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Defining Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is the process of learning that supports students in applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems or situations, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.
Kolb’s (1984) cycle of experiential learning integrates the following components:

  • Knowledge – where the concept, facts, and information are acquired through formal learning and past experience;
  • Activity – where the application of knowledge to a real-world setting happens; and
  • Reflection – where knowledge and activity are analyzed and synthesized by the student, in order to create new knowledge (Indiana University, 2006)