Conceptualizing Co-Creative Strategies in Experiential Education: Individual versus Group Approaches

Bryon C. Geddes, Hugh M. Cannon, James N. Cannon

Abstract


The Association for Business Simulation and Experiential Learning (ABSEL) literature contains a number of studies that address the nature and effectiveness of various types of experiential learning exercises. This paper suggests that characterizing any particular type of exercise as “experiential” or “not experiential” is less productive than determining the best way to create an experiential learning environment, within the context of a particular type of exercise. We argue that effective education is necessarily “co-creative,” where students actively respond to and interact with the learning environment to create a learning experience. This experience takes place in the students’ minds. Defining experiential learning as a mental activity is important, because it focuses our attention directly on the principles of design by which we stimulate mental activity, rather than imprecise classifications of teaching approaches, such as “experiential” versus “didactic.” We discuss two sets of principles: those related to student work products, and those related to the role of individual versus group learning environments.

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