Learning, Your Way

May 14, 2013

Andragogy is the art and science of helping adults learn, and for most people, education continues throughout their lives. How they learn, though, is key to internalizing content and letting it transform the person.

Consider the classroom. I’m sure many of you grew up being lectured to by a teacher, who gave you assignments that were graded on a point or letter scale. Some of you may have excelled with this method. Others, however, may have wanted a more hands-on approach. I have plenty of friends who found more success in woodshop compared to world history class for just this reason. Then you have the people who seem to only learn by being part of a group where ideas and thoughts can tumble around the circle. 

Discovering what style works best for you is a personal journey as well as an organizational goal, and in an effort to be more inclusive and sensitive to your individual learning needs, we’re introducing sessions in three distinct learning styles at WEC this year. 

“Over the years, we have adjusted our tagging strategy to assist our participants in making the best educational choice for them,” said Miranda van Brück, MPI’s team leader of professional development. “We learned a lot, and the biggest learning of them all is that in the past we have often used tracks and novice/all/advanced level distinctions. While they made absolute sense in the planning process, for the actual participant they were more confusing than helpful. In talking to members and learning from other industries we moved towards our current approach which focusses on how you prefer to learn at a conference.”

The three styles are:

  • Lecture (listen and learn)—If you like to listen to a speaker deliver a lecture and just absorb the information, then these sessions will definitely resonate with you. These sessions will be presented in lecture style, with a low level of interactivity. 
  • Interactive (learn from experts and practice)—Hands-on learning with expert guidance—listening, moving, touching, doing and discussing. A selection of our educational sessions is designed to provide a medium to a high level of interaction. If you like to learn from experts, but also have the opportunity to discuss how this can be applied to your world, then these are not-to-miss sessions for you. If you like learning this way, also make sure to check out the WEC learning labs, which will provide a hands-on approach that allows attendees to learn, get up, touch and do, which will enhance retention of information. 
  • Peer-to-Peer (learn from each other)—Participant-led sessions, with the highest level of interactivity. These are sessions where you learn from your peers through discussions and sharing of your own experiences. A facilitator will drive the process, but not the content.

We’re also providing a tag that lets you know if session content is specific to the meeting and event industry or if it comes from an outside source. 

  • Inside Industry (topics specific to the meeting and event industry)—Most of the times these sessions qualify for continuing education credit on the CMP application or recertification and really provide industry specific education. 
  • Outside Industry (general business topics from outside our industry, delivered by non-industry experts)—These topics and experts are selected as they bring valuable knowledge from outside into our world and have been coached on how their knowledge can be made relevant for a meeting and event professionals. 

“We still use the ‘level’ distinctions, but in line with the advice of our members, we will only point out the novice sessions and the truly advanced ones, in order to level expectations for participants,” van Brück said.

Now that you know more about the ways we’re providing education at WEC, check out the sessions, speakers and entertainment and make plans to join us in Las Vegas, July 20-23, for a truly transformational event.

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