Using Experiential Learning Theory to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


  • Leong Y. Jonathan Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)



experiential learning theory, higher education, VUCA, pedagogy, teaching and learning


The importance of skills has been expounded repeatedly as a crucial factor to thrive in the workplace, as opposed to mere knowledge of content. It is important to be able to adapt to new situations; this is especially true in today’s world, where volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) are prevalent. To better prepare undergraduates for entry to the workforce in such a tumultuous time, Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) can be employed in their programmes – for example, by using a computer simulation game called MonsoonSIM in a course on fundamentals of business modeling, or through an overseas experiential learning trip with thematic objectives. These two cases are chosen specifically as they deal with contrasting experiences of learning – one highly theory-based and typical of academic institutions, and the other geared toward practical skills.This paper explores the processes of the ELT, distinguishing it from common classroom experiences, and how they are applied in the two cases mentioned above in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning, and to inculcate self-directed learners who are able to better deal with environments of VUCA. The abovementioned cases serve as examples by which ELT can be deployed to improve both the breadth and depth of students’ learning. The content of this paper stems from the authors’ experiences in crafting, facilitating, and executing the ELT processes within the context of a university programme.




How to Cite

Ma Nang, & Jonathan, L. Y. (2019). Using Experiential Learning Theory to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. European Journal of Social Science Education and Research, 6(1), 15–22.