Experiential Learning

Explore-it Maps

“The greatest difficulty in the world is not for people to accept new ideas, but to make them forget about old ideas.”  John Maynard Keynes, economist

A  book published by Kingsley Holgate describes the incredible journey made by this brave explorer and his team. This expedition produced the most profound examples of learning for everyone involved.  Learning was mostly by way of experience, engaging on the moment and savouring the message of truth that every part of the journey allowed.  Experiences such as these will always remain in the hearts and souls of those who have engaged, making for a lasting impression and deep insight.

Learning at an organisation level has always been considered a challenge due to the nature and needs of adult learners.  Recent reports indicate that training has a disappointing level of retention and application.  This has urged leaders in organisations to examine alternative means to getting important messages and skills across to the people who need them.

Explore-it Maps© are an innovative and exciting way of engaging in the learning process.

Adults enjoy using as many of their faculties to receive the learning event. Unlike being at school adults have different needs. Multi-intelligences are important and the need to “unpack” the learning at different levels and modalities come into play.  Importantly adults enjoy more informal learning situations and place a premium on having fun during the process.

Employers and employees are looking for alternative means to train and educate, and in so doing, imbue their presence in the organisations they work for.

The Essence of The Explore-it Map©  

The Explore-it Map is learning technology designed to allow those engaging the process greater access to important knowledge, skills and information.  This methodology is designed to unlock information which is not only vital to the learning process, but assists with the development of insight.  The technology is not skill building as such, but rather employs the methodology to have contact with information on a broader level.

This is not a paper and pencil based learning experience, and the delegates to the process do not have to be literate to be part of the learning experience.

Why Multi-Intelligences?

Research has indicated that intelligence is not restricted to IQ (intelligence Quotient).  Recently much research has been conducted on the use of multi-intelligences and Emotional Intelligence (EQ).  This indicates that people are severely restricted if learning is isolated to employing the faculties which make up IQ.

People have talent in and learn through other intelligences, such as music, movement, experience, emotional awareness, languages, practical application use of communication, articulation, animation and more. By employing these intelligences to the learning experience it is possible to gain a greater level of meaning, retention and commitment.

The expression of learning in adults is through the ability to employ what they feel most comfortable with; this will unlock potential, enthusiasm and self-fulfillment through contribution.

The Power of Association

Association is an important link in the learning process. Explore-it Maps© are constructed to use the strength of association.  Adults have a store of experience and gain access to this through association with images, icons and graphic depictions of people situations and things.  Once this is unlocked it is possible to engage at new level, this is where multi-intelligences’ play an important role.  Through association learners will engage using other learning faculties such as those already mentioned.

Here is an example, if you show someone the South African flag, there are many associations.  Perhaps it strikes a cord of loyalty this leads to thinking about the National Anthem, this leads to learning to sing it, or teaching someone else to, the possibilities are endless.  This positive manipulation of the learning process is powerful as it takes it’s learner on an exciting journey.



Explore-it Maps© Explained

The Explore-it Map© methodology can be explained as follows.

An Explore-it Map© is an A1 size graphic depiction of a chosen theme.  The graphics, images, icons etc are carefully chosen to induce a learning element.   The idea is to present as many images as needed for participants to engage, and to facilitate learning through the use of as many learning modalities needed to achieve the agreed outcomes.  The learning process is through a number of experiential, Explore-it Map© “dip in” sessions and the provision of Fact Files which participants take away and reflect on or spread the message to others. The atmosphere is informal and fun. During the “dip in” sessions a number of cards are used to engage the learning process and the people participating in it, these will vary according to need, but may focus on facts, general knowledge, dialogue, games, and other means.  The process is skillfully employed to involve all those present and use them in the creation of learning.

 No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it. Andrew Carnegie

The Importance of Facilitation

A first impression will lead the uninitiated to believe that the use of The Explore-it Map© is simple, if not easy.  However the importance of an effective facilitator cannot be underestimated.  Facilitators are akin to good leaders, they employ the talents of people in a powerful manner. Facilitation will lead people through their learning experience and assist to make meaning of it.  Facilitation will unlock potential, and allow participants to explore areas which they have not yet dared to enter.


One of the attributes of the facilitator is to make it easy for people to gain access to what they need to make a difference.  This clearly places importance on having availability to a person who has leadership ability and clearly articulates the difference between process and content.

Facilitators of people in this process need to be carefully selected with the end result in mind, this alignment will set the correct tone for powerful learning to occur.

Successful facilitators will also use the diversity of the group to contribute to the learning process as it moves along.  Knowledge and experience levels will always differ.

Peer learning, manager-lead learning, and subject matter learning are only some of the resources available to the facilitator using this process.


Explore-it Maps© in Organisations

Application of the learning technology in organisations is varied and exciting.  Here are a few suggestions.

Communication to people on a fairly large scale on a chosen topic. e. this was successfully utilized to communicate the World Cup Cricket event to more than 5000 hospitality employees.

Assisting organisations with change – where organisations wish to involve people in the change process.

Employee Induction – creation of an exciting new approach to induction.

Service Improvement Initiatives – use of the Exploration Map© to deal with service improvement opportunities.

Educating people on AIDS – Effective use of this technology to educate and sensitise people on AIDS

Experiential learning

For more information or an opportunity to discuss these options please contact

Sian Seward