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Information on terms and further explanations


Abstract Conceptualism

Abstract Conceptualisation is the process of making sense of what has happened.  You make comparisons between what you have done, reflect upon this and compare with what you already know. You may draw upon theory from textbooks, lectures,  ideas from colleagues, previous observations, or any other knowledge you have developed.

Active Experimentation

This is when you consider how you are going to put what you have learnt into practice. By planning you are translating your new understanding into predictions of what will happen or what you will do next. For example you may choose to modify the way a task should be done.  For learning to be useful most people need to place it in a context that is relevant to them. If you can't see how the learning is useful to your life then you are likely to forget it very quickly.


Concrete Experience

Concrete Experience is when you or your team carry out a task. The key to learning therefore is active involvement. In Kolb's model you cannot learn by simply watching or reading about it, to learn effectively you must do something.


Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience
Itin, C. M. (1999). Reasserting the Philosophy of Experiential Education as a Vehicle for Change in the 21st Century. The Journal of Experiential Education,.22(2), 91-98.

Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.


Kolb Video Transcript

Hello my name is Christine Smith and I am a learning and development adviser at the University of Warwick.

When thinking about our students' learning a good place to start is to think about our own learning.

So I'd like you to take a moment to think about something you learnt to do really well and what factors were important in that learning process

When Morss and Murrey asked the question, nearly 100% of the people said that practice was essential. Other responses included reflecting, sorting out what went wrong and planning what to do next. And David Kolb suggested that these are stages of the learning process and he proposed and experiential learning cycle model. Its this model that we are going to explore in this section of the course.


Reflecting on your teaching
You can use Kolb to develop your own teaching practice.

Concrete Experience This could involve attending appropriate development workshops and trying out new techniques. etc.
Reflective Observation This could include your own teaching reflections, peer observation of teaching, student feedback.
Abstract Conceptualism Activities could include reading of the relevant literature or discussing with colleagues
Active Experimentation From the conclusions drawn in the abstract conceptualism stage you can then plan the next changes
Reflective Observation
This means you stopping doing and then reviewing what you have done and experienced. Questions can be asked and discussion can be an important factor.