Experiential Learning: Experience The Benefits!

More than a hundred years ago, Hermann Ebbinghaus formulated the learning curve, which describes the relationship between memory and time. In a nutshell, it says that, during a lecture, if your absorption rate is at 100 percent on day one, there is a 50-80 percent loss of learning from the second day onward, which is reduced to a retention rate of just 2-3 percent at the end of thirty days.

This theory is even more relevant in today's world where attention spans have come down and learning sometimes is reduced to 140 characters!

What, then, is the solution? Here are some pearls of wisdom from some world greats…

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”- Aristotle 

All these quotes favour leaning by doing, or experiential learning.

Experiential learning is the process of acquiring skills and expertise by doing things. It enables people to learn from their mistakes, achievements, and the consequences of their actions.

Research has proved that it has powerful results and adults learn better when exposed to challenges.

Here’s a list of reasons why experiential learning is so effective:

Speeds up the learning and retention process

Experiential Learning methodology uses critical thinking, problem solving and decision making to deliver learning. This helps learning take place faster, and also helps retention.

Allows you to make mistakes in a safe environment

Providing challenges where the learner might mistakes provides an opportunity for the learner to try new things, take risks and stretch themselves in a safe learning environment.

Bridges the Gap Between Theory and Practice

The learner is able to apply learning and close the gap between theory and practice. This plays a crucial role in retaining concepts and ideas.

Changes thinking and behavior

Management guru Henry Mintzberg pointed out long ago that, "Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it". So business principles and management theories are best learnt through doing. It helps people bring about a permanent change in thinking and behaviour from the “light bulb moments” of the experience.

Enables one to learn at own pace

It is a radical departure from traditional learning methods and takes the learning beyond the classroom. The participants set their own learning pace. This has introduced the concepts of flipped classroom, where the learning goes to the students and not the other way.

This is why Clinton Swaine, the founder, owner and lead trainer of Frontier Trainings – The World Leader in Experiential Business Training, has designed his training program “Play to Win”. Check out the details here


You’re bound to have a great experience of experiential learning!