Man and woman sitting at a table participating in an interactive activity on iPads.

Interactive and Innovative: The Impact of Experiential Learning

Imagine this: You’re driving down the road, hit a curb and blow a tire.

You’ve never changed a tire before and sadly, you don’t even know where to start. As a quick solution, you call your car-savvy friend and they talk you through changing your spare. This is a traditional learning model — where you learn through someone else’s experience.

Let’s approach the same situation with an experiential learning process. Say your friend was there to work with you, side-by-side, as you replace the tire using a hands-on method. The result: you not only change the tire with your own two hands, you also retain the information needed to help yourself in future situations.

While changing a tire isn’t the same as understanding your finances, at In Good Company, we believe a hands-on approach is much more effective than traditional learning. Someone telling you about financial techniques just doesn’t have the same effect as applying those techniques to your situation to better understand their impact on your everyday life. What we love about experiential learning is that it allows our learners to be at the center of the lesson.

We know finances can be complicated, and at times overwhelming, but they are essential for people to understand in order to create the future they aspire to achieve. “What’s unique about our approach at In Good Company is that we incorporate experiential learning into our curriculum by layering VARK learning styles — those that work best for (v)isual, (a)uditory, (r)eading/writing and (k)inesthetic learners,” shares Ryan White, head of In Good Company. “This approach to learning is evident in our core series of workshops: Financial Foundations, Money Mindfulness, Intro to Investing and The Road to Retirement.”

Experiential learning also allows us to build trust with our learners and break down barriers. Instead of speaking from the front of the room using financial jargon and slang, we work to bring people together through hands-on activities and open discussions. “The shared experience for our attendees isn’t in what the presenter is conveying, it is delivered by working alongside other learners to see how different techniques and approaches are applied in unique situations,” says White. We bring our experienced advisors right into your office, making it easy for all employees to attend in a comfortable setting.

To us, traditional learning is becoming a trend of the past. Instead of reading textbooks, we encourage participants to write their own story by using what they learned in our immersive workshops. “Looking at the 70-20-10 Model for Learning and Development — 70 percent of people’s knowledge is from their experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others and 10 percent from formal education,” shares White. The creators of this model believe hands-on experiences are the most beneficial because they give an individual the opportunity to recognize their skills, make decisions and address any challenges.1

“Experiential learning isn’t anything new, but it is new to financial education,” says White. “This approach has been around forever both in nature and history; it’s relevant and measurable.” It can be seen in practices as common as driver’s ed and experiences as intense as surgical theater, yet hasn’t been utilized in the business world to its full extent. Experiential learning is about creating a concrete experience, a memory — and it’s changing the way people work.

Are you interested in bringing experiential learning into your workplace? Let’s chat about how In Good Company can help your company. Contact us today by visiting our website.

1 “The 70-20-10 Model for Learning and Development.” Training Industry, 28 Jan. 2014, trainingindustry.com/wiki/content-development/the-702010-model-for-learning-and-development/.

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