Sunday Jan 31, 2021

How to make online learning experiential

John Tomlinson talks to Shirley Gaston about how we can make our online learning sessions more experiential and engaging - feels like an important intervention given the amount of PowerPointy crap there is out there!

Some links mentioned in the podcast: article on online games can be downloaded free at

Learning with Lego link: and the direct link to the PDF for an introduction to Lego serious play:

Shirley Gaston is the founder of  the experiential learning company Azesta which has been developing people for 21 years. As such, she is one of the driving forces within the company.

She values openness and this quality is intrinsic to her award-winning learning programmes. It is important to her to be really approachable and, although professional, her overt friendliness is part of her style.

Shirley’s passion for learning through experience has led to her working in learning and development for her entire career and also representing experiential tool maker Metalog and virtual exercise creator Gaminar in the UK.

She has a first class degree in Education, a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Professional Training and Development, she is a qualified coach and holds numerous psychometric qualifications.

She is an absolute CPD addict and attends facilitator development programmes on an almost weekly basis as well as running the non-profit Yorkshire Trainers Development Network. Working directly with her own clients, she specialises in leadership and management, engagement, team development and coaching skills. Working with trainers, she shares her passion for programmes that fully involve the learner and incorporate active and creative review and the most possible variety. She has had several articles published particularly in the field of experiential learning and outdoor management development and is currently working on her first book on the subject.

Shirley lives in Yorkshire with her partner, four children, a dog and three cats. She enjoys a range of outdoor activities, theatre, book groups and is also a Humanist wedding celebrant. 



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