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The Learning Arena

The Learning Arena is a practical model underpinning our approach to experiential learning.

Experiential Learning involves the progressive sequence: activity > learning > implementation > learning > implementation. All too often the activity is the focus, not the learning or the implementation. MTa’s aim is to improve performance through learning, so all of our packages provide facilitators, trainers and teachers the tools to take their learners systematically through the Learning Arena described below …

1. Choose an MTa activity

Match discussion topics that are provided within the facilitator’s notes with participants’ needs: the learning opportunities offered by each activity are mapped onto MTa's model of human behaviour

2. Task

Use MTa’s comprehensive facilitator guides together with tried and tested participants’ briefs.

3. Individual thinking time

Help participants think critically with review questionnaires. This stimulates structured reflection about what happened in the activity, and initiates thinking that will lead to personal learning.

4. Group review

Use the review sheets to provide a framework for group discussion and ensure that all participants can contribute and learn.

5. Draw conclusions

Evaluate and select ideas that will improve individual and team performance.

6. Transfer the learning to the workplace

Use our learning transfer system to help individuals use their new skills and knowledge in the workplace.

7. Improved workplace performance

Improved workplace performance based on the personal learning participants gained through experiential learning.

The best experiential activities are inconsequential

When we write activities, our aim is for individuals to become absorbed in activity that will provide experiences upon which participants can reflect and build. Some learning may take place as people tackle a task, but the majority of work and consequent learning takes place as participants review, analyse, discuss, plan and select ideas for change in the Learning Arena. Once inside the Learning Arena the aim is for the individual to learn how they can improve their performance by:

developing an understanding of what happened during the activity and why, with a particular emphasis on their part in the process

identifying the positive aspects of their approach and considering how they can be put to best use in the future

identifying the negative aspects of their approach and considering and testing various ways of improving upon or overcoming them

deciding and committing personally to their chosen actions and measures of success

planning to review after implementation (i.e. planning to re-enter a subsequent Learning Arena).

For further information about The Learning Arena please download our Facilitator's Guide to Experiential Learning.

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