The Impact of an Experiential Learning Course on the Transfer of Knowledge
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Experiential education has impacted many classrooms across the United States since its inception. Experiential learning, for this study, is defined as the process of learning by experiences. For this study a specific course at Texas A&M University was observed to identify the aspects of the course that directly impacted the students' transfer of knowledge. This study identifies the themes within the course that impacted the students over one year after the completion of the course. It describes the five themes that emerged from data collection as: the role of the instructor as facilitator, the student's role is active, learning by experiences, deep learning, and emotional connection. These themes were consistent with previous research on experiential learning. The findings in this study revealed that knowledge is transferred after deep learning occurs, and that reflection and intrinsic motivation are two contributing factors of knowledge transfer. This study found that an experiential learning based course is effective in promoting deep learning. Since the sole purpose of this course was to teach the students how to teach the content of experiential learning as well as how to use experimental education methods, this particular course was effective in promoting deep learning. In the future, researchers should continue to observe the higher retention levels due to reflection, and note its results in other disciplines. Reflection is believed to be the key ingredient in experiential learning that contributes to knowledge transfer and application.
Bourne, Danielle D'Ann (2010). The Impact of an Experiential Learning Course on the Transfer of Knowledge. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from