Experiential Learning is not just Experiential Teaching: Measurement of Student Skill Acquisition via Assessment Centers


  • J. Duane Hoover


This paper addresses a long running (1976 to 2007) debate in ABSEL questioning if experiential learning is possibly only a function of enthusiastic experiential teaching. Reacting to criticisms of ABSEL research designs lacking in the use of control groups and focused experimental designs, this study utilizes a pre-test/post-test design to assess MBA students’ measured behavioral skills demonstrated in objectively scored assessment centers. The research design is based on a whole person experiential learning model that theorizes that learning occurs when students are cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally involved in learning experiences. The study indicates that students are able to demonstrate both successful skill acquisition and skill retention at statistically significant levels.