Learning Experiences and why they matter
Can you count how many learning experiences you have had in your life? Probably not. Why? Simply because there are too many. We are learning all the time! Or at least all the time we are awake - and some would argue that even when you're sleeping your brain is making the necessary adjustments for your learning to continue. Well, sleeping issues aside, humans are learning beings. And since we are inherently designed to learn, maybe the right question would be: how many learning experiences can you still remember?
Many, probably (or at least we hope). But can you recall what you learned in all of them? Here is where it gets tricky, right?
If, on one hand, it's true that we might have learned in moments that were not designed to be pedagogical, it's also likely that we all have lived experiences that were intended to be educational but did not resonate with us. Sometimes full courses. Years of study. What a pity, no?
So, what makes an experience educational? This question is probably an important question for all of us but it's especially important for educators, who have to design learning experiences that have a real impact on the learners, might they be children sitting in a classroom, young people in a park or adults at the workplace.
Well, according to Niels Floors - the author behind the concept of Learning Experience Design - the point is to figure out what experience works better for someone to learn something. So, the goal is clear: when you design a learning experience you want your learner(s) to learn. That might sound obvious but it drastically changes the focus from teaching or training to a human-centered process, focused on the learning outcomes, instead of revolving around your teaching or training strategies.
In the end, Learning Experience Design is all about creating positive, personal and profound learning experiences.
In the Design2Learn project, we believe educators and youth workers can learn to design better learning experiences by connecting with their learners at a cognitive and emotional level and acquiring a framework and new tools that will help them shape memorable, unique and engaging learning experiences.
Hope we got you curious, there will be many resources coming, so stay tuned and join this learning experience with us.
By Anita Silva, Trainer and Consultant at Team MAIS