Define the Learning Venue
1. Define the Learning Venue
When and where did the experience occur? How much time was involved? What was your role or position? Who else was involved? This background information will provide you with a concrete reference point which will help you place your essay in perspective. This section should be at least two to three complete sentences
2. State and describe the Learning Principle
The Learning Principle is the core learning which aligns with the chosen topic for the essay. To write an effective essay, you may first want to read and study various sources – conduct primary/secondary research through books, magazines, films, recordings, interviews, etc. This will refresh your memory and bring forth the details of a specific learning experience and the theory behind the principle.
Articulate the Learning Principle in at least one paragraph, preferably two, with a minimum of three complete sentences, which describes the core principle as it specifically relates to what you learned. Include a statement about the principle which differentiates it from a subject about which you have a surface knowledge, to why it should be considered college-level learning.
For example, you may have a surface understanding of the importance of time management, but for this to be considered as college level learning, explain what you learned, identifying sub-points and related aspects which exhibit deeper understanding of the learning principle.
3. Application of Principle Outside of Venue of Experience
Describe your competence in the subject area, that is, the level of knowledge or ability that enables you to perform effectively. Practice writing competence statements that reflect your personal learning experience and relate to the course description:
• I learned how to develop and use active listening habits. (Skill)
• I learned to identify barriers to effective communications in the workplace and how to overcome them. (Knowledge) The more precise you can be in identifying your competencies and learning outcomes, the more easily your experience can be assessed for credit.
To say that you “learned to communicate” is a broad generalization; to say that you “learned that you cannot make assumptions about whether everyone understands what you are saying” or that “nonverbal symbols can communicate as loudly as the spoken word” are more precise, acceptable statements. Your specificity also enables evaluators to determine your level of competence.
There are many levels of competence related to the knowledge and skills acquired in a subject area. Remember how important it is to balance theory and applied learning. Ideally, your essay will interweave the two. For example, if you are writing about motivation, you might discuss the major theories of motivation
– Herzberg’s Motivation-Maintenance Model, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, or Vroom’s Expectancy Theory – as they relate to what you have learned as a supervisor. How does your experiential learning compare and contrast with accepted theory in that subject area? What problems did you identify related to motivating employees? Use examples from your own experiences to illustrate your knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts. This section should be at least four paragraphs of approximately five sentences each.
• Summarize the previous three sections in at least two paragraphs of approximately five sentences each. Add a paragraph which integrates your learning regarding this principle with Christian worldview and lifestyle practices. The conclusion must contain clear reference to how a Christian worldview intersects with the learning and its application in the broader context.
For example, a course in time management could include a statement such as this in the conclusion. “Learning how to more effectively manage my time has made me more effective across all aspects of my life. It has also made me aware of the reality that we all have the same amount of time each day, as well as a limited amount of time while on this earth. Because of this I am more conscious of the importance of valuing the people in my life and being a better example to them of Christ’s love in everything I do.”