Experiential Learning – making reflection the cornerstone of evidence based practice and promoting students’ employability


Using an approach developed to support mental health nursing students’ learning on the Becoming a Professional module, this participatory workshop will explore the risks of short-cutting Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, and demonstrate examples of how students have been encouraged to develop abstract conceptualisation through creative; aesthetic; personal; ethical and empirical reflective learning. It will be argued that reflection informs and underpins the delivery of evidence based practice and suggest that we need to stop seeing them as separate endeavours.

This workshop will use participants’ own discipline-specific experiences to work through some examples of developing questions from reflective practice with guided participant supported reflective discussions. The aim is to see abstract conceptualisation as a process of abstraction – drawing out questions and also recognising the ambivalence and uncertainty that might surround unanswerable questions in our diverse disciplines.

Examples of exercises used in the Becoming a Professional module will be used and it is hoped that participants will have both the opportunity to reflect in the session and leave with some additional resources in their repertoire of reflective skills.

It will also be proposed that reflective practice models used in mental health nursing practice could be extended for use with students in other disciplines to contribute to their employability.


Ian Noonan