Experiential learning is a fancy term for something we all learned as children. As children, we quickly learned not to touch a hot stove. This was learning from experience. Experiential learning is learning from experience. A Chinese proverb, listed as quotation #12,274 in the Columbia World of Quotations also describes experiential learning. Confucius, the Chinese philosopher and reformer, is credited with the proverb, which states: I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Experiential learning is learning by doing. Thus, the essence of experiential learning is that experiential learning emphasizes active rather than passive participation on the part of the learner.

The assignment described in this article requires the student to purchase raw materials, make something out of the materials, keep a journal of cost and experiences, and make a presentation to the class of the results. Thus, the assignment combines elements of experiential learning, oral communications, and written communications.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.

Weldon Terry Dancer, Professor Of Accounting, Department Of Accounting, Arkansas State University

Read Experiential Learning In Cost Accounting.