24. October 2017

Peer learning: why does peer learning ensure impact in executive education?

Peer learning is an excellent way for participants to benefit from the knowledge and experience of their colleagues in executive education courses.

It supplements approaches such as experiential and action learning opening a space in which learners can deepen their understanding of complex challenges and concepts by talking about them with their peers. Peer learning is broadly scalable, pragmatic, encourages critical thinking, strengthens teams, mobilizes “peer pressure” for good, creates a push for achievement, ensures attention to organizationally relevant issues, and can be effectively employed as part of online learning approaches. One student’s weakness might be another student’s strength, and encouraging active and conscientious exchange strengthens individuals, fosters group bonding, and generates collective knowledge. Finally, learning to discuss new concepts in groups strengthens the communication skills of individuals. This has the potential to positively impact operations, management processes, innovation, as well as attention to changes in your company’s environment that demand action in a VUCA world.


Picture: Istockphoto

About the author
Dr. Rachel Brooks Dr. Rachel Brooks is Head of Executive Education at the Competence Center for Social Innovation at the University of St.Gallen (CSI-HSG). Her research and teaching focus on supporting practitioners across government, private and social sectors in cultivating the mindset, skills and tools to nimbly take action towards impact in an environment of mounting complexity and uncertainty. Previously, she worked in Custom Programs at the Executive School at the University of St.Gallen, and in Latin America at the nexus of business, agricultural producers, government and non-profit organizations in the global food industry. Rachel holds a BA from Smith College in Latin American and Latino/a Studies and an MA from New York University in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, where she was awarded the Henry MacCracken Fellowship. At the University of St.Gallen, where she completed her doctoral work, she received a fellowship through the SNF-funded ProDoc in the "Dynamics of Transcultural Management and Governance in Latin America" at the Centro Latinoamericano-Suizo. She earned her PhD in Organization Studies and Cultural Theory in 2016.