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Learning cycle

Kolb represents the learning process in a cycle consisting of four phases. Concrete experience (phase 1) leads to observations and reflection (phase 2). These in turn result in (renewed) conceptualizations and generalizations about ‘how things work’ (phase 3), which are then deliberately tested in new situations (phase 4). This results in a new concrete experience, which completes the cycle (see diagram below).

In a simulation or game, this cycle is usually completed several times: there is ample scope to experiment with and practice new behavior, and at an incomparably faster pace than in ‘the real world’. This often generates (new) insights into how the whole (or the system) works and into (the influencing of) one’s own repertoire of behavior. Here again, Hersey and Blanchard’s notions of consciousness and competence are relevant.