literature to that of a Service Learning exercise. Service Learning is a symbiotic relationship where the value of such endeavors is engaging not only to the student but the recipient of the service and educator as well. At its core, Service Learning is a shared exchange between an entity outside of the classroom which provides the opportunity for the students to temporarily enter their entity's organization in an effort to introduce some concept learned within the classroom (Hoachlander, 2008). The students benefit from the tactile experience, the recipient benefits from the "free" service provided, and the educator benefits from the heightened learning that results from this exchange.

Wholism

Wholism is the belief that body and soul are one entity--that our physical identity, space and reason for being do not exist separately from the spiritual soul that accompanies the body (Steward, 1992). As body and soul are one, then fueling both within the student learning process only heightens the level of engagement and retention. Integrating both body and soul into the material, alongside the assigned group tasks, culminates into a unique dynamic between the participants and the instructor. With a university culture that supports wholism as a philosophy, students are further engaged with the material, the experience and the university's philosophy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.