Learning theories


Learning theories
Pick one of the learning approach models discussed this week and, using it as a model, develop an example project or learning activity.

Experiential Learning – The interview process


This was a multi-stage, 4-week, authentic assessment for 3rd year French Business School students in English. Classes lasted 2 ½ hours. The project aimed to replicate the real steps and timeframe of the recruitment process through job applications and interviews.  


The process was done through a mix of asynchronous and synchronous teaching.  The main learning approach is experiential and student-centered, but there are also many elements of project-based learning incorporated. 


The project was strictly timetabled in advance so that the students knew what work was coming up in any week and the marking rubrics were available at each stage of the process, so that students knew how they would be evaluated.

This learning scenario used Kolb’s experiential learning model with its 4 stages of:

  • Active experimentation – writing resumes, cover letters, video interviews, and playing the roles of interviewer and interviewee.
  • Concrete experience – of the job application and interview process over a realistic timescale.
  • Reflective observation – with plenty of self-assessment of how they come across in an interview.
  • Abstract conceptualization – thinking through each part of the process.

Week 1, Step 1 – Finding a job


  • The students used online job sites to find a real job that they might be interested in applying for at the end of their studies.


This activity was student lead, with students choosing a job that matched their interests and skills

Week 1, Step 2 - Writing a resume/CV.


  • There was a class discussion with students doing some research on the differences between French CVs and Anglophone resumes/CVs, e.g., not including a photo, age etc. 
  • The discussion went on to look at Applicant Tracking Software and the use of keywords and searchable terms.
  • The students were given a brief research project to do in small groups (using breakout rooms if online), to work out how best to incorporate these terms into their resumes.
  • The students were given a blank resume/CV to fill in with all the possible relevant material, with accurate descriptions of their education so far. (Scaffolding)
  • The students then created their own resume/CV (project-based learning), building on the information given, but creating something of their own, applicable for the job they were applying for.  
  • The resumes were uploaded onto the LMS for marking. They were then corrected by the teacher, using the marking grid below that the students were aware of and had access to. (Formative assessment – this allowed the teacher to find students struggling with the task and give help as well as feedback to all students).
  • The students then uploaded their resumes to a professional resume writing company TopResume, which evaluates and gives feedback on resumes (formative and diagnostic assessment)
  • The students were encouraged to set up a LinkedIn profile once they had received feedback from both the teacher and Top Resume.  (Project-based learning)


Learnerswere given a student-centered and scaffolded process where the teacher guidedthe learners by chunking the resume-building activity, using group work wherepossible and useful. The process of writing a resume can be overwhelming so bybreaking it down and scaffolding this stress was reduced.


Once theresume had been started there was a lot of formative assessment allowing forfeedback as the students progressed in the process.  Once the teacher hadassessed and given feedback an independent company (Top Resume) gave furtherformative assessment feedback.

Resume Rubric

Week 2, Step 3 - Cover letter. 


  • Students looked for online examples of cover letters suitable for the roles to which they were applying.
  • Students then wrote their own cover letter to the companies that they were applying to, making sure to pinpoint the important details and respond to them and use the right tone.  These letters were then primarily assessed by classmates (ZPD) to find any obvious mistakes and discuss the content.
  • The students then submitted the job advert, their resumes and their cover letters to the teacher for a summative assessment.  The cover letter and the resume received 50% of the total mark each.


The creation of the job application portfolio was student-focused, experiential and project-based learning. Depending on the knowledge of the overall group and individuals, the teacher could alter the tasks or add in more guiding and scaffolding activities.

Cover Letter Rubric

Week 3, Step 4 – Pre-interview video assessment


  • Students were asked to prepare and submit, a 2-minute video answering 2 questions:
  • Why is the job a good fit for them? 
  • Why they are a good fit for the job? 
  • Students were asked to auto-evaluate their performance and say where they felt they had done well/less and give themselves an overall mark out of 20.
  • In this formative assessment, the teacher then gave clear actionable feedback to all the students, evaluating primarily on whether the 2 questions had been answered.  
  • The 2 videos that got the highest auto-evaluated grade and teacher evaluated grades were shown in class, where students were asked to give feedback. A general discussion followed to analyze the process they had followed to prepare and create the videos.

Week 4, Step 5 - Interviews


  • The class was split into groups of 4 or 5 students.  Each student will have the application dossier for the other student candidates in their group. The application dossier contains: the job advert, resume, cover letter, and list of potential questions.
  • The interviewer students in the group had access to the LMS and the anonymous online marking rubric.  All interviews were conducted in small groups/Zoom breakout rooms and were recorded for later summative assessment and feedback by the teacher
  • The interviewed candidate will then give their 2-minute pitch and then answer 1question from each member of the student interview panel. The panel will then give their feedback anonymously using the LMS and the mock interview marking grid. The interviewers can choose a question off the list, but can also choose one of their own.
  • At the end of the interview process interviewees gave feedback on the interview process.  Where they felt they had done well/less well, and what they would do differently.
  • At the end of the interview process interviewees gave feedback on the interview process.  Where they felt they had done well/less well, and what they would do differently.


Mock Interview Rubric

This final summative assessment terminated the project.  Students were evaluated and benchmarked. Throughout the project the students were assessed using rubrics and given feedback to assure that there were no knowledge gaps. Course content was clearly laid out, and each step of the process was explained and discussed prior to being carried out.

Overview of Constructivism, Polly Watt, created on Canva
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Wilbert, M. (April 2013)Project-Based Learning,Authentic Assessment in Action . [Retrieved 27 May, 2021]


Yale Center for Teaching and Learning. 2017 YaleUniversity Formative and Summative Assessments. [Retrieved 27 May, 2021]


Bates, A. (2015) Teaching in a Digital World.PressBooks. [Retrieved 27 May, 2021]


Genareo, V.R Phd, Lyons, R. (November 2015)Problem-BasedLearning: Six Steps to Design, Implement and Assess. [Retrieved 27 May, 2021]


PBL Works, Buck Institute for Education. (2019)Essential Project Design Elements Checklist. [Retrieved 28 May, 2021]


Chapman, A. (June 2017) An Introduction to Kolb’sLearning Styles [Retrieved 28 May, 2021]


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