The Joys of Experiential Learning

E-learning certainly has its benefits, but nothing beats face to face interactive learning.

By Quentin Crowe, Managing Director of the Marketers’ Forum

Over the last two months I have been privileged to work with a diverse range of audiences including 14 year olds, insurance intermediaries, senior marketers and even cycling professionals. Despite their obvious differences these groups shared some remarkable similarities.

Red Maids School, Bristol. I was invited to mentor a team of Year Ten pupils who had been   given a virtual airline to run for a day.  Each of the 17 teams of 10 pupils had to calculate routes, schedules and budgets, configure cabins, devise meal plans as well as creating a brand and a video advertisement – all in one day!  The joy of working with younger audiences is that they are unfettered by boring pragmatism.  As the energy levels soared during the day, ideas flowed and the results were extraordinary.  We adults have much to learn.

Also in Bristol, I ran a workshop with my colleague Jeff Knight for a Chartered Insurance Institute event. Although the sea of suits suggested otherwise, this audience willingly participated in playing silly games and sharing ideas with each other.  Even when dealing with apparently dry subject matter, at heart most of us (even insurance professionals) like to interact with other humans and find our ‘inner child’.

Earlier this week I completed the delivery of the Emerging Themes course unit (part of the CIM Postgraduate Diploma programme).  Representatives from charities, SMEs, banks, telcos and conference organisers attended the course. Each candidate presented ‘Elevator Pitches’ to their peers summarising the key ideas for their forthcoming CIM assignments.   The quality of the presentations, not to mention the willingness to critique and support fellow students impressed and inspired in equal measure.

Finally I ran a ‘Train the Trainer’ day for London Bike Kitchen (@LDNBikeKitchen), a wonderful operation that teaches cyclists to fix their own bikes.   LBK is the antithesis to the big biking retail chains.  They coach you to understand your bike and avoid unnecessary bills such as puncture repairs and fitting new brake pads.  I have learned to strip my old race bike and re-build it so that it is usable for every day commuting.  LBK culture is all about hands on learning. I urge anybody who cycles to become members.  Great people, great ethics and a great way to save, learn and build confidence.

Undoubtably the use of videos, webinars, and SCORM compliant software is changing the way we learn but there is still no substitute for human interaction – provided it is fun and relevant.

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About the Author

Quentin Crowe

Quentin Crowe

Managing Director & Founder of The Marketers’ Forum. Quentin has over 20 year marketing experience in the insurance, sports and education sectors. He has taught every level of CIM since 2002 as well as being a visiting lecturer at Greenwich University. He worked in the Lloyd’s of London insurance market for 13 years before setting up his own consultancy business in 2000.

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