The 7 Phases of Experiential Learning Design

The 7 Phases of Experiential Learning Design

So as experiential designers the five stages of learning are actually constructed through seven stages of experience design. Here they are:

Phase 1 – FOCUS – Focus & Engage the learner, give them clear reasons to want learn more now

Phase 2 – EXPERIENCE – Facilitate meaningful, appropriate & relevant learning experience

Phase 3 – REFLECT – Encourage processing through provocative questions to induce reflection on the experience

Phase 4 – THINK – Introduce tested explanatory behavioural theory to encourage critical thinking & new ideas

Phase 5 – MODIFY – Structure feedback activities for learner interpretation and tweak accordingly

Phase 6 – PRACTICE – Organise and monitor learner practice, this helps reduce the mess

Phase 7 – INTEGRATE – Encourage evaluation of learning

On a final note I would like to draw a clear distinction between teaching chemistry in high school to designing learning experiences for adults in professional or corporate contexts. In a corporate context the term “Mess” is potentially very dangerous, although one could argue that making a mess in a chemistry lab could be even life threatening in certain cases. The distinction I want to make is really about clarifying what we mean by making a mess, before we actually go and encourage our learners to experiment. Rather than mess, let’s just say that practice is organised and monitored and that it’s ok to fail, because it is, and leave it at that.

At the beginning of this post I promised more about redirecting attention. Here is a really entertaining TED Talk about The Art of Misdirection … well worth spending a few minutes to view (It is presented by a professional Pick Pocketer!!). It demonstrates just how selective our conscious awareness is (or how little we actually control it) and how easily we are distracted. In this context, I think it’s relevant because it works both ways, as learning experience designers if we do not strive to direct the attention of our learners, something else will for sure.


Organisational Learning & Development