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What is Experiential Learning?

It’s become clear over the past several decades that traditional learning methods don’t have a lasting impact.  Without hands-on application, concepts don’t connect or are forgotten altogether.  That’s why educators and leaders are turning to experiential learning models.  Experiential learning takes you out of the office/case study environment and gives you a hands on learning experience that drives home concepts.  Think of it like a flight simulator for pilots.  You’re using as close to real-life examples to learn business concepts like team building, and innovation.

See what participants of our experiential leadership programs think.

The Kolb Experiential Learning Model

Experiential Learning Model from Experience to Lead

One of the most popular models is the Experiential Learning Model from the educational theorist David A. Kolb.  His theory rests on two pillars: the learning cycle and the learner’s style.  Different learning styles each thrive in different stages of the cycle, for this reason amongst others, it is important to complete the full cycle of learning to have the most impact.

By committing to this model you journey from Experience to Reflection & Discussion to Conceptualization numerous times.  Following an experience with a time of reflection, open dialogue and conceptualization, every participant has the opportunity, formally or informally, to commit to a task or change they are going to pursue.  The application of that commitment begins as you return to your work environment.

Experiential Learning Model from Experience to Lead

The Business Case for Experiential Learning

Many high-performing firms have turned to experiential learning to improve employee training.  The research shows that it is more effective and has a higher rate of concept retention.  The result is a more effective team and lower rates of turnover.

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High-Performing Firms Use Experiential Learning Three Times More than Lower Performing Firms*
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Retention Rate of Concepts vs. Five Percent with Traditional Methods**
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Job Knowledge is Acquired Through On-The-Job Experience***

Benefits

Return on Investment

“This experience is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

VP | Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

“It helped bridge the dichotomy of the business world and the battlefield bringing relevance to the decisions I frequently face.”

Manager | Pepco Holdings

“Our experience has been vital to the success of our senior managers.”

Manager | International Paper

Implementing Experiential Learning in Your Business

Do you want to implement experiential learning into your company training?  It may be easier than you think.  One way to fast track your progress is by partnering with an experiential leadership consultant.  When selecting a partner to help develop your team’s experiential learning programs, it’s important that they tailor everything to fit your business’ specific needs.  If you’re interested in learning more or implementing your own experiential learning models for your business, you’ll find some helpful resources below.

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