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Using Experiential Learning Theory to design emergency preparedness training curricula

Ralph Renger, PhD, MEP, Shandiin Wood, MPH, Brenda Granillo, MS


The goal of training is to improve the capability to better prepare, respond, and recover from an emergency. Much training is ineffective in transferring learning from the classroom to the field. One reason for this is that training tends to be cognitive or memory based, as opposed to experientially based. The purpose of this article is to show how Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) was applied to develop an emergency preparedness training curricula. After discussing the basic principles of ELT, the application of these principles is illustrated by way of a case example. Although the application of ELT is illustrated in the context of a public health emergency response curriculum, the steps in translating theory to practice are sufficiently robust to apply to the development of any emergency training curricula.


training, preparedness, learning theory, experential

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