Experiential Learning: Meaning and Importance


Read this article to learn about the meaning and importance of experiential learning!

Meaning of Experiential Learning:

Experiential learning means involving or based on experience and observation. People learn through experience and observation. It is natural way of learning. Learning organisation encourages experiential learning. As the person grows in seniority he gradually understands how his seniors perform their jobs with perfection and ease. He then does the same way. It is, therefore, experienced persons are given more importance and organisations retain them and they receive higher salary.

Through experience they learn to tackle complex and difficult problems. Experience makes them perfect. An employee finds himself unusually clumsy during early stages of his employment. But as he grows he learns to adjust himself with the people whom he is working with. After gaining sufficient experience he becomes the guiding force in the organisation. People learn through their personal experience, simulated experience and from others experience. They learn by using the knowledge which represents experience of others.

Gradually through experience they reach perfection in their performance. Organisations should create opportunities to transfer the skills, knowledge, creative abilities that are acquired through learning. Organisations must create an environment which is conducive to learning. Allow people to gain experience. Anti learning factors should be removed. Such factors are the hurdles in the development of learning. People should be enthused to change themselves and modify their behaviour.

Remove fear and shyness from their mind. Self motivation is the key to learning. People should shed negative attitude about involvement and participation. Involvement and participation encourage learning. In experiential learning emphasis should be given to accuracy than speed. Experiential learning enhances job satisfaction and career. Employer is the beneficiary of experiential learning.

Importance of Experiential Learning:

(1) Experiential learning fosters development of self and organisation.

(2) It gains in knowledge and skill, breadth and depth of understanding which ultimately results in increased self confidence and esteem.

(3) It brings about change in behaviour and better understanding of attitude of people.

(4) It brings about perfection in the performance of job.

(5) It helps employee gained in status and enables individuals to move into more prestigious social roles and better rewarded jobs.

(6) It helps employees learn and develop and they become more demanding of changes at work and further development.

(7) It provides competitive advantage for survival and progress.

(8) It facilitates organisational change and development.

(9) It helps in maintaining better relations with suppliers and customers and dealers.

(10) It helps in meeting challenges faced by the organisation.

(11) It helps in adopting new technology.

The idea of learning organisation was put forward by Peter Senge of USA. In his opinion the transformation of traditional organisation into learning organisation will bring about basic change in the theory and practice of management and will use the potentials of people for development and growth of the organisation. He also learning organisation will bring about sea changes in the management’s attitude towards employees. Learning organisation gives more thrust on people who run the organisation through use of knowledge.

It recognizes the development of skills, potentials and creative abilities of the people and expansion of knowledge base. This enhances development of self and that of organisation. Adoption of total quality management gives a further boost to development of learning organisation.

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