The Significance of Experiential Learning in Enhancing Management Education

Importance of Experiential Learning in Management Education

Management Education and Development

Management education accounts to be the most sought post-graduate educational program by graduates emerging from diverse streams. A developing nation requires managerial professionals and administrators for promoting social and economic development. The industrial economy requires highly competent and experienced business managers for reviving the economies at the time of recession and also helps in frog-leaping the economy during times of economic growth. Qualitative management education is generated based on four main pillars industry experience, consultancy experience, research, and teaching experiences. Management education to promote development on a global scale needs to be both integrated and holistic. 

Classroom Management Strategies and Techniques

The management strategies and techniques that gain significance during 2022 are outlined as under:

Incorporation of Personalized Learning 

The incorporation of personalized learning contributes to the generation of positive results for the classroom. The personalized learning technique is developed based on the premise that each of the different students possesses some unique talents and capabilities and it is the responsibility of the business institutions to harness such innate abilities. Moreover, the interviewing of students or requiring them to write their abilities helps the instructor in generating needed changes in the existing learning resources for meeting the personalized learning needs of the students. 

Integration of Experiential Learning 

The integration of experiential learning in the management curriculum contributes in making the learning program student-centered in nature compared to being teacher-centered as in the case of traditional teaching. Likewise, unlike being only just a passive learner as in the case of traditional learning program the students in the case of experiential learning are rightly encouraged to gain an effective exploration of the course content and also carry out learning based on needed experiences. Again, compared to traditional learning programs wherein the lesson structure is fixed in experiential learning the lesson structure acts as an open structure with having of prominent learning outcomes. 

Employment of RTI Strategy 

The RTI Strategy stands for Right to Intervention Strategy that is employed for identifying and supporting students with both learning and behavioural needs. The incorporation of the RTI strategy effectively contributes to identifying the problem areas faced by students from time to time. Herein, intervention needs to be generated either on an individual basis or based on the generation of small groups of students. The goal of incorporating the RTI strategy is to enhance the prerequisite skills of students by providing them with exercises to reinforce key lesson-based concepts. 

Practicing Interdisciplinary Teaching  

The incorporation and practicing of interdisciplinary teaching styles ideally contribute to the accumulation of diverse learning disciplines which in turn helps in the generation of both open and also creative learning environments. The students are thereby encouraged to work based on real-life problems in terms of exploring diverse angles about a topic. The same would help in the development of both creative and critical thinking abilities. 

Innovative Approaches to Management Education

To meet the objectives of higher education in terms of enhancing the learning productivity of students that innovative techniques are being increasingly pursued generating greater teaching and learning productivity. Two different innovative learning approaches like flipped classroom and role play are being incorporated in that behalf with also the development of online learning platforms for helping the students learn asynchronously. In addition to the development of Learning Management Systems (LMS) the incorporation of different technological applications like Zoom help, a student carries out learning asynchronously. 

The aspect of flipped classroom and role play needs to be dealt with in an in-depth manner so that it promotes greater understanding. 

Flipped Classroom is a blended learning approach that enhances the level of interactivity between the students and mentors. Asynchronous learning style is employed wherein the students are introduced to new content through the generation of pre-recorded videos. The students having been introduced to new content come back to the school for carrying out further interactions based on the same. 

Role Play is a tool that is extensively used in a Flipped Classroom setting wherein the students are required to carry out role-plays of the different concepts and understandings gained through the seeing of pre-recorded videos and lectures. The role plays are carried out in the physical classroom setting that effectively meets the objectives of active-listening skills, enhancing problem-solving skills, and also contributes to the growth of teamwork. 

Experiential Education

Experiential Learning is identified as an effective learning philosophy that incorporates the gamut of experiences, education, and also work play on an individual and the manner of using such in the gaining of new knowledge. It is also understood as a mode of instruction that essentially supports the carrying out of a personalized approach of learning linked to a higher education framework. Learning is generated based on the application of different aspects like campus-based, project-based, and also work-integrated contexts. 

Characteristics of Experiential Learning 

The essential features of experiential learning are outlined as follows:

  • Experiential Learning is both learner-centered and also student-directed in nature
  • Experiential Learning is effectively structured for generating greater importance on the aspects of problem-solving, exploration, and inquiry 
  •  Experiential Learning as a learning model contributes to understanding the practical applications of the concepts taught
  • Experiential Learning is perception based in nature and helps in holistically understanding the discipline concerned 

Effectiveness of Experiential Learning

The effectiveness of experiential learning can be rightly understood from the following aspects. 

  • Experiential Learning helps in accelerating learning in that it incorporates different learning approaches like problem-solving skills, critical thinking and also enhances decision-making abilities. 
  • Experiential Learning helps in bridging the gap between concepts and theories taught and practices that are required to be carried out linked to such. 
  • The incorporation of experiential learning contributes to enhancing the level of engagement involved between the students and instructors. 
  • Experiential Learning involving both theory and practice is evaluated to generate greater returns on the investment made. 
  • Experiential Learning also contributes to generating greater scope for carrying out self-learning in that the students make a curriculum choice, go through learning modules, and thereby readies themselves for taking assessments.  

Impact of Experiential Learning on Student Learning

The impact rendered by experiential learning on student learning can be effectively evaluated based on the following points:

  • The students earn the scope of being engaged in activities that help in solving different problems pertaining to personal, social, and other practical aspects 
  • The students earn greater freedom in the learning process compared to traditional learning styles
  • The students are encouraged to handle difficult and challenging situations in the process of discovering new knowledge 
  • The students are encouraged to carry out self-assessments so that they can easily understand their progress along with the learning graph
  • The students involved in experiential learning programs are also observed to be open to external changes and thereby will actively take part in the change process  

Experiential Learning and Business Schools  

Experiential Learning is carried out by Business Schools using several myriad ways which are underlined as follows:

  • Students are encouraged to take part in live case competitions of organizations. Based on the performances of the students in handling such case competitions that recruitment is carried out by the firms. 
  • International Immersion Program is another experiential learning aspect based on which students are introduced to cultural aspects of foreign nations and other aspects linked to international business
  • The instructors are required to engage the students involved with experiential learning in carrying out assignments and projects based on which credits are provided to them. 
  • B-Schools also encourage students to form Student Councils or Student Clubs based on which they can hands-on training regarding planning and conducting of events, carrying out marketing and promotional campaigns, and also in preparing the budgets regarding the same. The same can be treated as Live Projects based on which credits are given and also the students can reflect on the experience gained from them in placement interviews. 

Experiential Learning in Globsyn Business School  

Globsyn Business School (GBS) operating in Kolkata has uniquely positioned itself as India’s only ‘Corporate B-School’. GBS encourages experiential learning mainly through Corporate Connect Sessions, and its Beyond Education Verticals.

The Corporate Connect initiative of GBS invites corporate managers, entrepreneurs, and other industry experts for sharing real-life corporate experiences with the students so that they can tally the same with the theoretical or conceptual knowledge gained by them.  

Kalyani Youth Leadership Forum, popularly known as KYLF – a Beyond Education vertical – is the care-wing of the B-School which focuses on philanthropic work for the needy. Through the various activities of KYLF, the young managers learn the virtue of selflessness, and humility which in turn helps them to become humane managers of the future. 

Another Beyond Education vertical, Embryon is the Entrepreneurship Cell in GBS wherein the students are encouraged to apply their conceptual knowledge and imaginations for the development of business plans. The business plans designed by the students are showcased before a panel of industry experts that work on judging and evaluating their performances and thereby provide scores. 

Serendipity is another vertical of Beyond Education that encourages the students in replicating the functions of a real business institution in terms of carrying out a ‘live project’ scenario. The students are encouraged in designing and organizing a multi-day large-scale event. Dedicated teams work along with different aspects like Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Operations, and the like. 

The discussion carried out ideally reflects the significance of experiential learning in management education. It reflects on the characteristics of experiential learning and also the impact of such on the educational life of students. The cases of business schools dealing with experiential learning are also highlighted for portraying the practicality of the learning style in developing managers and entrepreneurs.