The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Experiential Learning – Case of Emirati Female Students in Dubai

Ian Michael, Zayed University (United Arab Emirates)


This research focuses on the use of engaging assignment projects that I create with industry for student assignments in Brand Management, Innovation Management and Integrated Marketing Communication classes. I teach marketing at Zayed University (ZU), based at the Dubai campus, an all-female Emirati (local nationals) campus. Unlike a traditional Western university setting, these students never or rarely get opportunities to experience a workplace to get work experience while studying. Therefore, it is crucial for me to use experiential teaching and learning methods to help create an engaging environment thus motivating students to learn. Over the last ten years, students from the three courses that I mentioned above have done their major class assignment projects with Garnier, Lancôme, L’Oréal, Miral (Warner Brothers Theme Park, Abu Dhabi), Ministry of Finance UAE, Procter & Gamble, MBLM and others. Ruhanen (2005) states that such real-life experiential situations where students are required to apply theory to the real world can be immensely valuable. Garrick, Chan and Lai (2006), state “that often the real-life problems that students’ encounter from industry, are far more meaningful than any carefully worked up examples that they might read in a textbook or have explained by a tutor in a university classroom”. Further, Morris (2020), states that this researching experiential learning is hugely unrealized, also Lourenço (2022) found significant gaps between academic requirements and industry expectations. For this research, I will be using Kolb’s (2014) ‘learning cycle’ concept, I have completed three levels i.e., by providing students a ‘Concrete Experience’, and always do a ‘Reflective Observation’, the rubrics I use target the ‘Conceptualization of Ideas’. The final phase of this research includes me interviewing the organizations that my students work with to investigate whether ‘Active Experimentation’ has taken place during the assignment, at internships and the workplace.


Experiential, Learning, Dubai, Kolb, Emirati


[1] Lisa Ruhanen (2005) Bridging the Divide Between Theory and Practice, Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 5:4, 33-51.


[2] Garrick J., Chan A., and Lai J., (2006), “New knowledge sources - Challenging universities’ monopoly for the production of knowledge”, Development and Learning in Organizations, 20, 4, pp. 22-24.


[3] Thomas Howard Morris (2020) Experiential learning – a systematic review and revision of Kolb’s model, Interactive Learning Environments, 28:8, 1064-1077.


[4] Fernando Lourenço, Zhuo Li, Lianping Ren & Ranis Cheng (2022) What Retail Experts Say about Tourism Retail Education? A Case of Macao Using an Integrated Bloom-Kolb Learning Design Canvas, Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism, 23:1, 275-297.


[5] Kolb, D. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development (2nd ed.). Pearson Education.




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