Debriefing is an essential part of experiential training and it is necessary for facilitators to know its structure and basics to turn into a memorable learning experience for the learning-partners

Smart Debriefing with powerful questions using the Yturralde´s Debriefing Model of the 4 Elements

Training Workshops and Debriefing Tools for Professional Experiential Learning Trainers






Ernesto Yturralde, researcher y autor especializado en Aprendizaje Experiencial confiere al elicitar en el procesamiento o debriefing, una acepción múltiple en el mismo contexto: provocar, inducir, evocar, despertar, suscitar, estimular, desencadenar.

Los Procesamientos / los Debriefing |


Ernesto Yturralde | Experiential Education Debriefing Model Author

Experiential learning is a powerful methodology based on the premise that what the learning-partners, eachone  discovers for himself or herself, has a different meaning than lessons acquired through lecture or discussion modes. The learning that results from active personal involvement can be superior to passive, traditional means. The general objectives for learning-partners in such experiences, include increasing an understanding of principles and theories as applied to the concrete situations, including transfer to real situations; skills in interpersonal and decision making methods; skills in observing, analysing and diagnosing behavioral phenomena; and an awareness of the learning-partners own values, the assumptions, and personal strengths and limitations.


New trends in the field of learning are supported by the experiential learning methodology developing experiential workshops as part of a training process in which workshops, activities, simulations, initiatives are tools that play a pivotal role in promoting self-discovery from the factual. The activities should be professionally structured and managed to achieve the objectives activated with the debriefing techniques.

In Experiential Learning, the Debriefing is a semi-structured process by which the Facilitator, once an initiative or an activity is accomplished, elicits making a series of progressive questions, to process in an appropiated sequence that let the learning-partners reflect what happened, giving substantial insights projecting towards the future, linking that future with the challenge and the actions.


Yturralde Debriefing Model: Water, Air, Earth & FireThere are many ELC Experiential Learning Cycles. Ernesto Yturralde developed the "Yturralde´s Debriefing Model of the 4 Elements: Water, Air, Earth and Fire", pre-presented at the ACCT | Association for Challenge Course Technology 22nd Conference at Boston, Massachusetts, on february 2012 and presented at the AEE | Association for Experiential Education International Conference at Colombia in june 2012.  This model is not an ELC, it is a model that helps the facilitators to make the right questions at the right moment, depending in the facilitators skills, taking the pulse of the learning-partners, as a group, and as individuals.


Debriefing Model: 4 elements: Water, Air, Earth and Fire | Ernesto Yturralde



Many activities take place in which valuable exercises or activities are run, but they have lack of debriefing for many probable reasons: lack of time, not necessary preparation or facilitators knowledge, delivering activities just as enjoyable games.


In an Experiential Learning context, the Debriefing is indispensable and valuable. Without the Debriefing Session, the learning-partners might not learn, or have not too much learning. Debriefing is an essential part of experiential training and it is necessary for facilitators to know its structure and basics to turn into a memorable learning experience for the learning-partners. If facilitators don´t do a conscious debriefing, do not expect the learning-partners to extract much learning from what they have just experienced. The professional Facilitators skills and their vision for each process, are essential to capitalize the experiences of experiential workshops into teachable-moments, full of inspiration, that become debriefing sessions into commitments, actions and transformation of the learning-partners.


The Yturralde´s Experiential Learning Debriefing Model of the 4 Elements, goes from the experience, to 1 | Observation (water), 2 | Reflection (Air), linking to reality with the 3 | Adaption (Earth), and concluding with the 4 | Application or Transference (Fire).



Debriefing 4 | Modelo los 4 Elementos de Ernesto Yturralde en el Aprendizaje Experiencial



Debriefing Tools

The Debriefing can be facilitated directly and by using props as support tools - like the Debriefing Cards © - achieving highly productive sessions.


Each different deck with a set of 50 Processing and Debriefing cards are designed for Experiential Facilitators, Team Building & Outdoor Trainers, Soft-Skills Facilitators, Teachers, Coaches, Psychologists, Challenge Courses Specialists, Camp Counselors, Therapists, Sports and Recreation Program Leaders.


One deck works with 12 to 15 learning-partners.


Experiential Learning Debriefing Session | Ernesto Yturralde Worldwide Inc.The Debriefing Cards provide your learning-partners a symbolic opportunity for a creative self-expression, metaphors creations, encouraging more participation in debriefing sessions. The Debriefing Cards provide many options for process feelings, emotions, activity exploration, facts and debriefing of course.


Spread the cards out amongst the group and allow participants to choose different cards that matches their feelings or that have a relation with the experiences they have had.


Debriefing 50 Cards (each deck) Complementary Set 1 and Set 2


USD. 17.99 each set, double-pack for USD. 34.99

Debriefing Cards 


Ernesto Yturralde Worldwide Inc. Training & Consulting


Latinamerican Certification Programs

OTC | Outdoor Training Certification - Certificación en Aprendizaje Experiencial


International Certifications based in South America


This certification - in spanish - is for facilitators involved in learning processes who wish to strengthen their knowledge and expertise in the design, development and delivery of Experiential Learning and Outdoor Workshops, and obtain a First Party Certification. Choose the country...


OTC Colombia   OTC Panamá   OTC Perú   OTC Ecuador   OTC Bolivia   OTC México   OTC Chile


International Certifications based in Colombia, Peru, Panama, Mexico and Venezuela



Our Workshops |



Experiential Learning Debriefing Session | Ernesto Yturralde Worldwide Inc.The workshops are designed and delivered by a trainers team led by Ernesto Yturralde Tagle, CEO, Ernesto Yturralde Worldwide Inc. Trainer, Consultant & Researcher,  D&D, Mentor/Coach, Associate Member of the ACCT | Association for Challenge Course Technology, (Registration 3809), Member of AEE | Association for Experiential Education Founder Member of IFS | International Facilitators Society Corp..


Ernesto Yturralde obtained in Texas his "Challenge Course Facilitator Technical Skills Certification" (Registration 60974), he is a Certified Master Trainer (Registration 06001). Certified Outdoor Trainer (Registration 08001), he is recognized as a forerunner of the methodology of experiential learning in Latin America with a history 32 years, since 1985He is the creator of the Debriefing Cards © System and the Debriefing Balls © System to elicit and facilitate Debriefing Sessions.


Ernesto Yturralde | Experiential Education Debriefing Model AuthorErnesto has specialized in Andragogy and Experiential Learning. He has participated in many seminars and trainings around the world.  In 1994 he shared Management training with Peter F. Drucker and professional meetings in Brazil.  In 1995 he traveled to Japan and Korea to keep corporate visits and meetings at Sony, Nissan Motor Co., Mitsubishi Corporation and Samsung, to evaluate the oriental philosophy culture.


He is an International Keynote Speaker with topics related to Soft-Skills, Leadership, Team Building, Customer Service Excellence, and Sales. He had spoken to audiences of Universities and Enterprises in 16 countries: USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and Uruguay to 1,600 organizations as Caterpillar, Halliburton, SABMiller, AT&T, Epson, Nipro Medical, Samsung, Mazda, Toyota, United Nations organizations: UNICEF, PAHO, UNFPA.


Empowering your teams in LATAM, USA & Worldwide


Experiential Learning Debriefing | Ernesto Yturralde Worldwide Inc.



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Ernesto Yturralde Worldwide Inc. Training & Consulting





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