TDT Cluj Meetup #76 on Experiential Learning

On the 29th of January we had a meetup on experiential learning. We had fun with the 8bit game of our childhood, Pacman, while the workshop facilitators guided the learning on bug investigation: Andreea Vescan, professor on Testing at Babes Bolyai University, and Adina Moldovan, software tester and consultant at Altom.

We went through the four steps David A. Kolb suggests. We started by experiencing the game, and its’ bugs. After, we reflected on our experience: from actions to how we felt, a step that we rarely do naturally in our day to day life. Then we analyzed more deeply how we worked, trying to figure out why we did what we did, followed by conceptualizing a group model on bug investigation. Sixteen people (in the picture, and more behind the scenes): testers, professors, students, offered seven versions for our goal: if we were to teach bug investigation in seven steps, which would they be? Together, we went though each proposal and came out with a group version.

The process was engaging, and it’s interesting to reflect on the results:

  • how people can use different words but mean the same thing
  • how much hands on experience can drive the creation of useful models
  • how anyone can do it, or
  • how easily we can build relevant models though the power of the group.

This part of idea development (abstractization & conceptualization), in our case modeling seven steps to bug investigation, was challenging but facilitated a deeper understanding on the subject. In the mindmap below, the words in bigger font are the seven steps we chose as a group, and the words deriving from them are all the different versions and aspects the people proposed before the categories existed.

We encourage you all to try an experiential learning experience with any goal. To make the process smoother in a group, we used to submit each version (see heatmap), and the consecrated flip-chart to group the terms together while discussing them. If you have the possibility to use directly a mind-mapping tool, we think it’s a great alternative over the flipchart. We mind-mapped it after the meetup.

Our meetup ended with sharing ideas about where we’ll use what we learned. This is an important aspect to challenge our mind to think at, so when the opportunity comes we’ll know what to do.

We hope you enjoyed our sharing and when you try, let us know how your experiential learning went.
TdT Cluj team.