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ERIC Number: EJ921036
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-1059-9053
Examining Whether Learning Space Affects the Retention of Experiential Knowledge
Montgomery, Robert A.; Millenbah, Kelly F.
Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education, v40 p45-50 2011
Experiential learning describes structured educational opportunities that allow students to physically interact with the course material. This pedagogical technique promotes critical thinking, decision making, problem solving, and increases the retention of knowledge. Given that experiential learning can be employed in a variety of learning spaces (e.g., labs, lecture halls, and outdoor classrooms) we question whether there exists variation in students' retention of experiential knowledge by learning space. Using an experiential knot-tying tutorial we tested whether natural resource students perform better in an outdoor learning space versus an indoor classroom. Our results demonstrate that students in the outdoor learning space learned significantly better than those in the indoor classroom following the initial tutorial. However, 30 and 65 days after the experiential tutorial there was no difference in the retention of knowledge between groups. Furthermore, no covariates considered (classroom type, prior experience, age, sex, or GPA) in our longitudinal analysis affected the retention of experiential knowledge. Although, this analysis determined that student retention of certain experiential knowledge is improved, at least initially, when learned in an applied outdoor setting, the overall lack of knowledge retention, regardless of learning space, highlights the importance of repeated opportunities to interact with course material. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
American Society of Agronomy. 677 South Segoe Road, Madison, WI 53711. Tel: 608-273-8080; Fax: 608-273-2021; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan