Off Canvas




‘I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.’

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1774)

Learning scholars emphasize that learners learn 70% from hands-on-experience such as on-the-job-training, work on projects, assignments. We learn 20% from coaching, mentoring shadowing, networking, and only 10% from formal training in the classroom.  These percentages differ in literature; however, in terms of visual presentation, Dale’s Cone of Experience provided in Appendix 1 provides the best categorization. The methodology of WECoaches is placed on developing coaching approach which will emphasise learning by doing through supporting the experience of the woman with the entrepreneurship endeavour.  In order to define the same we need to understand the characteristics and methods of experiential learning and how the same can be applied during coaching of women entrepreneurs and wanna-be entrepreneurs.

Characteristics of Experiential learning

Experiential learning is a learning process whereas knowledge is acquired through action, experience, discovery, exploration, and practice. In such, it reflects the phases of Kolb’s experiential learning cycle: (a) gathering concrete experience of a concept, (b) reflecting on the concept and making observations, (c) abstractly conceptualizing the concept by drawing on the reflections, and (d) applying the concept through experience. It is a process which adds to the strength of the competency of the learners and makes them more confident in their every day decisions (Kogan Page, 2002). “In line with the Association of Experiential Education[1], the characteristics of the experiential learning can be summarized as follows:

  • Experiential learning is a cyclic process involving steps such as setting goals, thinking, planning, experimenting and making decisions. It happens when carefully selected experiences are supported by discussion, reflection, and reviewing, critical analysis and synthesis.
  • Experiences are structured and enable the learners to use initiative, make decisions and be accountable for the results.
  • The learner is actively engaged by posing questions, investigating being curious, taking responsibility and constructing meaning.
  • Learners are engaged intellectually, socially and emotionally in the learning task. The learning is authentic to their needs and as such it is more effective.
  • The learning happens in a safe environment when it comes to mistakes, and the learners can learn from their mistakes in the process.

Methods of Experiential learning

There are many methods used in experiential learning.  One of the most significant and most frequently used are as follows: case studies, role play, simulations, and games.  These methods have the highest impact on the learning outcome of entrepreneurs and managers because they fit their learning style, or the Accommodator according to Kolb’ learning styles.

The role play is used for changing attitudes and for developing better relationship skills such as empathy, negotiations, assertiveness. Simulations are designed to replicate real life situations. They are designed to provide trial and error solutions in a safe environment. Games are an excellent tool for group experiential learning as they are fun and build confidence; however, it might be difficult to have the same outcome in individual coaching.   The same applies for the case studies, although their efficiency on individual learning is very high in e-learning context. These methods enable the learner to build confidence, increase skills and knowledge, and change behaviour.


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