“Experiential Learning” emphasizes the central role that experience plays in the learning process and this approach is the core of UT’s Experience Learning initiative.
Educator David Kolb defines an experiential learning cycle in which learners have a concrete experience, reflect on that experience, conceptualize / theorize the experience (“think” about it), and then test the knowledge in new situations.
The TennTLC supports Experience Learning and offers resources on the four elements on the UT version of this cycle of learning, in the pages of this section. Materials are also made available through our workshop series and will be made available as learning modules. Our staff are also available for consultations.
At UT, we identify 12 experiential learning modalities. Many universities list types of experiential learning because these are high impact practices (1) (HIPS) that have been shown to be highly effective in terms of retention and student learning:
- Internships, Apprenticeships, and Practicums
- Service-Learning, Community-Based Research, and Volunteering
- Field experiences and visits to archives and museums
- Labs and Clinicals
- Problem-Based Learning and Project-Based Learning and other types of cooperative learning with real world gaming and simulations
- Study Abroad
- Undergraduate Research