Learning, experience-based

See Kolb’s thing


“Experiential learning is a well-known model in education. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 1984) defines experiential learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience.”

A diagram of Kolb's cycle of experiential learning

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory presents a cycle of four elements

  1. Concrete Experience
  2. Reflective Observation
  3. Abstract Conceptualization
  4. Active Experimentation

The cycle begins with an experience that the student has had, followed by an opportunity to reflect on that experience. Then students may conceptualize and draw conclusions about what they experienced and observed, leading to future actions in which the students experiment with different behaviors. This begins the cycle anew as students have new experiences based on their experimentation (Oxendine, Robinson and Willson, 2004) . Although this continuum is presented as a cycle, the steps may occur in nearly any order. This learning cycle involves both concrete components (steps 1 and 4) and conceptual components (steps 2 and 3), which require a variety of cognitive and affective behaviors.

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