'Learning by Doing' seen in action
The expertise of a sensible learning approach during a grad school
According to the "classical" manner of teaching, the teacher has all the information and teaches with a particular variety of established theories developed over time, with the assistance of illustrations and demonstrations whereas the learner, generally the coed, just sits and passively acquires information.
In distinction, the "learning by doing" pedagogy consists of putting students during a sensible learning scenario wherever they learn from expertise.
This learning method is extremely stern for people who experiment with it because it not solely provides an excellent autonomy however conjointly breaks the walls of the room and redistributes the relation between the teacher and his students wherever he must assume his responsibilities, priorities and call.
This methodology was initiated for college kids beginning the SM in Management programme at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific field in Singapore. On the second day at ESSEC Asia-Pacific, these students had to tackle/face real-life cases of organisations while not having received one lecture.
The students were divided into four teams, and given the challenge of serving to 2 Singapore-based transnational corporations (MNC) to outline their positioning during a new market, and to analyse their clients' feedback/comments on social media. once a month, every cluster had to form displays and proposals to the senior executives of the several organisations.
Without typical course lectures, every cluster had a weekly discussion with the prof chargeable for the programme UN agency, the maximum amount as doable, suggested them mostly concerning the ways and organisation, as compared to the substance of the topics treated.
The rest of the time, the scholars had to travel and explore for the knowledge on their own from both the library and also the Internet to unravel their problems. It was up to them to find the right tools to enable them to make sound recommendations after analysing all the information available.
Obviously the groups made some mistakes during the presentations one month later, but the overall performances were impressive, with some groups making very robust recommendations.
In the second month, the students were divided into new groups and focused on two new organisations from the non-profit sector. One is located in the Philippines, the other is in Cambodia. As they had previously done with the MNCs, the students interacted with the leaders of the non-government organisations (NGOs) to understand precisely their needs and problems. A month later, the two NGOs' representatives came to the campus to listen to the groups' recommendations.
All the student groups largely exceeded the expectations of the supervisors by proposing pertinent, applicable, and well-reasoned recommendations. The good relationship with the NGOs that the students enjoyed shows that the confidence and autonomy that was granted to them in the pedagogy and with their external interlocutors was justified. The results shown were quite similar to a student who is already in his second or third year.
The last phase of this 'learning by doing' pedagogy focused on entrepreneurship. The groups were again changed; the students had to form new teams that were different from the previous ones. The challenge was to create something on campus that could benefit the public (not just those enrolled in the for instance).
They had to find and agree on an idea and then find the necessary funds, to contact the internal and external interlocutors if they needed specific help, and so on. The four groups had to develop original proposals or case studies from enacting three different situations.
The first group organised an event around the theme of "the hidden face of entrepreneurs", where young start-up creators came together to discuss the difficulties of their ventures. The second group set up a round table with a formal debate by students from different programs on campus. The third organised an evening of "understanding Singapore in two hours" by listening to different speakers talking about local food, religion, alternative medicine, etc. Finally, the last group developed a blog for the students of the school where they could find official information, as well as "tips and tricks" contributed by the student community.
By the 25th week, there was no doubt that the previous campus ecosystem had been shattered for the benefit of all. This method may have caused some confusion for the students initially and many, if not all, requested to be enrolled in a project management course during the first phase where they were challenged to help the two MNCs.
This was hardly surprising. Disconcerted by the autonomy that was offered to them, they sought a framework, or a method which they were more familiar with: not only were they seeking knowledge or answers but also the path to access it.
During the programme, the students had to guard against external distractions. Consequently the professor advising the students must be available most of the time and ensure the students had access to the adapted methods and tools. It was crucial that all the resources were available not only at the meetings, but every day, 24/7 with almost all the online tools available today: email certainly but also Whatsapp, Facebook, etc.
At the end of three months, with little knowledge of Asia, still less of Singapore, and without a single course in management, the students all succeeded in acquiring and developing a knowledge in marketing, project management, finance, human resources, etc.
The results were neither common sense nor intuition because they have, on the one hand, been supervised academically by a professor who guarantees the environment of knowledge and, on the other hand, they have immersed themselves in books, reference materials and "classics", creating it doable to search for the most relevant data. Of course, it might not be correct to mention that they need down their disciplines, off from it.
"Learning-by-Doing" may be a learning device, not associate finish in itself. This is, in a way, a brand new manner of learning that ESSEC has tried to infuse and which is able to beyond any doubt be fully helpful and complement the remainder of the students' education as presently as they receive lessons during a additional typical format.
It is a decent bet that the training of the longer term disciplines are expedited by this "formatting", supported on the autonomy and also the responsibility to find out. This approach maybe articulates Aristotle's thought that is "learning is doing, learning by doing" and Confucius conflict that "Learning doltishly is vain. Thinking while not learning is dangerous". The Singaporean context is definitely ideal for combining these thoughts.