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EXAMINING THE COGNITIVE, AFFECTIVE, AND PSYCHOMOTOR

DIMENSIONS IN MANAGEMENT SKILL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK
Douglas L. Micklich
Illinois State University
dlmickl@ilstu.edu
ABSTRACT gap” in the psychomotor and behavioral domains that may
exist (Eiss, et.al., 1969). This learning experience can be
Developers of experiential exercises have for some time seen through Eiss’s (1968) Model for Learning (Figure 1)
trying to best define what contributes to “whole-person” which shows the relationship existing among the domains
learning and ways in which we can operationalize it and their contribution to learning. The “credibility gap” is
through the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. defined as identifying some overt behavior that will be ac-
Of the three domains the affective domain dealing with cepted as evidence that the desired objectives have been
emotion and feeling is the least studied of the three and yet observed. This means that the better that the objectives are
is theorized to have a greater influence previously realized. being met, the smaller the gap. Conversely, the greater the
Self-regulation theory for cognitive and affective domains degree of inconsistency between thought, feeling and deed,
is introduced as a means to help justify a learner’s evalua- the greater the degree that the objectives are not being met,
tions. In this paper a look is taken at the learning domains the greater the gap. Taking cue from Bloom’s edu-
individually and then an integrated or combined taxonomy cational objectives, from the cognitive standpoint, consider
model is introduced. A framework and hypothesis are gen- the objectives of analysis and synthesis. We need to in a
erated for future study on the influence of these dimensions. sense, take apart the learning domain environment into its
component parts (analysis) and then be able to make sense
(synthesis) as to the relative contribution of each part to the
INTRODUCTION whole. In Russell (2008), it was cited that researchers from
environmental psychology and management have used cog-
One of the main objectives in experiential learning has nitive and behavioral perspectives to advance understand-
for the most part, the drive to develop in some way, what ing of the roles of individuals in initiating action to address
one could be determined as the “better mousetrap”, in the environmental issues. She further stated that despite these
light of what most current research would dub as “whole- advances, few researchers have explained the affective di-
person” learning (Hoover, 1974). mension of behavior and that this has caused environmental
Contained within the ABSEL literature one can find management research to not keep pace with developments
many studies trying to show the validity of using experien- in the wider environmental literature that clearly demon-
tial learning as an effective tool for skill development. strates that emotion is an inescapable part of work-life.
Experiential exercises, as contributing, are often defined as The results of the study showed that emotion played a more
a type of learning by doing, geared to developing decision- important role than hypothesized. In short, the more an
making skills, although intended to produce meaningful individual identifies themselves with a particular issue, the
outcomes, does not guarantee the integration of experiences greater the degree of emotion that is part of the decision or
across cognitive, affective and behavioral components work-place behavior (Russell, 2008), and a much larger
(Hoover, et.al., 2010); within this there is an agreement by sense, the degree of issue ownership that is exhibited. This
the author. Many of these studies concentrate on one or issue ownership is related in a goodly way to the degree of
two of the three dimensions (cognitive, affective, and be- “behavioral immersion” which takes place as part of the
havioral) of Bloom’s taxonomy, but vary rarely all three in exercise.
experiential learning. When they do it is in relation to the Giambatista and Hoover (2009) stated that one of the
“whole person learning” (Hoover, et.al., 2010), and then keys to increasing the impact of experiential learning is
still in many ways only cursory. through the process that increases the intensity of the expe-
Experiential learning is “whole person” learning. That riential setting through a process they labeled as
is, it functions intergratively, combining the affective and “behavioral immersion”. The degree to which immersion
behavioral dimensions with the cognitive domain always exists is related to the degree to which the learner becomes
found in the educational process (Hoover, 1974). This is “involved” or “engaged” in the exercise. The highest in-
the desired outcome, to have the greatest degree of whole tensity learning experiences is one in which the learning
person learning, and in a sense, to minimize the “credibility individual functions at a high level of arousal and activity

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ship the learner assumes concerning the material. The acquisition of such knowledge cannot tion). 1974) and the greatest de. this would be movement because one can be involved (immersed) without taking from a Low Intensity/ Behavioral to High Intensity/ Cogni- ownership (just doing it to do it rather than displaying emo. produce synergistic learning outcomes through a virtual come an active part of the exercise. Feinstein. The basis of this research is threefold: to investigate or havioral immersion. Figure 1 Model for Learning Cognitive Domain Output Overt Behavior Affective Domain Psychomotor Domain Input Sensory on all dimensions (Hoover. 2005). this would also consider the acknowl. learning environments that to consider each of the learning domains/dimensions as Page 262 . A ques. level of ownership would increase (affective dimension). and where experiential learning in- ior are combinatorial. Furthermore. This would seem logi. 2011 . Such is an example of words. that although the three components were interactive. That is to Learners who show a greater emphasis on this dimension say that some material may be relatively complex in nature will tend to become more “vocal” in their arguments or (cognitive dimension) and be of little or no interest on the show greater intensity through increased concentration on part of the learner. tive-Affective. the dimensions of cognition. 2009). passive learning. actively participate in acquiring knowledge (Cannon and gree would occur when all three are present. that is. volves immersing learners in an environment in which they gistically interactive (Hoover. to be. In Hoover’s (1974) model. main comes into play more because it is through this dis- tion which can be brought forward is the degree of owner. What is be. they may have different weights and importance depending where the learner is acting as facilitator. volume 38. 2009). in other words. co-existent and perhaps even syner. 1974). lieved to be missing is the degree of ownership present. the experiential learning process is enhanced through the processes of be.Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. cussion where emotion and ownership become apparent. of the decision-maker. affect. and behav. yet may be of great interest were the the issue. in other rather than by the class in general. or should not be limited to either a lecture type format or Additionally. the affective do- on the material (Giambatista and Hoover. one in which and experiential exercise is a conduit and edgement that different learning constructs may require a where discussion is largely facilitated by the instructor pre-eminent emphasis on one or two dimensions. This in turn would have an effect on the “immersion” LEARNING DOMAIN/DIMENSIONS which would take place. The opportunity for class discussion. immersion in the learning process (Giambatista and Hoo- cal because according to the continuum he proposed ver. This is similar to putting oneself “in the shoes” (Figure 2).

in- Page 263 . 1956) (Table 1) ing behind the development of this taxonomy is that the development of emotions and values has a large. thinking.Insert Table 1 here ---. 1964). Specifically. In general. volume 38.. and 2) threshold of is used to include activities such as remembering and re. It seems very clear. The cognitive domain addresses those objectives learning is central to every part of the learning and evolu- which primarily deal with recall or recognition of learned tion process. they described the being even does thinking without feeling.al. the cognitive dimension stimulus initiates the learning process. where the awareness of the skills (Smith.. Therefore. ples” (psychomotor connotations). the learning process can take place. evaluation.. The relationship between the affective domain and tions. It provides the bridge between the stimulus and the cognitive and psychomotor -------. and problem solving. of complexity this objective becomes part of another objec- ess by which they are accomplished. and. 1964). The reason- Learning Objectives (Bloom. et. These are or “whole being” whenever they do respond (Krathwohl. which evaluation materials differ in complexity but at other levels tended to be knowledge-oriented.. achieve the higher levels of affective goals in learners. we speak therefore.al. edge and instead of speaking of comprehension.. etc. There are two points of consideration here: 1) material and the development of intellectual abilities and threshold of consciousness. but often -----. et. understated purpose in determining to a degree the extent of “whole-person” learning.al. Cannon and Feinstein (2005) took a more dynamic The question is posed by the research whether a human look at these objectives.al. COGNITIVE DOMAIN ------. aspects of an individual’s personality (Eiss. nature. 2011 . acting without cognitive domain as a cognitive process where differences thinking. et. Figure 2 A Conceptual Classification Scheme Illustrating Combinations of Experiential Learning Cognitive/ Cognitive/ Cognitive/Affective/ Cognitive Affective Behavioral Affective Behavioral Behavioral High Inten- sity Null Null Null XX XX XXX Expe- riential Yes Yes Definitely Learn- ing Low Inten- sity X X? X? Expe- riential Yes Maybe Maybe Possibly Possibly Possibly Learn- ing individual dimensions and their definitions. 1981). 1956). Table 3 lists the taxonomy for the affective domain periential learning with Bloom’s Taxonomy of domain and their definitions (Krathwohl. 1969) or the sum total of their values and beliefs and the extent to While this taxonomy provides the basis for cognitive which they show them (by-products of the “credibility development it has a tendency to be somewhat static in gap”.al. suggest a meth- odology for study. propose a AFFECTIVE DOMAIN framework for a combined taxonomy. by-products of the immersion process (discussed later) et.Insert Table 3 here ------ Table 2 lists Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Ob- jectives in the Cognitive Domain along with their defini. psychomotor responses without which any evaluation of ating (Bloom. and cre. we speak of remembering knowl.Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. In their paper. Objectives and corresponding behaviors and were located primarily in the lower-level objectives. We begin as almost all research on ex.. et.Insert Table 2 here ---. educators seem to desire to through the psychomotor domain. which is how we comprehend. where the willingness to respond is the basis for calling knowledge. that each person responds as a “total organism” of understanding. rather than tive such as the ability to apply the princi- speaking of knowledge. being related to the proc.

(Harrow. affective. Again. She also writes Each of these domains function both independently that since movement is incorporated in all life. 2009). The same could be said if one improved one’s focus (affective). Table 4 lists the taxonomy for the psychomotor domain and Psychomotor skills are important in implementation. sion by active participation or vicariously. being able to es- “artificial affect”. firing a round (Chung. through the whole person. over time.al. 2009) this could be obtained either through immer. “the learning main..Insert Table 4 here -------. through psychomotor marksmanship encompasses the physical aspects of shoot- immersion. during. Consistency in tives that emphasize interests.Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. Figure 3 shows a model of the combined tax- model was proposed for classifying movement behaviors onomies and the interrelationships which are believed to unique to the psychomotor domain and has been designed exist. and immediately (Blanchett. At the same time he also stated that. et. the psychomotor increasing the impact of experiential learning in “whole- domain has drawn some interest since it is the one dimen. correct movements? and psychomotor domains (Harrow. This is re. in order to deter- key to life and exists in all areas of life. havioral skill acquisition of executive skills (Giambatista & required to complete the learning cycle from cognition Hoover. This then sion that can simultaneously activate high-intensity learn. These can be classified as person’s behavior. The original et. Therefore. are the right answers always a result of the emotion).. mine if cognition is correct. and expert son’s personality since the affective domain includes objec. This is the least studied and hence the importance of “behavioral immersion” in of Bloom’s taxonomies. affect. tablish and maintain a steady position has consistently been isted to a relatively low degree and yet not part of the per. can the learner.cluding satisfaction in response and developing a system of Given that we start with some reflex movement to values (Eiss. 1972). shooters have found to be much steadier. When one per. experiential behavior is modifies by the affective self. One question that arises is that in the absence or For example. their definitions (Harrow. 1972). assuming the different shooting positions. become visible. et. some stimulus and gradually build on that movement until For Krathwohl the taxonomy is ordered according to at some point the reaction we have is classified as Non- the principle of internalization. 2011 . The relationship is that a person can become more proficient at a (management) PSYCHOMOTOR DOMAIN skill the more they practice and know about the skill. It would appear that the psychomotor is the culmina- tion of the cognitive and affective domains. and. the psychomotor component of rifle low level of affect. and interdependently to certain degree. Nonetheless. one that did not previously exist or ex. looking at this would be the possible creation of an maintaining rifle steadiness. Another way of tablishing proper sight alignment and sight picture. es- aware of the issues behind the situation. and behavior are combina- Page 264 . attributes. we learning practioners need effective delineation and defini- act as we feel or believe. and is pre. learning person involvement. 1972). it becomes a difficult task to isolate behaviors stated that in order to develop a conceptualization of expe- unique to the psychomotor domain because observable riential learning that is useful experimentally.al. raise that level of affect as they become more ing such as. 1990). we need to consider the tion of the cognitive.Insert Figure 3 here -------- clarify and categorize relevant movement experiences for children (Harrow. nents. (Seels & Glasgow. and consistently guides or controls the self to a perceptive observer.al. and values (Smith. volume 38. Effectiveness of measuring these domains from a behavioral perspective comes not from a single ex- Since appropriate skill and use thereof can be shown periential exercise but from a series. volved. person” learning in executive skill acquisition. Hoover (1974) requisite. process whereby a person’s affect toward an object passes At this level each learner develops a style of “moving” from a general awareness level to a point where the affect which communicates their feelings about their objective is “internalized”. Internalization refers to the Discourse communication (psychomotor’s highest level). either being innate or vicarious (observed by the learner lated to the immersion process where the learner in one and created by combining reflexes) or learned by immer- sense takes a degree of ownership in the sense that their sion (performed to convey a message to the receiver) emotions and feelings take over enabling them to get in. lends to asking the question of how to accomplish the ing environments in such a way to result in improved be. they are coordinating the cognitive. awareness to successful skill demonstration (Giambatista. where they -----. where cog- through action and in some cases in a do or die situation in nitive and affective domains can come to full bear on their business the importance of knowing that movement is the contribution to skill development. non-vicarious (psychomotor) domains of learning as separate compo- (learning by doing) and its effects on the psychomotor do. dimensions of cognition. 2009). hitting the target is determined by the extent to which these 1981) and more concisely can be one of attitudinal change factors can be maintained before. So. affective and behavioral issue of vicarious (learning by observing) vs.. found to be related to shooting performance. 1993). In general. how do you judge through the forms purposeful movement (there is known value and with psychomotor. 1972). specifically to aid educators and curriculum developers to ------. 1969).

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it is one thing to talk about the facets of SWOT experiential sessions. 1993 termine if the learner was able to derive a benefit through Bloom. Developments in troductory course in management with a variety of majors Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. evaluation of the activity. Self. vol. Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Factors on the Develop- Page 266 . management course should have higher correlations than 1989). Business Simulation and Experiential Exercises. Vol. Sam O. self-reaction which involves self-satisfaction with per. For majors.Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning. Cognitive regulation is the set of proximal or The results will be shared at the upcoming conference. quired to both maintain balance for the activity and to de. if Educational Objective: The Classification of Educa- not all. -relevant behavior.. 20. Developments in self-regulation as a means to ascertain the motivation re. rive the greatest benefit. Some of the students are required to take the course as part PROPOSED METHODOLOGY of their required major (as in the case of business students). but not Experiential exercises usually have as their primary a business major (as in sports management or information focus elements from the cognitive domain because they are technology) and for some it is an elective to their curricu- the easiest to measure. volume 38.torial. with the composition of the students being business effect is. The first group is an organization and management tive.. These students are formed into groups for the experi- person perspective and to maximize the learning experi. in this study the following borrow from self-regulation theory (Yeo. the highest degree of correlation since they are business formance and self-efficacy with goal attainment. 32. Krathwohl. It has not been seen where an in. Eva L. Furst. a majority. groups are formed by self-selection for the example. David. This framework is an attempt to use Students to Globalize the Classroom. the various exercises as they pertain to their major will de- regulation refers to a set of proximal motivational proc. mum benefit. The second ence. Hypothesis 2: Business students in the organization and 1993). If we are to subscribe to a whole. Experiential Learning Strategies. group is those in the capstone course. David R. Hill. we should in some way be able to measure the rela. on another. some are required to take it as part of a curriculum. 2010). Shared Cultural Perspec- sion of affect so as to maintain goal-directed behavior/ tives: an Experimental Exercise Utilizing International action (Yeo. educational. 2010). Max D.K. 2005 Given that the affective domain is one in which contributes Chung. Andrew Hale Feinstein. Nagoshima. etc. The Influence of proposes to look at two groups. Edward J.. 2011 . order cognitive and affective components of self- regulation. These groups are given the same survey in- importance of one or another factors uncovered and be able strument asking questions based in the three dimensions to defend then in a class discussion. short-term motivational processes aimed at sustaining goal- directed action by minimizing on-task resources and/or minimizing off-task demands (Yeo. has been conducted considering all three of the domains. Inc. ential exercise sessions by self-selection. organizational strat- tive contribution of each domain and determine what the egy. It consists of three activities (Kanfer & Ackerman. yet ning of the course of their expectations from the course and another to become emotionally involved as to the relative the exercises. of the studies evaluating the effectiveness of goal/ tional Goals: Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain. David objective attainment has been with business majors in a McKay Company. self-evaluation involving a comparison of current performance or behavior with a desired state. Hugh M. Paul D. this study Espinosa. Benjamin S. finance. majors and should by virtue of immersion derive the maxi- These three were then operationalized to the higher. Baker.. many involving Bloom: Using the Revised Taxonomy To Develop simulation and gaming. 2010). To help fill the credibility gap cited by For the framework for this type of analysis we need to Russell in the current research. and their effort. Bloom Beyond business such as accounting. Walker H. REFERENCES lation is the set of proximal motivational processes aimed at maintaining or modifying the experience and/or expres. and sports settings. co-existent and perhaps even synergistically interac.W. in determining the overall effect of immersion. In this is initially hypothesized: work she writes that self-regulation theories have been used to explain performance in a variety of domains including Hypothesis 1: Overall students that see more meaning from organizational. Engelhart. Chris Berka. of one domain’s attributes. course comprised of various majors across the campus. if any. Affective regu. Again. self-monitoring involving the allocation toward task non-business students in that course. Gregory K. Blanchett. lum. Nancy Brown. analysis and the resultant suggested strategies of matching The students in both groups were asked at the begin- strengths to opportunities in organizational strategy. esses that control the allocation of resources across on-task and off-task activities during task engagement (Karoly. (1956) capstone course or in one of the various functional areas of Cannon. Taxonomy of When considering the ABSEL literature. Hypothesis 3: Students in the capstone course should have and.

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