Thunderbird Executive Education employs a variety of progressive teaching techniques in the classroom and through online delivery systems that move beyond traditional lecture and case method. Our teaching methods are calibrated to fit each specific audience, the culture of our client companies, our faculty’s areas of expertise, the nature of the material, time constraints and other factors.

Traditional methods are often supplemented with individual and group exercises and activities, dialogue-based approaches, assessments, learning labs, and metaphorical and experiential learning.

Some examples of specific techniques used in our programs are:

Business simulations
Gamification and competition
One-on-one coaching
Keynotes and panels
Action planning and follow-up 
Action learning projects
Mobile learning
Case studies
E-learning modules
Scenario planning
Service Learning
In-market study trips
Self-assessments and peer assessments 


Thunderbird’s point of view on learning methods

Research has proven that educating global leaders in a variety of teaching methods helps retention and operationalization of the concepts. We believe that a program infused with a strategic mix of methods will help engage participants and aid in achieving learning objectives.

Presentation Matters

Presentation matters—The manner in which educational content is packaged and presented matters. Educating through innovative approaches is important, as it keeps our participants engaged in the content and optimizes their retention.

Variety Adds Value

Variety adds value—There are several methods employed for transfer of knowledge, and countless tools and techniques within each method. A varied approach to teaching aids in uniquely reaching different learning and personality styles among participants. Hands-on, practice-driven and immersive experiences are more readily embedded into long-term memory, and by engaging multiple senses in learning, concept capture and retention is increased. Effective learning interventions are not the result of one big idea for conveyance, but rather a multi-method approach to delivery, and continuous linkages and weaving of the content throughout the program.

The Magic is in the Mix

The magic is in the mix—A strategic mix of methods is determined in our design phase and is crucial to a successful program. Participant engagement and satisfaction, retention of concepts, transfer of knowledge into behaviors, and ultimately the impact on performance, both individual and organizational, are directly influenced by this methods mix.

Creativity Fosters Creativity

Creativity fosters creativity—The use of alternative, varied, and creative methods stretches our participant’s minds in different ways. It engages the right side of the brain and encourages creative and imaginative solutions to business problems. Honing these creative skills is critical for leaders navigating the challenges of global business today. When done well, alternative methods can impart learning in and of themselves by capturing the attention and imagination, and stimulating the creativity of the learners.

View our video on making education “sticky.”