Professor Colin Beard

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Prof Colin Beard PhD



Professor Colin Beard is recognised as a leading global thinker, writer and skilled practitioner in Experiential Learning. He has worked with many organisations advising on learning and development, including the Foreign Service Department of the US Government working on the development of diplomats and ambassadors. He has also advised the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Youth and Culture in Singapore on educational issues. He has worked with many corporate clients, public bodies, universities and charities. Colin was invited as a member of the European Innovation Team of Interface. Flor, the world's largest floor textile manufacturer.

His work includes over 60 global keynotes, 19 book chapters, 44 refereed articles, and several books, including an audio book on sensory intelligence, and a 4th edition book on experiential learning. He has held three visiting professorships, including two in leading Chinese universities. He is on the editorial board and reviewing panels of many leading journals. He is a National Teaching Fellow, Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.



  • 2012: MA Education, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 2008: PhD Experiential Learning: The Development of a Pedagogic Framework for Effective Practice., Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
  • 1975: BSc Zoology, University of London, United Kingdom


Department of Service Sector Management

Sheffield Business School

Events Management


Key Publications

Beard, C. (2018). Learning Experience Designs (LEDs) in an age of complexity: time to replace the lightbulb? Reflective Practice, 19 (6), 736-748.

Journal articles

Crowther, P., Orefice, C., & Beard, C. (2018). At work and play; business events as entrepreneurial spaces. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 19 (2), 90-99.

Beard, C. (2018). Dewey in the world of experiential education. New Directions For Adult & Continuing Education, 2018 (158), 27-37.

Beard, C., & Russ, W. (2017). Event evaluation and design : human experience mapping. Event Management, 21 (3), 365-374.

Hickman, M., Stokes, P., Beard, C., & Inkster, A. (2017). Doing the plastic fantastic : ‘artificial’ adventure and older adult climbers. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 1-11.

Vaudrin-Charette, J., & Beard, C. (2017). A sensory experiment into languages as (re)volution. Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, 14 (1).

Hickman, M., Beard, C., Inkster, A., & Miles, B. (2016). Sustaining fitness through the outdoors: perspectives from older adults. Horizons Magazine, 73.

Hickman, M., Stokes, P., Gammon, S., Beard, C., & Inkster, A. (2016). Moments like diamonds in space: savoring the ageing process through positive engagement with adventure sports. Annals of Leisure Research, 1-19.

Hickman, M., Beard, C., & Inkster, A. (2015). Ageing and the outdoors: denying inevitability or perceiving an opportunity – which is the Outdoor Sector’s approach? Horizons Magazine, 70, 24-25.

Hickman, M., Beard, C., & Inkster, A. (2015). Paradise regained: older adult rock climbers turning space into place in the natural environment. Envigogika, 10 (3).

Heyes, A., Beard, C., & Gehrels, S. (2015). Can a luxury hotel compete without a spa facility? : opinions from senior managers of London’s luxury hotels. Research in Hospitality Management, 5 (1), 93-97.

Beard, C., Humberstone, B., & Clayton, B. (2014). Positive emotions: passionate scholarship and student transformation. Teaching in Higher Education, 19 (6), 630-643.

Wilson, J.P., & Beard, C. (2014). Constructing a sustainable learning organization: Marks and Spencer's first Plan A learning store. The Learning Organization, 21 (2), 98-112.

Beard, C., & Price, I. (2013). Room for improvement. RSA Journal, 159 (5553), 38-41.

Humberstone, B., Beard, C., & Clayton, B. (2011). Performativity and enjoyable learning. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 1-16.

Beard, C., & Price, I. (2010). Space, conversations and place: lessons and questions fromorganisational development. International journal of facility management, 1 (2).

Clayton, B., Beard, C., Humberstone, B., & Wolstenholme, C. (2009). The jouissance of learning: evolutionary musings on the pleasures of learning in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 14 (4), 375-386.

Beard, C. (2008). Mapping first year students’ emotional journeys. LINK, n/a, 16.

Crowther, P., & Beard, C. (2008). Events education : the value of ‘real world’ learning. LINK, 20, 35-37.

Beard, C., Wilson, J.P., & Mccarter, R. (2007). Towards a theory of e-Learning :experiential e-Learning. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sports & Tourism Education, 6 (2), 3-15.

Beard, C., Clegg, S., & Smith, K. (2007). Acknowledging the affective in higher education. British Educational Research Journal, 33 (2), 235-252.

Wilson, J.P., & Beard, C. (2003). The learning combination lock – an experiential approach to learning design. Journal of European Industrial Training, 27 (2/3/4), 88-97.

Beard, C. (2003). The development and design of an interactive CD-ROM forMasters students. LINK, 8, 20-21.

Beard, C. (2003). Innovation and learning: a new approach to the design ofexperiential learning events? Outward bound international, 11 (1), 2-3.

Beard, C., & Rhodes, T. (2002). Experiential learning: using comic strips as 'reflective tools' in adult learning. Australian journal of outdoor education, 6 (2), 58-65.

Beard, C., & Wilson, J. (2002). Still building rafts, juggling balls and driving tanks? Horizon, 19.

Beard, C., & Rhodes, T. (2001). Cartooning : learning review tool. Organisational development, 3.

Beard, C., & Rees, S. (2000). Green teams and the management of environmental change in a UK county council. Environmental Management and Health, 11 (1), 27-38.

Beard, C., & Hartmann, R. (1999). European and Asian telecoms ‐ their role in global sustainable development. European Business Review, 99 (1), 42-54.

Beard, C., & Hartmann, R. (1997). sustainable design: re-thinking future business products. The Journal of sustainable Product Design.

Beard, C., & Hartmann, R. (1997). Sustainable design: re-thinking future business products. Journal of Sustainable Product Design.

Beard, C., & Hartmann, R. (1997). Naturally enterprising ‐ eco‐design, creative thinking and the greening of business products. European Business Review, 97 (5), 237-243.

Beard, C. (1996). Environmental awareness training : three ideas for greening the company culture. Eco-management and auditing, 3 (3), 139-146.<139::AID-EMA51>3.0.CO;2-H

Beard, C. (1996). Environmental training: emerging products. Industrial and Commercial Training, 28 (5), 18-23.

Beard, C. (1994). The UK's largest recreation facility is under negotiation - or is it? Town and country planning, 63 (4), 118-121.

Beard, C., & Price, I. (n.d.). Mobility, physical space and learning. Management Learning.

Hickman, M., Beard, C., Fitzgerald, L., & Inkster, A. (n.d.). Act your age: the older adult body as a site for exploring and affirming identity – a small case study of Montana based climbers. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults.

Conference papers

Beard, C. (2014). Experiential learning : towards a multi-disciplinary perspective. In 7th International Mountain and Outdoor Sports Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 20 November 2014 - 23 November 2014.

Beard, C., Smith, K., & Clegg, S. (2005). Mapping Students' Emotional Journeys. In 12th International Conference on Learning from Monday, Faculty of Education at the University of Granada, Spain, 11 July 2005 - 14 July 2005.

Book chapters

Beard, C. (2023). Experiential learning: defining parameters, contextual foundations, and influential contributions. In Belzer, A., & Dashew, B. (Eds.) Understanding the adult learner; perspectives and practices. (1st). Stylus publishing

Turner, J., Kwong, G.S., Beard, C., & Mulholland, G. (2018). A Business Simulation Game (BSG) and its ability to enhance learning. In Enterprising Education in UK Higher Education. (pp. 92-113). Routledge:

Beard, C. (2015). Experiential learning : towards a multidisciplinary perspective. In Humberstone, B., Prince, H., & Henderson, K.A. (Eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Outdoor Studies. (pp. 425-434). Routledge:

Beard, C. (2014). Mapping the Experience Journey. In Sharples, L., Crowther, P., May, D., & Orefice, C. (Eds.) Strategic Event Creation. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd

Beard, C. (2014). Experiential Learning: Trans/intra/interdisciplinary approaches. In Humberstone, B., Prince, H., & Henderson, K.A. (Eds.) The International Handbook of Outdoor Studies. (pp. 425-434). Abingdon: Routledge

Beard, C. (2014). Designing and mapping event experiences. In Sharples, L., Crowther, P., May, D., & Orefice, C. (Eds.) Strategic Event Creation. Goodfellow:

Beard, C., & Goode, M. (2014). Contributing to a more sustainable world? Business Product Innovation and the Development of an Industrial Ecology. In Atfield, R., & Kemp, P. (Eds.) Enhancing Education for Sustainable Development in Business and Management, Hospitality, Leisure, Marketing, Tourism. (pp. 3-13). Higher Education Academy:

Beard, C. (2013). Student transformation and the Interaction between the Epistemological and Oncological Tracks: The Wider Project of Higher Education. In Tirri, K., & Kuusisto, E. (Eds.) Interaction in Educational Domains. (pp. 25-36). Sense Publishing

Beard, C., & Price, I. (2012). Learning spaces that change people and organisations. In Wilson, J.P. (Ed.) International human resource development : learning, education and training for individuals and organizations, 3rd ed. Kogan Page

Beard, C., & Price, I. (2012). Learning spaces that change people and organisations. In Wilson, J.P. (Ed.) International human resources development: Learning, education and training for individuals and organizations. (3). (pp. 465-479). London: Kogan Page

Beard, C. (2012). Spatial ecology: learning and working environments that change people and organizations. In alexander, K., & Price, I. (Eds.) Managing organizational ecologies: space, management and organization. (pp. 69-80). New York: Routledge

Beard, C. (2012). Spatial ecology : learning and working environments that change people and organizations. In Alexander, K., & Price, I. (Eds.) Managing organizational ecologies : space, management, and organizations. Routledge

Beard, C., & Jackson, N.J. (2011). A holistic model for lifewide learning. In Jackson, N.J. (Ed.) Learning for a complex world: a lifewide concept of learning, curriculum, education and personal development. (pp. 39-60). Bloomington, Ind: AuthorHouse

Beard, C. (2009). Transforming the student learning experience : the development of a pedagogic framework for everyday practice. In Buswell, J., & Becket, N. (Eds.) Enhancing student-centred learning in business and management, hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism. Oxford: Threshold Press

Beard, C. (2009). Space to learn : the development and evolution of new learning environments in Higher Education. In Buswell, J., & Becket, N. (Eds.) Enhancing student-centred learning in business and management, hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism. Oxford: Threshold Press

Beard, C., & Wilson, J.P. (2005). Ingredients for effective experiential learning: the learning combination lock. In Hartley, P., Woods, A., & Pill, M. (Eds.) Enhancing teaching in Higher Education : new approaches to improving student learning. (pp. 3-18). London: Routledge

Beard, C., & Irvine, D. (2005). Management Training and Development: problems, paradoxes and perspectives. In Wilson, J. (Ed.) Human Resource Development : learning and training for individual and organizations, 2nd ed. (pp. 380-403). London: Kogan Page

Beard, C. (2005). The Design of Effective Group-Based Training Methods. In Wilson, J. (Ed.) Human Resource Development : learning and training for individuals and organizations, 2nd ed. (pp. 342-364). London: Kogan Page

SWARBROOKE, J. (2003). Adventure tourism in the future: the new frontier. In Adventure Tourism. (pp. 247-286). Elsevier:

Beard, C., & Hartmann, R. (1999). Eco-innovation: rethinking Future Business Products and Services. In Charter, M., & Polonsky, M.J. (Eds.) Greener Marketing : a responsible approach to business, 2nd ed. (pp. 143-163). Saltaire: Greenleaf Publishing


Beard, C. (2023). Experiential Learning Design: Theoretical Foundations and Effective Principles. (1st). Routledge New York.

Beard, C. (2022). Experiential Learning Design Theoretical Foundations and Effective Principles. Taylor & Francis.

Beard, C., & Wilson, J.P. (2018). Experiential learning: a practical guide for training, coaching and education. 4th Edition. Kogan Page.

Beard, C.M., & Wilson, J.P. (2013). Experiential Learning A Handbook for Education, Training and Coaching. Kogan Page Limited.

Beard, C. (2010). The experiential learning toolkit : blending practice with concepts. London: Kogan Press.

Beard, C., & Wilson, J.P. (2006). Experiential learning : a best practice handbook for educators and trainers. (2nd ed.). London: Kogan Press.

Swarbrooke, J., Beard, C., Leckie, S., & Pomfret, G. (2003). Adventure tourism : the new frontier. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Beard, C., & Wilson, J.P. (2002). The power of experiential learning : a handbook for trainers and educators. London: Kogan Press.

Beard, C., Wilson, J., & Wong, E. (2002). Powerful experiential learning. Zhongshan University: Zhongshan University Press.

Theses / Dissertations

Beard, C. (2008). Experiential learning: The development of a pedagogic framework for effective practice. (Doctoral thesis).


Beard, C. (2014). Experiential Learning: an interdisciplinary perspective, conference paper presented, Learning Through Outdoor Activities: an holistic approaches.

Beard, C. (2014). Sensory Intelligence: Learning to Live Your Life.

Beard, C. (2014). The Event Experience: seven core dimensions.

Beard, C. (2014). 21 Century Competences: Co-curricular and Co-curricular Experiential Education.

Beard, C. (2014). Pedagogic Innovation.

Beard, C. (2014). The Human Experience.

Beard, C. (2014). Towards a Multi-disciplinary understanding of experiential learning.

Beard, C., & Malkki, K. (2013). Student transformation and the interaction between the epistemological and ontological tracks: The wider project of higher education.

Beard, C. (2013). Learning and Working: Convergent Phenomena.

Beard, C. (2013). Innovative and Holistic Learning.

Beard, C. (2013). It is all in the mind? Thinking about Thinking.

Price, I., & Beard, C. (2013). The extended narrotype: adaptation and stasis in spatial evolution. Presented at: EURAM Conference, Istanbul, 2013

Beard, C. (2012). Enabling Transformation through learning and teaching.

Beard, C. (2012). Experiential Learning and Teaching.

Beard, C. (2012). How Humans Learn.

Beard, C. (2012). The Student Experience of Learning.

Beard, C. (2011). Transition and transformation: Positive emotions and passionate scholarship.

Beard, C. (2011). Collaboration: people, projects and spaces.

Beard, C. (2011). Experiential Learning and Collaboration.

Beard, C. (2011). The Role of the Body in Learning.

Beard, C. (2011). The Role of the Senses in Learning.

Beard, C. (2011). Space, transformation and troublesome knowledge in physical and virtual learning environments. Presented at: Sixth Annual Learning Teaching and Assessment Conference 2011 : Learning @ Derby : the future direction, The Dome, Buxton Campus, University of Derby, 2011

Beard, C. (2011). Experiential learning: the importance of place and space. Presented at: Supporting Student Learning Conference 2011 : 10th Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Cotswold Suite, University of Worcester, 2011

Beard, C. (2011). Returning our senses. Presented at: 12th International Conference on Experiential Learning, Santiago, Chile, 2011

Price, I., Beard, C., Ellison, I., & Matzdorf, F. (2010). Shifting the patterns of business school space? Presented at: British Academy of Management conference, Sheffield, 2010

Beard, C. (2010). A Pleasure to Learn.

Beard, C. (2010). Enabling a more complex education; encouraging, recognising and valuing life-wide earning in higher education.

Beard, C. (2010). The role of the mind, body and field in learning.

Beard, C. (2010). The role of the mind, body and field in learning. Presented at: The First Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in Higher Education Symposium, University of Bournemouth, 2010

Beard, C. (2010). The future of space for learning : the next evolutionary step. Presented at: Association of University Directors of Estates Annual Conference, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2010

Beard, C. (2009). Just three simple steps? A simple practical technique for improving students' understanding of 'experiential knowing'. Presented at: Learning for a complex world, University of Surrey, Guildford, 2009

Beard, C. (2009). Infinity and beyond : new adventures in learning. Presented at: 14th Annual SEDA (Staff and Educational Development Association) Conference 2009 : Changing Educational Development: New Ideas, New Approaches, New Contexts, Aston Business School Conference Centre, Birmingham, 2009

Beard, C. (2009). Student voice : engagement and the experience of learning. Presented at: 'Challenging, inspiring and supporting our learners' LTEU 6th Annual Conference, 2009, University of Roehampton, London, 2009

Beard, C. (2008). The research experience : forging new identities for experiential learning. Presented at: 11th International Conference on Experiential Learning : The Identity of Experience : Challenges for experiential learning, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 2008

Beard, C. (2008). Tranforming the student learning experience : interdisciplinarity and interconnectedness. Presented at: Higher Education Academy Annual Conference 2008 : Transforming the student experience, Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate, 2008

Beard, C. (2008). Enhancing the student experience. Presented at: 1st Annual Higher Education Academy HE in FE Conference : Playing with Learning 1 : Unlocking the Learning Experience, University of Warwick, 2008

Smith, K., & Beard, C. (2005). Mapping students’ emotional journeys. Presented at: Quality Enhancement Network Conference: Accomplishing Complex Institutional Change: making a difference to students' experiences of higher education, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, 2005

Beard, C., & Nield, K. (2003). Outlining the approach to PDP adopted by the Skills Unit at Sheffield Hallam University.

Beard, C. (2002). The learning combination lock. Presented at: Outward Bound World Conference 2002, Pulau, Ubin, 2002

Other publications

Hickman, M., Beard, C., & Inkster, I. (2015). Climbing through the eyes of older adults: same activities, different meanings. Association of Mountaineering Instructors:

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