Problems in Evaluation of Experiential Learning in Management Education

Lane Kelley, Jeffrey Easton


A cursory examination of a management professor’s book shelves indicates an increasing number of textbooks that radically alter the traditional classroom. This approach is based upon the idea of experiencing the material to be learned and consequently is labeled experiential learning. During the seventies it received attention in both the academic conferences and Journals such as the Academy of Management Journal resulting in several research articles. The primary focus of the articles was to determine the effectiveness of “the’ experiential approach. The present paper reviews the major articles on experiential learning published in business periodicals the last several years and raises questions of their validity. The problems inherent in assessing learning experiences is addressed by a sequential research design. Finally, the research results are used to propose a tentative theoretical model for assessing experiential learning.

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