Experiential Learning Ph.D. Course – Participant Reflections

I am a lecturer, researcher, and consultant in education and entrepreneurship, especially SMEs. My research area is on the behavioral aspects of digital transformation in schools and SMEs. I am currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate at Corvinus University of Budapest in the Department of Business and Informatics. When choosing an elective course, I saw that there was Experiential Learning, Flow, and Serious Gaming course option, which seemed interesting. So, I opened and analyzed the syllabus and felt that the skills offered in this course suited my needs. In addition, Flow theory is the theoretical foundation that I used in my master’s thesis. So, studying it again and adapting it to the needs of my leadership skills will be very fun.

I have worked in a team many times as a leader and member. However, the team does not always work optimally. But, I believe that obstacles should be resolved with good leadership orientation. In the future, I will work collaboratively with many Schools or SMEs, leading more research and human development projects, and leading educational organizations in my area of expertise. So, the leadership issue.

On the first day of class, I told Prof. Zoltan Buzady that I want to develop my skills in building engagement, providing feedback, helping my colleagues in to Flow mental state, making everyone aware of the importance of experimentation, learning, and relearning, and then growing together so that everyone will be able to face uncertainty and continue to maintain their competitive advantage.

In terms of SMEs, they are not always aware of their real technological needs and how to master their existing potential to become advantageous. They are also sometimes not aware of what and how to learn the skills needed. Sometimes I am even pessimistic about uncertainty, or not confident in facing high challenges. But in this class, I learned about positive psychology, that we should focus on our advantages rather than disadvantages. We should optimize our potentiality in every circuit, and Prof. Buzady taught me very well.

Prof. Buzady also introduces us to Fligby, the serious gaming application. I can practice my leadership orientation through the game and evaluate how my leadership style works for the company. I see that my result was in line with my leadership purpose. I focus on building engagement with the team, developing skills by providing feedback and setting up a balance of challenges and skills to direct employees to Flow. Fligby trained my reasoning in determining the leadership strategy I wanted, and it worked for me.

I realize that we have to understand people’s unique skills and interests and then give them appropriate tasks and levels of challenge. We also need to make people aware of their potential. Because developing people which aware of their interests and potential skills is much easier as we can activate their intrinsic motivation. I also realized that leadership was a skill that should be developed and planned behavior, not a spontaneous action without reasoning.

Therefore, I need to build, train, practice, and experiment with it until I find the best practices for my leadership style, which is adjustable according to the persons we are managing.

Experiential learning, Flow, and serious gaming give me insightful learning experiences as I can reproduce my self confident, communication skills, feedback skills, and decision-making skills in a better way. I also gain a deeper understanding of leadership itself, which is valuable in facing my future challenge.

Keywords: Positive, Leadership, Learning, Engagement, Grow Together

Gaffar Hafiz Sagala
Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of Data Analytics and Information Systems
Corvinus University of Budapest