The cone of experience
Edgar Dale (1900 – 1985) was a U.S. educationist who developed the famous Cone of Experience. He made several contributions to audio and visual instruction, including a methodology for analyzing the content of motion pictures.
The Cone of Experience is a visual model meant to summarize Dale’s classification system for the varied types of mediated learning experiences.
The original labels for Dale’s ten categories are: Direct, Purposeful Experiences; Contrived Experiences; Dramatic Participation; Demonstrations; Field Trips; Exhibits; Motion Pictures; Radio; Recordings; Still Pictures; Visual Symbols; and Verbal Symbols.
Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience is often misrepresented by those who add numbers to the cone. Hundreds, if not thousands, of misrepresentations have been created.
In summary, the cone of learning is essentially a visual metaphor for the idea that learning activities can be placed in broad categories based on the extent to which they convey the concrete referents of real-life experiences.