Bergsteiner, H. & Avery, G.C. 2014.

The Twin-Cycle Experiential Learning Model: Reconceptualising Kolb’s theory.

Studies in Continuing Education. 36(3), 257-274.


Experiential learning styles remain popular despite criticisms about their validity, usefulness, fragmentation and poor definitions and categorisation. After examining four prominent models and building on Bergsteiner, Avery, and Neumann’s suggestion of a dual cycle, this paper proposes a twin-cycle experiential learning model to overcome identified problems and integrate the experiential learning field. In the model, an initial response to a learning stimulus or intent occurs at the intersection of a concrete/active/primary learning cycle and an abstract/passive/secondary cycle.

The model accommodates four classes of variables that describe six broad learning activity types (engage in, write about, observe, hear/see, read, hear), the three senses these activities predominantly engage (kinaesthetic, visual, aural), six learning modes (concrete, active, primary, abstract, passive, secondary) and four learning stages. Importantly, instead of assigning learning modes to stages of learning as Kolb does, the model assigns them to the two cycles as a whole.

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