The experiential learning cycle is a well-known framework for group reflection based on the work of David A. Kolb. It is helpful for a facilitator to notice which of the following three areas are being omitted in a discussion and then ask questions that invite the group to consider the areas that haven’t yet been explore.
Describing the situation or events
Facts: what happened, what was said, who was involved?
Interpreting the situation or events
What are the underlying reasons for what happened?
Meaning of the experience for each participant
Feelings involved, lessons learned
Understanding the larger context
Reflecting on how to address related issues or systems
Applying insights gained to new situations
Setting future goals, creating an action plan
Sample Learning Cycle Questions for Discussing Volunteer Experiences
Adapted from Mac Serve Team Leader Training package by Tamara Baldwin
- What did you do today?
- What did you accomplish?
- Who did you meet?
- What did you learn today?
- What surprised you today?
- What impact did your work have on the placement you went to?
- What insights have you gained about why your service is needed?
- What actions, if any, will you change because of this experience?
- In what ways has this experience inspired you to contribute in similar ways in the future?
- How can you incorporate this experience into your academics?
- How might these experiences affect your career or life path?
- What would you do differently in a situation where you heard misinformation being spread about the agency or clients of the agency you worked with today?