Applying Kolb’s experiential learning cycle for laboratory education

2009-10-21T13:40:35Z (GMT) by Mahmoud Abdulwahed Zoltan Nagy
This paper describes a model for laboratory education based on Kolb’s experiential learning theory. The method is implemented using modern teaching technologies and a combination of remote, virtual, and hands-on laboratory sessions and have been applied to the teaching of the undergraduate process control laboratory at the Chemical Engineering Department at Loughborough University, United Kingdom. An argument that poor learning in the laboratory is due to insufficient activation of the prehension dimension of Kolb’s cycle was suggested and verified, providing a pedagogical explanation. The quantitative analysis showed significant enhancement of the learning outcomes of the experimental group compared with the control group. Apart from the hands-on session, the proposed model involves additional activities, such as pre- and post-lab tests and virtual laboratory sessions, which are associated with Kolb’s cycle to facilitate constructivist learning. The paper provides the first laboratory education model that builds thoroughly on Kolb’s experiential learning theory.