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The Experience Economy

“Goods are tangible; services are intangible; experiences are memorable.”

Timo Elliott, Episode 1: What is the Experience Economy? from The Experience Revolution podcast by SAP. Accessed 2020-02-24.

At Jackrabbit English, I want to create learning experiences that are surprising, enjoyable, and memorable. This way, the underlying work of changing how you speak English “sticks” better for long-term change. This change is what determines your success as a student and in your real life goals related to your use of English, and my success as your teacher.

We seem to have misplaced the idea of the teacher staging learning activities so the experience is memorable for students. We put the onus of learning on the student alone, as a consumer of digital coursework. Though really, this is nothing new. Pit lectures with hours and hours of lecture notes were the analog lead-up to MOOCs and the current state of online coursework generally available.

In a great learning environment, shared experiences are what really good teachers stage and manage for the student’s benefit, to improve the velocity at which information is acquired and the duration it’s retained.

I’ve often felt that the student exerience was too easily lost in the muddle of the LMS. Over-reliance on canned on-line classes or long, large-group training events most often make the learning experience a mass-production commodity, impersonal rather than memorable.

In my experience, the best lessons always involve shared expriences. These can be staged both in a physical classroom and in a digital, asynchronus learning environment. But they don’t happen by accident – they have to be planned and managed.

So, how do I work towards that goal of shared experience here at Jackrabbit English? Thus far, my favorite tool is Flipgrid from Microsoft. Through its snippets of video prompts and responses, we can create memorable experiences despite not having a physical classroom and asynchronous attendance to classes.

One last thought: When you are out and about today, pay attention to what experiences are memorable to you. Through this observation, I encourage you to develop awareness about how you can connect with others to be part of a wider range of experiences. A small-scale experience economy, if you will. Because life is not a commodity to buy and sell, it’s really an experience to be lived.

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