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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 290-291

Encouraging experiential learning throughout the period of medical training


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission29-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance28-Jan-2021
Date of Web Publication31-May-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_402_20

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  Abstract 


The learning which happens in the case of an adult learner, including the medical students occurs in a wide variety of ways and is influenced by multiple factors. Experiential learning, as the name suggests, refers to the learning process that occurs through experience, and can be better understood as the learning via reflection on doing. The basic concept of experiential learning is that it facilitates learning in terms of a direct experience of an individual student, which may occur within or beyond the classroom settings. An undergraduate medical student can get benefited from experiential learning right from the early stages of training, upon exposure to clinical settings, during the internship, and even in their period of residency. In conclusion, experiential learning is an innovative form of learning that advocates for the acquisition of knowledge, improvement in interpersonal or communication skills through experience. The best part is that it helps in the gradual progression of the student right from the early stages of their learning till the period of residency and even after.

Keywords: Experiential learning, medical students, reflection


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Encouraging experiential learning throughout the period of medical training. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2021;14:290-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Encouraging experiential learning throughout the period of medical training. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jun 17];14:290-1. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2021/14/2/290/317413




  Introduction Top


The learning which happens in the case of an adult learner, including the medical students occurs in a wide variety of ways and is influenced by multiple factors.[1] The potential such factors which enhance learning include an internally motivated student, a self-directed learner, learning which is relevant (viz. the medical students will learn those things better which are relevant to them in their current training - asked frequently in examinations or in clinical practice), and the theoretical concepts which can be applied in practice.[1],[2] In addition, the students often learn better if the provided information is in alignment with the goal of the course and in those settings, which encourages them to reflect upon and enables connection between past experiences with the current knowledge.[1]


  Experiential Learning Top


Experiential learning, as the name suggests, refers to the learning process that occurs through experience, and can be better understood as the learning via reflection on doing.[2] In other words, it encompasses both components of reflection and practice and plays a crucial role in the successful acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitude, and behavior.[3] The basic concept of experiential learning is that it facilitates learning in terms of a direct experience of an individual student, which may occur within or beyond the classroom settings, and does not essentially require the presence of a teacher who is providing information to the students.[1],[2],[3] This experiential learning becomes quite essential for ensuring the professional growth of the student.[3]


  Elements of Experiential Learning Top


Even though many models or theories have been used to describe experiential learning, Kolbe's experiential learning cycle remains the most common one. In practical terms, in an attempt to get benefited by personal or environmental experiences, it becomes must that the medical student should be willing to get actively engaged in the experience, and follow-up it by reflecting on the experience.[3],[4] This has to be succeeded by use of analytical skills by the student to get a conceptual understanding of the experience.[2] However, having an experience alone doesn't make it experiential learning, unless the student uses their problem-solving skills to employ the gained experience in new settings. These steps keep repeating and each new experience is the beginning of a new cycle of experiential learning.[2] In other words, it determines the mechanism by which an individual student will learn a specific thing in a specific manner by reflecting upon their own perception of experiences in their entire academic career as well as in the future life.[1],[3]


  Experiential Learning Opportunities in Medical Training Top


An undergraduate medical student can get benefited from experiential learning right from the early stages of training (viz. experience gained while participating in the dissection of a cadaver in Anatomy or measuring blood pressure in physiology or in a skills lab or in a problem-oriented learning session organized by any department), upon exposure to clinical settings (like learning from patients or eliciting signs in a patient or in community postings), during internship (such as eliciting history and examining patient before the specialist performs or mere observation of supervisor activities or walking in a hospital with a stethoscope round our neck), and even in their period of residency (viz. supervised responsibility for the care of patients) as a postgraduate student.[2],[3],[4],[5]

We have to acknowledge that experiential learning among medical students not only happens in academic settings (through brainstorming, role plays, discussion with batchmates, etc.) but also in outdoor community settings.[4] The outcome of such learning is that a student acquires leadership skills, communication skills, teamwork skills, problem-solving skills, better understanding of perspectives of patient, adopts a professional approach, and learns to interact and adapt to the given environment.[2],[3],[4] Eventually, experiential learning aids the medical students to engage in the given activity to learn and thereby apply the gained experience in a practical and relevant setting.[1],[2] At Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, a constituent unit of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Deemed-to-be-University, Puducherry, efforts have been taken to expose undergraduate medical students to experiential learning, so that their learning becomes deep and beneficial to them.


  Conclusion Top


Experiential learning is an innovative form of learning that advocates for the acquisition of knowledge, improvement in interpersonal or communication skills through experience. The best part is that it helps in the gradual progression of the student right from the early stages of their learning till the period of residency and even after.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Vaid U. Experiential learning in medical education. Am J Med Sci 2018;356:187.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Yardley S, Teunissen PW, Dornan T. Experiential learning: AMEE Guide No. 63. Med Teach 2012;34:e102-15.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Roman VM. Experiential learning in undergraduate education – Doing and reflecting. Am J Med Sci 2018;356:188.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Tanaka K, Son D. Experiential learning for junior residents as a part of community-based medical education in Japan. Educ Prim Care 2019;30:282-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Shokoohi H, Boniface K, Kaviany P, Armstrong P, Calabrese K, Pourmand A. An experiential learning model facilitates learning of bedside ultrasound by preclinical medical students. J Surg Educ 2016;73:208-14.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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