Now that Renewable Experiential & Applied Learning has an acronym (REAL), the next thing it needs is metaphors and cocktail napkin sketches…so here goes:
A key part of REAL’s “renewability” is the idea of connecting learning and experience in virtuous cycles that rotate through activities in educational organizations and the wider world of communities and workplaces. My first metaphor for these virtuous cycles is an electrical circuit:
- Learners are the electrical charge,
- traveling from knowledge-building activities in educational settings
- across conduits to activities of practice in community/workplace settings
- and then completing the circuit by returning to their original educational setting.
- Once returned, learners amplify their experience by engaging in renewable assignments
- that further their learning and enable assessment of their progress toward learning goals.
In this “electric” metaphor, the openly-licensed artifacts (OER) that learners generate via renewable assignments at different points around the circuit act as batteries, storing the power of learning to later empower other learners and learning.