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Experiential Learning
What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential Learning is simply an action-oriented way to teach that depends on the learner's active participation in the learning process. It involves participants in an activity, which allows them to take a look at the way they approach problems, interact with others, communicate and take risks. As its name implies, it focuses on the central role of experience in creating knowledge and development. It takes place when a person is involved in an activity then spends time to reflect and evaluate the activity determining what was useful and worthy of remembering. These activities are metaphors for the problems and challenges faced by participants in a typical day. They offer concrete experiences that serve as practice fields preparing and training participants for future situations. By being part of the experience, participants extract and learn meaningful, relevant and essential knowledge and skills that can be transferred and used in their daily activities. Studies, e.g. Dale's cone of learning, have shown that Experiential Learning is the most effective learning process as it engages and addresses the cognitive, emotional and the physical aspects of a learner. Unlike lectures, the learning process is FUN, challenging and relevant and thus retained over a long period of time.

Dale's Cone of Experience
Benefits of experiential learning
  1. Makes the learning process exciting, challenging and relevant thus remembered over a long period of time.
  2. Makes one's behaviors and attitudes visible therefore acknowledged and then addressed.
  3. Provides an opportunity for individuals and teams to take on challenges, step out of their comfort zones and stretch their perceived limits in a supportive and safe environment.
  4. Builds transferable skills that are valuable in real life situations. 5. Provides concrete experiences that are a simulation to real situations.
Experiential Learning cycle
The heart of learning lays in the way we process experience, specifically, our critical reflection of experience. That's why the experiential learning process does not stop at the experience stage. Through certified and experienced facilitators, several key processing steps take the participants beyond simply doing the activity. The participants are asked to share and reflect upon their experiences extracting meaning and generating concepts and lessons that could be applied and used in future similar or different situations. Hence, connecting their experience to the real world.
Microsoft (Community Affairs)
Mtandao Afrika (Connecting Africa) is a joint initiative between Microsoft and SchoolNet Africa aimed at empowering African youth through technology knowledge and access. The participating youth from allover Africa have met in Cairo this year. During their stay, Microsoft Egypt sponsored the youth to partake in a team building day at MIT Egypt where they have learnt how to overcome disadvantages and barriers and to work in a team through the creative and interactive sessions organized by MIT Egypt, including rope exercises that took place 15 meters off the ground. From the high levels of energy displayed by all, it was obvious that the event had been an inspiring and educational experience for all of them.
Purvi  
Community Affairs Coordinator