Experiential learning, the process of learning through first-hand experience, is not a new concept, with Aristotle famously stating that “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Studies have found that experiential learning is a particularly useful tool for preparing trainees for classroom management, with substantial evidence indicating that teachers who have had more preparation have greater levels of confidence and success with students.
Unfortunately classroom management is an area which research indicates is one of the most neglected parts of teacher training. This research seems to be corroborated by the fact that 32% of newly qualified teachers feel unprepared by their initial teacher training course for their classroom experience.
A Department of Education report also indicates that teachers who have less than five years of teaching experience have lower levels of self-efficacy than their colleagues who have been in the profession for longer.
The form of experiential learning for classroom management which is most frequently encountered is, of course, being in an actual classroom and interacting with pupils. While this experience is invaluable, it can also be a daunting process which can knock teacher confidence. Another issue is that the type of experience gained is dependent on pupil behaviour which can vary widely.
C-Live, our virtual reality teacher training seeks to build trainee teacher confidence and skills by giving them the opportunity to interact with a class in real time with pupils who have distinct personalities and skills.
With 100% of Bath Spa University trainee teachers stating that C-Live helped to prepare them for the real classroom, we believe that combining C-Live with more traditional training methods is a valuable tool for giving trainee teachers experiential learning experience without throwing them in at the deep end.
C-Live offers a variety of builds which can be easily switched, allowing participants to interact with classes of different sizes and age groups within minutes. C-Live also offers adult avatars, which gives trainee teachers the option of practising difficult conversations with parents and other teachers, something which most teachers have no experience with until they are faced with the situation.
David Kolb’s learning loop indicates that effective experiential learning occurs when the learner progresses through a four-part cycle.
C-Live offers all four of these stages in succession. Students can choose a specific scenario that they would like to practice. The scenario is recorded, enabling the participant to watch it back – something which research indicates contributes significantly to how prepared teachers feel – and reflect upon it. They can then develop new strategies and attempt the scenario again, thus completing the experiential cycle.
If you would like more information about how C-Live can be used to help trainee teachers, phone us on 01270 449 165 or email us.