Experiential Learning is essentially learning through (an) experience(s) – we all learn this way, all through our lives.
If we are interested in learning something – like riding a bike, or driving a car, or improving our tennis skills, or how to play a new computer game – we often combine some theory with a lot of practice and experience. Sometimes we include coaching, or support from an expert. As an adult this desire to want to learn for a specific reason becomes more important than the typical general interests in learning that children have. The experiential learning experience may be intentional: attending a training program; or unintentional: learning not to eat that food that caused your stomach upset last time!
In RSVP Design terms we believe that structuring specific learning experiences for people, and helping them to reflect on them to build better learning is fundamentally ‘experiential learning’.
It is characterised by less theoretical learning or lecturing by experts, and by more practical, personal learning that comes from the individual insights from those involved in these structured experiences, activities, puzzles or games. Often these activities are focused on groups of people or teams, where leadership, team, communication, coaching and other skills can be rehearsed and developed.
It's our belief and experience that more learning occurs within the structured experiential activity and during the debrief, than a typical 'content' or knowledge session that delegates are often subjected to. It's important therefore to choose and sequence these activities carefully.
David A. Kolb on Experiential Learning: David A. Kolb (with Roger Fry) created his famous model out of four elements: concrete experience, observation and reflection, the formation of abstract concepts and testing in new situations.
RSVP Design uses Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and Cycle as a basis for all our experiential learning activities.
We design our experiential learning activities, tools, and resources based around this theory so you get the best learning out of your training.
In our opinion it is the ideal method to structure reviews that follow experiential learning activity and helps learners transfer the maximum possible ‘sticky’ learning.
Skills we develop using experiential learning and the Kolb Cycle include:
David Kolb represented four elements in the famous experiential learning circle that involves (1) concrete experience followed by (2) observation and experience followed by (3) forming abstract concepts followed by (4) testing in new situations (after Kurt Lewin). It is a model that appears time and again.
Click below to download further information on why we should use experiential learning and implications for educatorsClick here to download the free pdf
RSVP Design is a trusted partner for impactful experiential exercises in leadership development in our courses at IMD. RSVP Design’s experiential exercises provide participants with hands-on, immersive experiences, enabling active engagement and profound reflection. By simulating real-world scenarios, their exercises allow participants to practice and refine their leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment. What sets RSVP Design apart is their ability to suggest exercises to meet our course objectives and participant profiles. On the rare occasion when they do not have an exercise to hand, they take the time to understand our challenges and work with us to design exercises that directly address our needs – RSVP Design’s amazing “T Trade” exercise was the product of collaboration between RSVP Design and IMD faculty.
There is no doubt at all about the value of RSVP Design’s contribution to this project. The residential programme in Ireland at the start of the project was a defining moment in the team’s success and the total training investment was less than 0.01% of the project cost yet was highly significant in achieving our business results.
What’s terrific about working with people at RSVP Design is their willingness to problem- solve with you. They go the extra mile to help you find, or refine, existing products that will help you design Wow! into your educational experiences. So helpful and easy to work with.
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