An Empirical Test of “Behavioral Immersion” in Experiential Learning


  • Robert C. Giambatista
  • J. Duane Hoover


This paper describes a study of the effectiveness of experiential learning of behavioral skills by proposing the concept of “behavioral immersion” or learning intensity as a potential pedagogical asset in experientially based management education. The experiential learning literature, including the collected works published by ABSEL, has little to say specifically about the efficacy of behavioral immersion techniques. Nor does the extant literature offer guidelines as to how to increase experiential learning effectiveness by increasing learning intensity. We tested and found support for our hypothesis of the power of behavioral immersion by assessing improvement on a pre-test, experiential pedagogy, post-test design, such that MBA students in an immersive (summer session) environment displayed greater skill acquisition through assessment center testing than did traditional (fall/spring session) students.