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611 Using an Experiential Learning Design Model to Drive Behavioral Change

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT
Thursday, October 26

Tracks: Games & Gamification

Learning designers can approach training/learning design projects with the intention of introducing gamification elements to try to stimulate learners to absorb content that will follow. This approach may follow receipt of learning objectives that include descriptions like ‘leaders must understand the behaviors for high-performing teams,’ and cognitive learning elements, such as theory, research, and models, are typically included. However, the organization’s leaders may state changes in behavior and performance as the true goal. This requires affective learning elements. Insisting on behavioral learning objectives and then creating experiential learning activities that stimulate behavioral change (affective rather than cognitive learning) is therefore a better design approach.

In this session you’ll learn our experiential learning design process, the distillation of more than 30 years of designing workplace training programs, organizational change initiatives, and experiential games and activities for global workplaces. We’ll discuss how this relates to serious games and gamification and why these terms do not fully describe the wider and more useful term, “experiential learning.” We will also explore the experiential learning design process steps used to create an award-winning puzzle called Challenging Assumptions and consider several alternatives for how this might be used and the variety of learning outcomes that the same game can support. We’ll look at using the simple Kolb Cycle Model when trying to maximize learning transfer from games in learning programs. Finally, we will review how this experiential learning approach can be scaled up to an organizational level, helping to improve the success of organizational change programs and ensuring consistency of experiences in workshops and interventions.

In this session, you will learn:

  • A learning design approach that can put experiential learning at the heart of workplace behavioral change
  • How to understand ‘experiential learning’ in relation to serious games and gamification in workplace learning
  • How to help groups generate their own learning content while keeping your learning programs engaging and effective
  • Why behavioral objectives are necessary for almost every workplace learning design project
  • What makes a good learning game and how it can be applied in several different ways to achieve different learning outcomes
  • How you can build your skills as a learning designer/trainer/facilitator by using principles of experiential learning in the design and facilitation of workplace learning interventions

Technology discussed:

Physical (in-person) games and activities, digital (online) games and activities, video conferencing platforms (like Zoom, MS Teams, GoogleMeet), and the experientiallearningtools.com platform

Graham Cook


RSVP Design Ltd.

Based in Scotland, Graham Cook is CEO of RSVP Design, an experiential learning design business he co-founded in 2003. He is an experienced international business manager who has been involved in training and HR for more than 30 years. Originally trained as a chemical engineer, Graham now has a passion for helping others to deliver effective and engaging learning programs. Graham won the Award for ‘Overall Outstanding Use of Gamification’ at Techlearn’s Gamification Throwdown in 2022.