Experiential Learning Is the Future of Education

By Puri, Ishwar K. | Winnipeg Free Press, March 21, 2018 | Go to article overview

Experiential Learning Is the Future of Education


Puri, Ishwar K., Winnipeg Free Press


The university experience has changed.

It used to be enough for students to spend four years working hard on assignments, labs and exams to earn a useful undergraduate degree that signalled competence and was redeemable for a good job.

Employers would spend weeks or months training their newly hired graduates, sometimes in cohorts, shaping their broad knowledge so it could be applied to the specific needs of the company or government agency.

Today, by contrast, employers want fresh graduates they don’t have to train.

That means students must learn and apply their knowledge at the same time, inside and outside the classroom, all without adding extra months or years to their studies. After completing their degrees, they are expected to be ready to compete for jobs and jump into working life immediately, without further training.

In the ongoing global drive for efficiency and competitiveness, education and training are now seen as the responsibility of the post-secondary sector, where students face a wider set of expectations not only to learn and synthesize subject matter, but to adapt it and put it to use almost immediately.

This idea of learning by doing is what is now called “experiential learning,” and though it’s demanding, it is also very effective. It is vital to the mission of all advanced institutions of higher learning, including the one where I am dean of engineering, McMaster University in Hamilton.

In class, this method of learning means replacing chalk-and-talk pedagogy of the past with inquiry, problem-based and project-based learning, sometimes using the tools of what we call a maker space — an open, studio-like creative workshop.

These methods recognize that lectures on complex, abstract subjects are difficult to comprehend and that hands-on, minds-on learning by experience not only makes it easier to absorb complex material, it also makes it easier to remember.

Outside class, experiential learning takes the form of clubs, activities and competitions for fun, such as the international EcoCAR competition, converting muscle cars from gas to electric power, or hackathons that see students compete to solve complex technical and social problems.

This year at McMaster, experiential learning has been both the competition and the prize as six winners of an extracurricular Big Ideas competition flew off to tour Silicon Valley facilities where they hope one day to work or learn how to start up their own ventures.

Experiential learning also means engaging undergraduates directly in high-level research that was once the exclusive domain of graduate students and professors, exposing them to scholarship at the highest level from early in their academic careers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Experiential Learning Is the Future of Education
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.