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Student perspectives on the value of experiential learning in history
journal contributionposted on 2016-12-01, 00:00 authored by Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton, Glenn Moore
This paper is a reflective study of experiential learning as an American history teaching-tool. It is based on a survey of students who took a University of Melbourne study tour to the United States in the years from 2001–2011. This survey asked students to identify the tour’s long-term outcomes. The responses showed that students believed the study tour was beneficial academically, and that it also opened up employment opportunities. However, the most significant benefit identified by the students was positive social outcomes—in other words, the friends they made on the tour and the professional networks they formed. The conclusion we drew from these results was that students believe that experiential learning has a legitimate place in history curriculums, and that it is an antidote to the loneliness they feel in traditional classroom settings.