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Seb Anthony

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Exercises to demonstrate experiential learning needed!


I am putting together a presentation pitch for a client about a proposed training course for market researchers. I intend to use lots of practical exercises within the training itself, but want to demonstrate to the decision makers the effectiveness of experiential learning. Does anyone have any quick exercises that can be used to show how 'getting up and doing' can facilitate / speed up learning? At present my brief is v limited - could be anything from 1 or 2 to 5 in the audience! Any ideas greatly appreciated ...
Emma Newman

4 Responses

    if you send me an email I will send you an exercise I have used in the past where the trainer teaches the delegates how to ‘sign’ a couple of sentences. works like a dream. there are only a couple of attachments

  2. tie them in knots
    I have used an exercise where I have “explained” in some detailhow to tie a particular, simple but not commonly known knot. Then I ask the delegates to tie one…they can’t.
    I then run a much shorter experiential session where each delegate has a length of rope to learn with. Then I ask them to tie the knot…they all can.
    It worked for me….but then I learned to tie knots as a kid!

  3. build bridges
    Emma – It could be worth separating out what (in your brief) is best learned experientially and what is best learned in other ways, or explain how all objectives can best be achieved by a combination of experiential and other methods. This would have the twin advantage of showing how you have thought through the detail (matching methods and objectives), while also avoiding overstating the benefits of experiential learning.

    If your audience is doubtful about the suitability of experiential learning, try to find out what they are concerned about – rather than making assumptions. But don’t dwell on the issues – ask them what they have learned through experience, then explain how your approach makes it an even more enjoyable and effective process – if true.

    If you want to do an exercise, almost any problem-solving activity could fit. And problem-solving is a pretty universal skill. Better still, use a version of an exercise from your proposed programme.

    Not sure if ‘speeding up’ is associated with all kinds of experiential learning. A stronger selling point might be how the learning goes deeper, is more integrated, is more real and brings change at least one step closer.

    good luck

    Roger Greenaway

  4. Try counting in Japanese
    Emma – During a course in Accelerated Learning techniques, given by The Training Shop, the trainers used a good example of this, which I have used successfully since. It involved teaching the group to count from one to nine in Japanese, by using gestures related to English words that sound similar to the ones in Japanese. For example, “one” and “two” are “ichi” and “ni”, so you get people to scratch their knee. Three and four are “san” and “shi”, so you get people to point out the window at the sun and then to a woman in the group (“she”). After repeating all the gestures several times, everyone in the group can remember the words. If strapped for time, you can just count from one to five. It works, and is very convincing (as well as being a good energiser and giving people a laugh).


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