Don’t Forget How People Learn

group on students listening to teacher

Much of the traditional training we see in corporations is neither engaging nor effective. Why? Because in most cases, the individuals designing the training know little, if any about how people learn and retain knowledge. So, they add games, audio and other various media in hopes that these will overcome the lack of instructional design methods. Guess what? It doesn’t help. 

Learning Is a Science: There is a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain activated during a learning task and associated ability to recall. The more the hippocampus is activated (more oxygen and glucose) the better the learning and associated recall. But how do we ensure our instructional design will activate the hippocampus? The NeuroLeadership Institute came up with is a cohesive structure for learning, which we call the AGES Model. It stands for Attention, Generation, Emotion, and Spacing. Together, the AGES Model enables people to learn quickly, and retain that information for the long haul. S4 NetQuest’s instructional design methodology (M-Pact Learning) take all of these into consideration.

Example: S4 NetQuest created a training program to teach technicians to assist surgeons in the use of a specialized heart catheter employed to ablate areas in the heart associated with producing arrhythmia. If the technician isn’t thoroughly versed in the device’s applications, then it cannot be properly utilized by the surgeon. As you can imagine, this requires highly technical learning. Technicians must not only have exhaustive knowledge about the device itself and all of its features and functions, they need a great deal of medical knowledge about the heart. We developed multiple approaches to their learning, including self-paced digital micro-modules for foundational medical knowledge, interactive classrooms where learning was applied, and structured field experiences where they could train directly with the catheter step-by-step while receiving support and accomplishing clear goals. This was M-Pact Learning in action.

More Information. If you’re interested in discovering more about how people learn effectively and efficiently, I provide detailed methods and real-life examples in my new book: M-Pact Learning. The New Competitive Advantage.