Get Out of That Chair!

Here’s what I love: experiential learning.

Lucky for me, that’s what Elon does best! Seriously, this class I’m taking right now is the coolest (trust me, I never thought I’d say that about a class called Management and Organizational Theory). The thing about management and team environments is that you can’t really learn about them effectively just by reading a book or having some old stiff up at the front of the room lecturing to you.

My professor this semester (who, by the way, is nothing like an “old stiff”) completely gets that, so he has turned our class into a veritable interactive playground (for classy, grown-up, businessy kids). From the start we’ve been working in teams collaborating on various projects ranging from to the typical case study and reading assessment test to the more obscure K’nex (you know, the plastic rods and wheels and connectors that little boys use to build fighter tanks and such?) challenge and food personality quiz (I’ll let your imagination run wild on that one).

You’re probably sitting there at your desk rolling your eyes and muttering something under your breath about MBAs not being for kids. Well, to you oh-learn-by-doing-doubter I say…quit yer bellyachin’! Think back to all your school years and try to pinpoint the lessons that stand out the most. I’d bet my piggy bank that the teachings you remember today can be directly connected to an activity, discussion, or hands-on project.

That’s the Elon way. Do the reading, but instead of just taking notes on it when you get to class…TALK ABOUT IT! Look at a chart about organizational communication but then ACTUALLY INTERACT in an environment that places restraints on communication paths to figure out how to become more flexible when faced with real-world challenges.

If you’re still not on board, then I’ll just leave you with this. How many times in your life have you woken up with a killer sore throat and a raspy “lady of the night” voice but gone to work anyway because you were afraid you’d miss something really good in class later that night? Zero? Yeah, that used to be my answer, too. Before yesterday that is…

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