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January 14, 2022

Do, Watch, Play - Our Spin on Experiential Learning

From birth, it’s proven that learning happens while doing, not just hearing, seeing, or reading. And we see - time and time again - that there is simply no more powerful teacher than experience itself.

Our Spin on Experiential Learning

Educational researcher, David Kolb said, “Learning is more effective as an active rather than passive process,” and we couldn’t agree more. With the “Do, Watch, Play” approach to experiential learning theory, Livetech has been changing the training game for almost ten years - wowing participants and ensuring that they leave both in-person and online events with practical proficiency in whatever it is they are being taught. 

Experiential Learning Theory

Experiential Learning Theory, first published by David Kolb in 1984, states that adults learn best when they are directly involved through experience rather than indirectly involved through memorization. From birth, it’s proven that learning happens while doing, not just hearing, seeing, or reading. And we see - time and time again - that there is simply no more powerful teacher than experience itself.

DO: Concrete Experience 

Concrete Experience (CE) is the first step of the experiential learning cycle that defines how adults best absorb knowledge (i.e. - not “death by Powerpoint”). The power of CE is that it seeks to create an emotional response through engaging physical activity.

Livetech employs the concept of Concrete Experience in the “DO” part of any curricula. Whether it be taught in-person, online, or in a combination of delivery channels, participants are immersed in learning processes that create “aha” moments through various exhibitions of both tactile and kinesthetic learning. 

WATCH: Reflective Observation and Abstract Conceptualization 

Reflective Observation (RO) is the second step of the cycle and demonstrates that adults need to reflect on what they observed in order to make sense of it. Examples of RO include carefully watching an instructor-led demonstration so that the audience has a chance to analyze the process of producing the desired outcome. 

Livetech employs Reflective Observation in the “WATCH” part of our curricula, whether it be through live demonstrations or “canned” video simulations or animations. Participants get to reflect on the process as these observations unfold.

Abstract Conceptualization (AC) is the third step in the cycle and shows that adults need to make sense of their concrete experiences and observations through critical thinking. In fact, critical thinking time should be constructed into learnings at a ratio of 10 minutes (of learning) to 2 minutes (of reflecting). Educational theorists fondly refer to this as “chunk and chew,” which allows participants to interpret abstract concepts, generalize the ideas presented, and then recognize their relevance to reality. This is, for example, a hugely valuable approach to training consumer technology. 

PLAY: Active Experimentation 

Active Experimentation (AE) is the forth step in the experiential learning cycle and defines the concrete experiences that are the essence of this learning stage because it is here that the participant gets to try “it” again, but this time, with more understanding.

Livetech employs Active Experimentation in the “PLAY” part of our curricula development to help participants retain the knowledge gained through Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, and Abstract Conceptualization. 

In additional support and according to the National Training Laboratory Institute’s learning pyramid theory (see graphic), “practice by doing” helps participants retain 75% of what they learned and “teaching others” equates to a whopping 90% retention - both specifically factored into the third and final “PLAY” step of any Livetech curricula.

Want to learn more? We invite you to reach out to discuss these learning practices and how experiential learning can help your HR/human resources function, sales training, customer service training, or train-the-trainer efforts.

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