Educational theorist David A. Kolb developed the experiential learning model in the early 1970s. In his book, Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, he defines experiential learning as "the process whereby knowledge is created through transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience" (Kolb 1984, p. 41).
Experiential learning is comprised of 4 main elements:
1. Concrete experience
2. Reflective observation
3. Abstract conceptualization based on those observations and reflections
4. Active experimentation and testing of the new concepts
This process repeats. However, learning can begin at any one of the four elements.
The original 4 learning style types of experiental learning (Accomodating, Assimilating, Converging, and Diverging) has been refined into a 9 style typology:
Text and image from BIE's Project Based Learning site: http://www.bie.org/about/what_is_pbl
"In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations."