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Why we are using Experiential Leaning?

Different types of learning and development are required for different purposes.

Conventional teaching and training are based mainly on knowledge/skills transfer, but this does not address individual growth and potential particularly well.

We might also regard experiential learning as growing a person from the inside, whereas conventional teaching and training is the transfer of capability into a person from the outside.

Experiential learning is determined and controlled by the individual for the purpose of achieving personal development and growth, whereas conventional training and teaching tend to be designed and delivered by an organisation for the purpose of developing the capabilities (usually knowledge and/or skills) of a group of people, necessary to meet organisational needs or to achieve a known measurable standard or qualification.

There is a place for many types of learning and teaching/training, and specifically these two types:

  • Conventional prescribed teaching/training - the transfer of pre-determined knowledge/skills - 'from the outside, usually for an external purpose'.

  • Experiential learning - development of people as individuals - 'from the inside, usually for an internal purpose'.

To help the organisations develop their people from the inside, 100% of our training/activity involve experiential learning elements. Developing people as individuals, which is at the heart of experiential learning, also implicitly enables learning methods to fit each person's own preferred learning styles and natural preferences, because learners are encouraged and helped to learn and develop in their own ways, using methods which they find most comfortable and therefore enjoyable.




The purpose of an experiential learning activity is to create an opportunity for valuable and memorable personal leaning. The ideal activity will engage, stimulate and challenge with individuals becoming absorbed in the task as themselves. It will not involve role-play in a conventional artificial sense. All activities must be designed, managed and facilitated carefully so that the activity has an impact, but it isn't so memorable that these 'activity memories' override the impact and memory of the learning. If this happens the lasting memory may be an aspect of the activity, not the learning that was realised.


The principle that the success of the experiential approach to learning depends on the learners is fundamental. Experiential learning involves people in working things through for themselves and developing their own understanding, so facilitators should always be seeking ways to enable this to happen. Although effective facilitation can add tremendous value, facilitators should remember that inappropriate facilitation can hinder, rather than help to learn; they should not instruct, proffer knowledge, proscribe or offer personal wisdom.

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A debriefing session is an opportunity for learners, led by the facilitator, to develop their own understanding and draw their own conclusions/action plan. The role of the facilitator is to enable others to learn by drawing out the issues and developing the learning that is relevant to the individuals. The facilitator should ask questions that will stimulate thought about relevant issues and enable the group to use answers given to develop further thought and learning.

Interested in learning more about Experiential Learning Programmes?

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