At the heart of all learning is the way we process our experiences, especially our critical reflections on our experiences. Experiential Learning has the key to student-centred learning and for a sustainable future.
Experiential learning engages students in critical thinking, problem solving and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them. This approach to learning also involves making opportunities for debriefing and consolidation of ideas and skills through feedback, reflection, and the application of the ideas and skills to new situations.
Experiential learning is often thought of as a learning cycle with experience and reflection being the first two phases.
The idea of experiential learning as a cycle was suggested by prominent educationalists such as Jean Piaget, John Dewey and David Kolb.
It is their work that gave birth to the World Council for Adult Learning with headquarters in USA over the last 36 years. The African branch i.e African Council for Adult Experiential Learning (ACAEL) was launched in the year 1997.
It is this council that has scientific and professional tools that are used to evaluate and assign “Credit Values” to Life Achievement and Work Experience.
The process known as MATRIC uses special tools known as “bio-psycho-matrics” and a select set of experts across the world who carry out the process. It is a process that undertakes “Mature Talent Evaluation”, “Credit Matriculation”, and “Accreditation Process” which finally extracts “Credit Values”. A report is then produced followed by a “Learning Prescription” that now matches usual course units in the form of Credit Points. The prescription further indicates the right course, level, modules to be exempted, additional modules and support programmes needed to fill skills gaps and build intellectual demand (if necessary) and the universities or colleges that would accept the credits.
How it Works
A number of international universes are members of the council and their courses easily get assigned these credit values hence credit points.
The import of it all is that the adult becomes eligible to join a university course without the usual grades threshold from traditional examinations.
The process, which lasts about 45 minutes, has helped many people in the world who were initially locked out of higher education due to the rigid policies and outright arrogance in colleges and universities.
It comes as a big relief for adults who have been subjected to humiliation by our educationists that merely seek to find your memory power even if you are an old man and naturally unable to memorize.
But you must be asking: How can a primary school dropout attain a degree?
There are important learning schemes built into this process. They include important sessions that provides for :
- Mature Talent Reclamation and “enterprise thought” acceleration
- Skills Gap “fill-up” learning modules
- Intellectual Capacity “build up” learning modules
- Learning based on talent and competence with a bias to prior experience in line of practice