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Top tips for running an experiential learning trip from an expert in the field

We asked Pauline Jepson, the Youth Program Director at Club Getaway, to share some of her top tips when it comes to planning a trip for students. This is what she had to say:

Experiential learning is a type of education that involves hands-on, interactive experiences, rather than traditional lectures or classroom instruction. It is often used in outdoor education and adventure-based learning programs, as it can be an effective way to engage students and help them retain new knowledge and skills.

Here are some best practices for running a class trip or experiential learning program:

  1. Clearly define the goals and objectives of the trip or program, and ensure that the activities and experiences align with those goals.

  2. Involve students in the planning process and give them a say in what activities they would like to do. This can help increase their motivation and engagement.

  3. Choose activities that are age-appropriate and challenge students without overwhelming them.

  4. Foster a positive and supportive learning environment by establishing clear rules and expectations, and providing adequate supervision and support for students.

  5. Encourage students to reflect on their experiences and process what they have learned. This can be done through discussions, journaling, or other forms of self-reflection.

  6. Follow appropriate safety protocols and risk management strategies to ensure the well-being of all students.

  7. Evaluate the effectiveness of the trip or program, and use the results to make improvements in future experiences.

All of these points are absolutely great but I particularly love her point about asking the students to reflect on their experience. Giving students the opportunity to really think about what they have learned and how they learned it, really can solidify the incredible benefits that come with student trips.

I have asked my students to journals while on the trip, I've got them to write postcards, and even asked them to make their own postcards too. The reflection can happen both on the trip and afterwards which is a great way to really extend and develop the learning that took place.

(All photos from Club Getaway)

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