The Experiential Learning Cycle
The experiential learning cycle has long been identified
as the way in which a large number of adults learn most effectively. It
is in use when an adult tackles learning on their own; doing faux painting
for a remodeling project, mastering the art of scrap booking, learning
to build a childs toy, or learning to ski. And it can be used to
guide managers of volunteers as they plan training for any audience of
Adult learners absorb best from one of the parts of the cycle. For example, some learners will get more from reflecting on an experience (Step 2) than the experience itself (Step 1). Other adults rely on the analytic part of training and find step 3 the most useful in their learning. The last group of learners best acquires knowledge from the application of learning. (Step 4)
The key thing for trainers to remember is that you cannot "skip" a step. The cycle has four steps that provide sequence and order to the learning process. It is important to remember that the "light-bulbs" will go on around the room at different points in the cycle. The trainer needs to stay focused on the cycle and move easily from the first step to the last, bringing all types of learners through the cycle.
Here is an example of how to use the cycle in planning in a 20- 30 minute training on confidentiality for adults.
Learning Objective: The learner will be able to identify 3 5 appropriate behaviors when dealing with issues of confidentiality as it applies to organizational and client information.
Want to learn more about adult learners? Check out our online bookstore for An Introduction to Helping Adults Learn and Change, by Russell D. Robinson.
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Macduff Conducts Basic and Advanced Workshops in Seattle in January
Nancy Macduff, Senior Editor and Publisher of Volunteer Today is conducting two workshops on the management of volunteers in Seattle, Washington, on January 24 and 25, 2005. Topics for the first workshop include the basics of recruiting volunteers, including episodic volunteers, and working with corporate volunteer programs. The advanced training, for those with two or more years of experience managing volunteers, involves supervision strategies, empowering volunteers, and a primer on risk management planning. For more information contact: Patty Igo at PattyI@UWSC.ORG.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Close to 200 colleges and universities offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management. They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero/kellogg.html. Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with this list.
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