“Experiential Learning” Is What Faculty Makes of It: Creating New Models of Understanding for Experiencing and Interpreting on Faculty-Led Short-Term Study Abroad Programs
Keywords:Experiential learning, experiential pedagogy, faculty-led, short-term, study abroad
Short-term faculty-led study abroad programs have gained in popularity amongst undergraduate students in the United States (IIE 2022). Yet, little research has investigated how educators on these programs perceive experiencing and interpreting, even though they constitute two key modules in experiential learning. Through semi-structured interviews with faculty at Generic University on how they conceive of experiencing and interpreting, the authors conclude that there is little commonality on those concepts. This divergence leads to different experiential learning study abroad programs. The authors place faculty interpreting and experiencing on a spectrum of understanding and demonstrate how that influences the pedagogical design of their study abroad program models. From the faculty members’ conceptions, the authors create two program models, which they have coined “Mobile Classroom Model” (MC) and “Home Base Model” (HB). The purpose of this article is to begin a conversation about how scholarship fails to address the lack of universality in the concept of experiential learning.
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