My wife and I met Mrs. Easteal by chance over the weekend. We learned how she and her company market based on data analysis and delivering superior customer experiences. Her talk with the class brought what my students had been studying had been studying to life. The sample perfumes she handed out brightened up the room.
This Entrepreneurship class incorporates Project-Based Learning (PBL). During the first week of the semester, the students form teams and decide on a business idea they want to develop. Throughout the semester, we intersperse readings and lectures on business processes, especially as they relate to startups. The students apply what they are learning to the creation of a business plan that includes financial, operations, and marketing plans. They create an investor pitch that the teams deliver in the final week of class.
Many students commented in their weekly journal entries that Mrs. Easteal's discussion of delivering customer experiences, and of gathering and using customer data effectively, applied to their projects, giving them new ideas. Mrs. Easteal also took time to meet with each of the teams to review their business ideas and to give them feedback. The weekly journal entries that week indicated that many of the teams benefited from her feedback.
Is a guest lecture or presentation experiential learning? The evidence from this activity indicates that when the students can connect the presentation content to their projects, what they learn from the presentation enhances their learning from the projects.