Month: May 2020

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning, also known as EXL is the learning process through experience, or “learning through reflection on doing.” It is a form of active learning, where it gives a hands-on approach to learning that moves away from the direct instruction of a teacher at the front of the room and transferring their knowledge to the student in a more involved way. Jennifer A. Moon has explained that experiential learning is most effected when it involves a “reflective learning phase”, a phase of learning resulting from the action inherent to experiential learning, and “a further phase of learning from feedback.” In order to gain knowledge from an experience, the learner must have 4 abilities:

  1. The learner must be willing to be actively involved in the experience,
  2. The learner must reflect on the experience
  3. The learner must possess and use analytical skills to conceptualize the experience; and
  4. The learner must possess decision making and problem-solving skills in order to use the new ideas gained from the experience. (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007).

My group has decided on teaching English to a group of people in grades K-12. Experiential learning somewhat aligns with our chosen topic because in order to fluently learn the language, one needs experience with speaking the language to other fluent speakers. Experiential learning helps with language learning as it allows the students to be more involved, in contrast to direct instruction teaching, as you may be able to learn the grammar and vocabulary of English, but if you do not physically use the language itself daily then it will be difficult to learn. With experience, learning English will become easier.

References

Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in adulthood: a comprehensive guide. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Learning, Motivation & Theory

Share a story about how you overcame a learning challenge. Why was it a challenge? What strategies did you use?  Use the language you learned in this unit.

One of the most difficult courses I have taken in my four years of my undergraduate degree was Chem 231: Organic Chemistry I. As a biology major, I was weak in chemistry and math/calculus equations, since biology is known for its memorization of pathways, scientific names and processes. Sure, memorizing and drawing molecular structures was fun, but I quickly learned that trying to memorize each and every reaction would not be of great help for this course after horribly bombing my second midterm. To be honest, I had been neglecting the lectures (not focusing in class, not attending, etc.) just because I was frankly not interested in learning the material, although I needed the credit for the class as it was a prerequisite for my degree. After receiving that wake-up call, I used my failure to psychologically motivate myself to actually LEARN the material instead of attempting to memorize each and every reaction. I had to adjust the way I processed and thought in order to get a better grasp of the information, since this was a chemistry course. This was when I realized learning truly can be difficult, because after practicing a certain way of learning, I had to shift gears in order to succeed in a different environment. In order to develop a deeper and higher order learning skill, I began to identify what I wanted to focus on learning, including how I learned it. For me, learning in the classroom was not enough. I took advantage of resources outside of the lecture room that were easily accessible, such as online YouTube demonstrations and examples (thanks to The Organic Chemistry Tutor), reading the textbook, and learning within study groups. The most effective way was the YouTube tutoring because I was being thoroughly taught the information in another light, which helped immensely. After practicing new lengths of learning, I am happy to say that I was able to succeed in the course. 

After reading Caroline’s post, I do agree that having a professor utilize different teaching methods to keep students engaged is an effective way for students to learn, as I often have a hard time focusing on one speaker for a long duration of time as well. Also, I will give props to Caroline for being able to speak a second language so well, as I am trying to learn a new language  and can’t even think about writing paragraphs at the moment!

Thanks for reading, 

Trinh Nguyen

Photo by Alex Kondratiev on Unsplash

About Me

Hi there,

My name is Trinh Nguyen, and I am a fourth-year biology major at the University of Victoria. After graduating, I plan to extend my knowledge into a graduate program focusing on cosmetic sciences. My goal is to be involved in the cosmetic industry while studying the science behind it.

I was born and raised in Victoria, British Columbia, my hobbies include cheerleading and cosmetics. I have been on the Vikes Cheerleading team for the past three years. I competed in the University World Cup Cheerleading Championships (UWCCC) in Orlando, Florida with my team twice, and have won Collegiate Grand Champions at Sea to Sky Nationals three years in a row against other universities in BC. Last season, Vikes won a provincial champions title and another paid bid to attend UWCCC for the following season.

While social distancing, I’ve been able to enjoy many hobbies and activities that I normally would not have the time to do, such as video editing, playing and learning new pieces on the piano, watching TV shows and movies, as well as attempting to learn a new language (Korean)!

Thank you for visiting my blog, I am looking forward to this course.

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