Using Technology for Experiential Learning

As either a support or the primary mechanism for learning

How can I use technology as the primary mechanism for experiential learning?

Simulation Technology in Health Sciences

Simulation technologies

  • Common in a number of educational fields and are specifically designed to allow for “real-life” training and practice in a low risk environment.
    • Flight simulation is a well-known example of this type of immersive technology that relies on sophisticated and expensive hardware and software.
    • Health Science departments have adopted computer-enabled mannequins to provide an authentic experience in patient care and the application of knowledge.

Digital game-based learning

  • Commonly referred to as serious games, computer-based environments are considered to be a motivating and engaging approach to learning where benefits from direct exploration of ideas and construction of meaning can be realized.
    • Programs in economics and business schools make use of computer models that are designed to replicate real world conditions and respond to inputs and decisions made by students. 

How can I use technology in support of experiential learning?

Telerobotics in Nursing Education

Focused Resources:

  • Digital resources should be developed to support and focus the student on the curriculum and learning outcomes that are planned for in the experience.
  • Students should be able to access these directions, resources and prompts in context - at the time and place where they are needed.

Asset Creation/Documentation:

  • Technology provides the student with an ability to record aspects of their experience in a range of media formats.
  • Smartphones and other small portable recording devices allow the student to document key elements of their experience.
  • Photography, sound and video recording, and note-taking are valuable assets for further analysis and reflection. GPS is another technology well suited for fieldwork.

Collaboration:

  • Collaboration is an aspect of experiential learning that can be well supported with technology.
  • Various forms of instant messaging with faculty or other students can be extremely valuable for time critical questions, concerns or discoveries.
  • Other forms of collaboration such as shared online writing spaces support work that is ongoing and less time sensitive.

Why should I use it?

Thoughtful integration of technology can aid experiential learning in many ways, but in general the benefit is through its support for mobility of information. Technology can also facilitate several niche forms of experiential learning and are typically very specific in their design and application.
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