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By Dr. Bruno Eeckels, Dean of Graduate School
In an experiential learning setting, the experience itself is at the center of the learning experience.
Kolb’s definition is useful to understand what we mean:
the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combinations of grasping and transforming experience.
Some level of experiential learning has been adopted by business and hospitality schools for many years as an effective pedagogy to prepare students for real world situations.
The teaching philosophy at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, fully embraces experiential learning, evidence of which can be found at different level of the curriculum of study.
For example, in the first semesters students are asked to complete craft-based learning subjects relevant to the hospitality industry: food production, service, stewarding, rooms division, etc.
In these real life situations, students need to welcome, serve and cook for guests. They develop real and intimate understanding of these essential functions for the hospitality industry.
Also, during their studies, students need to complete a numbers of internships during which students have the chance to validate the knowledge and skills that they acquire in school. As they are confronted with new challenges they also have the opportunity to develop new knowledge.
An essential component of experiential learning is the ability of the learner to reflect on the experience. The assessment strategy developed by faculty reflects this need: a learning portfolio in craft-based learning modules, internship reports, feedback and mentoring.
You might also be interested in: “Craft Based Learning” by student Tristan Bland
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