Experiential learning: Hands-on learning

What Is Hands-On Learning?

Hands-on learning means to learn by doing. It is also called experiential learning, wherein a student learns through practical experience.

Eminent scholars like Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates have contributed to the understanding of experiential learning. And they explained that this approach emphasizes on one’s learning mainly outside the classroom. In the recent past, this form of learning has gained a lot of importance. Because it has numerous advantages for the learners. And supports the most important educational goals of modern times.

Let’s deep dive further and explore some benefits of hands on learning:

Benefits of Hands-On Learning

1. Learning beyond the classroom

The greatest benefit of hands on learning is that it extends one’s learning beyond the four walls of a general classroom. For students of a regular school or the ones enrolled in a 100% online schooling platform, this form of learning makes the learning limitless. With this approach, students can discover information on their own. And this experience of gaining knowledge through experience is also highly engaging and interesting for them. As they learn by doing, they are also able to identify the difference between theoretical knowledge and practical application. And all this makes their learning more personalized and highly relevant for them.

2. Skill building

Critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation are some of the most sought-after skills in this digital age. And these are important for success in one’s academic life and later in the workforce. Experiential learning challenges the students to think beyond the regular beliefs and defined rules. Hence, it is more helpful in inculcating skillsets by developing their high-order thinking skills in them. In the modern-day competitive world, skill-building is the most important promising aspect that guarantees success. Hence, this approach focuses on success in the post-school life of the students.

3. School and life success

As per the Ministry of Education, U.S.A, our students can barely acquire the basic functional skills in the duration of a regular school day. This means that we need extra time and promising strategies to extend their learning beyond school hours. Experiential learning is an ideal way to extend learning beyond the defined school hours. Because it promotes meaningful learning for the students and that too in the real-world contexts. All this leads to school and post-school success. Because students acquire new age skillsets and get ready for the workforce before they graduate with a high school diploma. Hands on learning is also full of innovative learning. Which makes it interesting, relevant, and highly useful for them in their real life.

4. Mastery learning

Experiential learning is the most in-depth for students. When they get engaged in the subject matter, they learn effectively through their intrinsic motivation. This means that they get completely involved in their learning. And they do not learn with the force of an external reward. Being intrinsically motivated also helps in learning and retaining better. Because this type of learning is the most satisfying for the students. In-depth learning also helps in mastery learning. And students become proficient with the subject matter through these highly involved and interesting ways of learning.

5. Individualized learning

Our educational landscape is constantly emphasizing on the need for individualized instructions. And experiential learning perfectly makes the student’s learning personalized/individualized. With this approach, students do not rely on the lectures of a noisy and crowded classroom to gain conceptual understanding. And this personalized process of discovery is enlightening and individualized for the students.

6. Better retention rates

Learning through hands-on experiences is also good for one’s retention powers. This approach is believed to make the learning more permanent. And strengthens the deep understanding of concepts in a student’s mind. This approach is also a credible solution for simplifying the complex instructions into easy and understandable parts. And eventually, the student is able to connect these parts to the bigger concept with ease. Additionally, this approach empowers students to apply the learned information, theory, or concept practically. Hence, they grasp and retain information over a comparatively longer period of time. The information retained through hands on learning also goes to one’s long-term memory. Hence, it stays more permanent and useful for them in the long run.

7. Real-world learning

While applying theoretical knowledge through practical experiences, students learn the importance of the concepts/information in the real-life. This makes them more connected to their learning. And in turn, helps them to understand the real life implications of the content. Unlike a regular classroom lecture or a demonstration slide, hands on learning is a more elaborate and enriched experience for a student. Hence, it is more meaningful and relevant for the students in the real life.

Creatively planned hands on learning can be a great support for a student’s holistic development. Because it involves a multisensory approach. And makes them active learners by involving multiple senses throughout the learning process.

8. Adds on to the student’s creativity

Learning by doing can also be excellent to improve a student’s creativity. Because it encourages ways of learning beyond the defined rules and set norms of resolving problems. This approach adds a creative dimension to the student’s learning. Because it does not advocate doing things in a manner that is already decided and finalized by someone else. Through this approach, a student is also free to look for alternative ways of doing things. Hence, it is both creative and open-ended for students. The insights gained through hands-on learning are not confined to simple theories and concepts. Instead, they can go beyond it and help the student to explore greater dimensions of things during their learning process.

Final words

Hands on learning helps the brain to create meaningful connections with the facts/information. And makes the students critical thinkers and rational individuals over a period of time. This approach this highly useful in the holistic development of our new-age learners.

So, help your students by creating more opportunities for hands on learning


See how they get immersed in their academic journey through the joy of discovery!

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