THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EXPERIENCE-BASED LEARNING TO FOSTER INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY IN AN ENGINEERING ENVIRONMENT
American University of the Middle East (KUWAIT)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This study examines the theoretical and practical foundations for applying a new and innovative experiential-based concept in a university context among Engineering majors. The design and development of this innovative teaching and learning concept as an on-going process across the Engineering curriculum aims to foster creativity and innovation among undergraduate Engineering students. Implemented across all Engineering majors, this practice has been found to generate interest and motivation in students, in addition to boosting their performance.
The present paper delineates the characteristics of experiential learning that guide the realization and execution of academic activities through concrete experiences, reflexive observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation both in and outside of the classroom. Based on a comprehensive qualitative analysis of documentation generated in the space of three years and a practical case study, this paper presents a fresh outlook on experiential learning on a university level. Trustworthiness was developed by comparing the findings from the document analysis and the case study to a five-point criteria for experiential learning.
Academic activity experience has shown that innovation can be applied both in terms of how we teach and how our students learn. In fact, if present at the input (teaching) stage, we will necessarily find it at the output (learning) stage. We notice that students who have been taught through this creative and innovative method tend to naturally acquire creativity and innovation as a habit and a way of thinking, and apply it to their real life projects and activities. Therefore, our aim should always be to develop university teaching staff at all levels with a readiness to implement similar creative and innovative teaching activities, which in turn will affect student output both academically and in real life.
Keywords: Twenty-first century skills, technology in education, academic activities, experiential learning.