The Kolb Learning Cycle

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The Kolb Learning Cycle

The Kolb Learning Cycle is the process by which students attend to and understand their experiences, and consequently modify their behaviors. The Kolb Learning Cycle is based on the concept that the more a student reflects on a task or a problem, the more often the student has the opportunity to modify and refine their efforts concerning the task or problem. The Kolb learning Cycle contains the following four stages: experiencing, reflection, theory or conceptualization, and planning or preparation. In the Kolb Learning Cycle these four stages are considered the basic steps a student takes when trying to learning something. Additionally, these four steps form a cycle that goes on and on repeating these same steps as students increase their knowledge. Coincidently the timing of the learning cycle is as equally as important as the stages are in the learning cycle. An example of this is if one waits until after a task is complete there is no opportunity to refine or improve until a similar task or problem arises. In general, the learning cycle should be applied during initial framing of a problem or a task to see whether past experience may offer an approach for improvement. In logic, this allows for small and incremental improvements each time a task is preformed or a problem is solved

In determining what order to explain each of the four stages of the Kolb Learning Cycle, experience should come first, not so much because it is the first step but because most of students learning is done using experiences. Experiencing is when the student simply carries out the task assigned or the act of solving the problem at hand. The student is usually not reflecting on the task at this time but carrying it out with intention. Nevertheless, in the experience stage, learning is accomplished by acquiring experiences about an event. An example of this is when a student performs a task or solves a problem daily after several weeks the...
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