Experiential Learning in Accelerated Human Resource Management Courses

Kristie A. Abston, M. Kathryn Rhodes


Accelerated delivery formats have been available in higher education for around 40 years (Marques, 2012). Despite the ongoing debate about the quality and rigor of such programs (i.e., Lee & Horsfall, 2010; Marques, 2012; Wlodkowski, 2003), numerous colleges and universities today offer students an alternative to traditional day classes for degree completion. The reality is that these programs are likely to continue growing and evolving as more and more people pursue undergraduate degrees—an estimated 20.6 million undergraduates were expected to enroll in 2012 (NCES, 2012). This paper shares lessons learned from two human resource management educators who have used experiential learning exercises in accelerated business degree programs at two different colleges. Details about the experiential exercises used in their courses, including topics such as job analysis and interviewing, are discussed. Challenges and success stories about these experiential exercises are presented, and suggestions for adapting these experiential exercises to an online delivery format are presented along with suggestions for adopting experiential exercises in other disciplines.

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