Experiential Learning in Higher Education: What You Need to Know

Experiential learning describes teaching and learning methods that allow students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world situations. It's a process that enables students to explore, discover and learn by doing. Experiential learning can take many forms, from internships to service learning.

The Benefits of Experiential Learning

When your institution integrates experiential learning into the curriculum, students can get college credit for participation. But the benefits don't end at a student's college transcript. 

Experiential learning helps students develop transferable skills while allowing faculty to contextualize what they teach outside the classroom.

Building Real-World Skills

Through experiential learning, students develop practical skills they can apply to their work post-graduation. For example, service-learning projects can help students learn how to work effectively in teams, manage time and resources and communicate with diverse groups of people. These are all skills that are essential for success in any career.

Community engagement projects can also help students better understand how to address social issues. These projects can also help students build important relationships with community members, deepening their local ties.

Developing an ePortfolio

When students can apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations, they see the value of their education. They'll also feel more confident in their ability to succeed in their chosen profession.

Experiential badging, a system of awarding badges to students based on their experiential learning experiences, is an easy and visual way to distinguish and record student accomplishments.

By certifying that a student has gained a particular set of skills, digital badging can help new graduates demonstrate the value of their experience to potential employers.

Through GivePulse, colleges and universities can award badges to students when they have completed a particular set of tasks or gained a specific level of experience. Students can then build an e-portfolio of badges to present when they apply for work or further study.

Using an Experiential Learning Management Platform

Most colleges and universities use a learning management system (LMS) to manage course participation. But experiential learning requires additional capabilities. Administrators of experiential learning programs need to manage and list opportunities, track, schedule and measure student participation, create digital transcripts and communicate with students and partners.

Through GivePulse, colleges and universities can facilitate and track hands-on learning and professional development on a platform that integrates seamlessly with an LMS.

You can list and manage employers, agencies and community organizations hosting students through your partner database. In doing so, you can easily share available opportunities with students while using our comprehensive communications tools to stay in touch with partners.

Using shifts, a calendar and a database, GivePulse enables you to manage, register, schedule, track and communicate with student participants and collect post-engagement reflections. And, with custom pathways, digital badges and transcripts, you'll have the flexibility to design programming that works for your institution — and allows students to showcase their skills.

Ready to empower students to learn through doing? Schedule a demo with GivePulse today.


About GivePulse

GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and volunteerism.

Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, K-12/school districts and cities and municipalities. Together, we connect millions of people in an effort to create positive social change.

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