5 Ways Business Schools Are Exploring Experiential Learning Opportunities Across Programmes

Experiential learning during the pandemic has become a difficult task for all educational institutes, here is how B-Schools are handling it.

Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience. The theory of ‘experiential learning’ was proposed by psychologist David Kolb. Kolb defined experiential learning as 'The process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combinations of grasping and transforming the experience.'  According to Kolb, concrete experience provides information that serves as a basis for reflection. From reflection, we assimilate the information we gathered through a concrete experience and develop new theories about the world which we then actively or reflectively experiment with.  Kolb also noted that people who are considered ‘watchers’ prefer reflective observation, while those who are ‘doers’ are more likely to engage in active experimentation.

Experiential learning is gaining importance in B Schools. Students are now made to learn using experiential learning methods.  Experiential learning also helps management students in connecting theory to practice. By adopting experiential learning methods management students can easily connect and apply the knowledge gained to real-world business situations.

Experiential Learning methodology uses critical thinking, problem-solving and decision making to deliver a training module. This has become an established method to accelerate learning. By moving beyond theory to the realm of ‘learning by doing' management graduates in B Schools get a first-hand experience of practising what has been taught to them in the classroom.  This plays a crucial role in retaining concepts and ideas.

Benefits of experiential learning in B Schools are as diverse as the forms it comes in, such as increased career readiness and greater employability and improved civic consciousness, increased academic, professional and interpersonal skill development, and better self-concept.

Experiential learning is more than just organizing opportunities for students to work with external clients; it must view experience-based curricula through a learning theory lens to realize the full potential of “learning by doing.” Experiential learning is now part of a vast majority of full-time MBA programs. Experiential learning helps to bridges the gap between theory and practice. Be it an internship assignment, or the incubator program or even a business competition or business simulation, these immersive experiential learning opportunities let a student apply the knowledge that they have acquired in the classroom immediately to these ‘live’ business settings.

Indian B Schools are exploring experiential learning opportunities across programmes by adopting the following ways:

Giving Credits to Case Competitions by Corporate

Several organisations conduct case competitions in B Schools and use this as a process to recruit talent to their organisation. The cases used are generally live challenges that the organisations face in their day to day business operations. A few B Schools have given credits to these case competitions and have made it an experiential learning platform for students.  

International Immersion Experience

Aspects related to culture can never be taught in classrooms. Many B schools have international immersion programs for their management students. These immersion programs are actually ‘experiential learning’ modules that help students to know cultural aspects and also aspects related to international business.

Specific Credits to Experiential learning

A few universities in India have 10 per cent of the time from the total teaching-learning hours in every subject, given to experiential learning. Every faculty member teaching the subject must necessarily give assignments/activities related to experiential learning, which can help the student to learn the subject by ‘knowing’, ‘being’ and ‘doing’.

Student Clubs and Student Councils

A few premier B Schools in the country give ample opportunity to the students club and students councils to plan her activities for a year and also create a budget, own it and also executive all activities as per the budgets. From admissions to placements almost all activities are owned and managed by student councils and student clubs. This is an excellent platform for experiential learning.  

‘Market place becomes classroom’ - Live Projects

The ‘Live Project’ which is offered to the students in a few B Schools is an ‘Integrated Academic Assignment’ having integration of activities related to Entrepreneurship, Operations Management, Marketing Management and Organisational Behaviour. In such live project’s students run the actual business on campus. This experiential learning makes them understand the nuances of running a business at a micro-level. ‘Market place becomes classroom’ in such experiential learning methods. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

Tags assigned to this article:
business schools students

Around The World

Our Publications