Experience + Learning
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
Hands-on learning, these days often called experiential learning,
is a big deal at SWON. We have a whole series of workshops, our
Level-Up Labs, that put it at the center. For some topics, hands-on
learning is an easy fit. Take HTML. When you're writing the code, you
see the practical results of your work. If you forget to put in a slash,
you can see your entire page can become one long link. You need to
As practical as this kind of experiential learning is, it can also be
attractive because it's pretty private. You're the only one looking at
your screen. If you goof, you're the only one to see it unless you call
the instructor over. That can make your learning experience less risky,
but isolated learning has its drawbacks. You might miss the chance to
ask a question or hear a suggestion.
The stakes can feel higher when the topic requires your learning
experience to be public. That might include role-plays—"You be the
hotel manager"—but also group activities where your learning
process is visible to those around you. Those higher stakes present
opportunities. When you volunteer, it can be your marketing puzzle the
group tries to solve or your customer service issue the group helps
Libraries provide instruction all the time. When
you're the one teaching, make it your mission to include an
experiential learning component. It's also your job to make
your learning environment constructive and protected so that people
feel free to participate, even when they're on the spot.
- Nathan Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator
Supervisor Training goes on the
SWON is planning a series of Supervisor Training Labs for the fall
that will be held at several sites around our region. You can expect to
find experiential learning components in each of these. If you're
interested in hosting supervisor training at your library, contact
Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, SWON's previous Level-Up Labs are ready to travel!
If you'd like a two-hour, hands-on workshop on Personality
Theory for Supervisors/Managers or Dealing
with Conflict, we're ready to schedule them with you. Our Level-Up Lab page
also lists technology-related Labs. Ready to learn more? We're ready to
bring a learning experience to you!