The Impact of a Brain-Based Environment on Learning

The Impact of a Brain-Based Environment on Learning

Brain-based learning researchers continue to discover the importance that environmental factors such as color, sound, music, light, aromas, images, and fun have on the human brain.

To capitalize on research findings related to adult learning theory (andragogy) and brain-based learning, you can design your learning environments in a manner where participants have maximum access to information. To do this, plan activities in which participants can best use their five senses to receive and process information.

Additionally, your training environment should complement the subject matter as close as possible. To accomplish this, consider the audience, organizational culture, subject matter, and expected outcomes for the training when creating your design. With these factors in mind, set out to create a learning utopia in which all the elements of brain-based learning are addressed to your fullest capability. Even if you have only indirect control over the room (e.g. a hotel or conference room) in which training will take place, you can still incorporate a variety of creative ideas for creating a stimulating learning environment.

The Impact of a Brain-Based Environment on Learning by The Creative Trainer - Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Creative Training AuthorThe Impact of a Brain-Based Environment on Learning by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

The wonderful thing about being a creative trainer is that through a little innovation, you can procure and use a variety of inexpensive tools to complement your training. You can also reconfigure seating and in some cases, lighting, to better accommodate participants and learning needs.

Often, for a small amount of time and money (less than $50 dollars), you can obtain decorations, materials, and props related to your training topic that will add pizzazz to your classroom. In doing so, you will be helping to better attract and hold attention while relaying your thoughts and ideas to learners.

The key to enhancing and enriching your training vestibule is to add variety and novelty while fully engaging learners. Your goal should be to entice, challenge, raise emotion, and stimulate their brains to a point where the transfer of training to the workplace is a natural outcome.

To make a positive first impression on your trainees, you simply have to do some advance planning and preparation. To start with, locate some related inspirational quotes by well know people that relate to your topic. Either have a graphics company create an assortment of professional looking posters or produce your own visually stimulating flip charts or slides. Use a variety of bright colors, borders, clip art, photos, or other images. Post sayings around the room at eye level to reinforce the program theme.

For additional creative ideas and strategies for creating a stimulating learning environment, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing, and Delivering Learning That Gets Results by Robert W. Lucas.

The Power of Training Aids in Adult Learning Environments

The Power of Training Aids in Adult Learning Environments

The Power of Training Aids in Adult Learning Environments

Using effective training aids in your training session can help reinforce your verbal message while stimulating the brains of your learners and tapping into different learning styles (modalities). By creating and using effective support material, you can help ensure that you will hold learner interest while helping them gain, retain, recognize, recall, and later use the information to which they are exposed. 

 

Two key things to remember about using training aids are that:

 

1. They are supposed to supplement your message, not replace it.

 

2. You must keep your learning aids simple. Do not become so distracted by adding glitz and sparkle when creating training materials that you forget their intended purpose — to reinforce your primary message.

 

Trainers and adult educators traditionally use many types of materials and items to help get their classroom message across to adult learners. Virtually anything can become a training aid.

 

There is a multitude of commercially produced products and equipment available to enhance training delivery. Trainers and educators can also design, build, and use many items that they create in order to enhance their learning environments. There is no hard and fast rule about what classifies as a training aid, so if some common item works to help communicate an idea or concept to your adult learners; use it.

 

For hundreds of creative training strategies, adult learning techniques, training activities, and resources tied to adult learning theory and brain-based learning research, which can aid learner retention, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners, The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and Team Facilitators, and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

The Importance Of Engaging Participants in Adult Learning Environments

The Importance Of Engaging Participants in Adult Learning Environments

The Importance Of Engaging Participants in Adult Learning Environments

Learning occurs in different ways for each adult learner. There is no one right way of presenting information and sharing your knowledge in order to assist the assimilation of knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, many trainers and educators do not realize or capitalize on this fact. Instead, they often provide information in a traditional lecture-based manner or in their own preferred format in hopes that everyone will get something out of it. The sad fact is that in many instances this strategy fails a percentage of learners in their group.

The Importance Of Engaging Participants in Adult Learning Environments by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author, and Blogger

Rather than taking a narrow delivery approach of using one or two methods through which you provide information, consider better ways to address learner needs. By tapping into adult learning theory and actively involving learners, you can help learners maximize learning outcomes. Think about the three primary learning styles or modalities (e.g. visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) and the various ways in which the brain best processes information. Also, look for ways to create a learning environment that continually challenges and stimulates the brain, and that supports the message that you are delivering.

Many options exist for getting people involved in the learning process and to have them share ideas and information. You can use energizer activities, puzzles, learning games, question and answer (Q&A) segments, interim reviews, role-plays, demonstrations, brainstorming, and many other events to challenge learners and get them to participate actively in their learning. You are often limited only by own imagination and desire to try other approaches.

For additional ideas and learning strategies that can be used to create an experiential learning environment that applies brain-based learning research and actively engages adult learners, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People, and Training Workshop  Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Gets Results. 

The Benefits of Engaging Adult Learners In An Accelerated Learning Environment

The Benefits of Engaging Adult Learners In An Accelerated Learning Environment

Accelerated learning (experiential learning) is based on adult learners being an active part of the learning environment.

Through learner, engagement facilitators help take them on a unique journey that incorporates all the cognitive, physical, and emotional aspects of learning outlined in a number of adult learning theories. This can be accomplished via the use of learning games and activities that allow participants to work through various issues, challenges, and problems during the session.

The Benefits of Engaging Adult Learners

In the process, learners identify potential options and gain new knowledge and insights that help them develop their own solutions to issues and situations to which they have been introduced. In effect, they become co-facilitators in their own learning and aid one another in recognizing solutions or developing strategies for applying what they learn once they leave the learning environment.

The Benefits of Engaging Adult Learners In An Accelerated Learning EnvironmentFor activities and games that can help engage your adult learners and allow them to not only enjoy their learning experience but also take ownership of learning outcomes and use what they experience, get a copy of Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

Robert W. Lucas is an expert on Adult Learning

Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South & Southeast, Bob Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert who specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. He has four decades of experience in customer service, human resources development, and management in a variety of organizational environments. Bob was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Bob has lived, traveled and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as, Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics.To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Creating An Enriched Adult Learning Environment Can Aid Learner Retention

Creating An Enriched Adult Learning Environment Can Aid Learner Retention

In the past twenty-five years, brain researchers have made many wonderful discoveries about how the human brain functions and processes information into memory. The result is that adult educators, trainers, and facilitators have redefined what a successful training environment should look like. They have also developed a plethora of brain-based learning strategies to tap into the three primary learning styles (e.g. visual learning, auditory learning, and kinesthetic learning).

Aid Learner RetentionAid Learner Retention

Through the use of accelerated learning approaches that actively engage the brains of adult learners, participants typically become a more intricate component in the learning process. For example, they use learning strategies such as getting participants to work individually or in small groups to identify issues or situations that they commonly encounter on the job, and then work to find solutions. This often encourages them to take ownership of the end product or ideas. Because of that, learners are more likely to use what they come up with and ensure the transfer of training to the workplace. This all relates to the adult learning theory that Malcolm Knowles proposed decades ago.

By using experiential learning techniques and a variety of learning strategies, such as the use of props, incentives, music, color, motion, and others creative training elements, tied to the activities described above, session leaders can increase the chance that adult learners will better gain, regain, recall and use what they experience.

For hundreds of ideas, activities, learning strategies, and suggestions for creating a stimulating learning environment for your adult learners get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners.

Learn about Robert W. Lucas

Listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the South & Southeast, also known as ‘Bob’ is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert who specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. He has four decades of experience in customer service, human resources development, and management in a variety of organizational environments. Bob was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD).

Robert Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Four Strategies for Making Adult Learning More Effective

Four Strategies for Making Adult Learning More Effective

By putting on your creative trainer hat, you can typically help ensure more positive and powerful learning outcomes in your training programs and adult education classes.

Four Strategies for Making Adult Learning More Effective

There are volumes of information available on the internet, in articles, and books that can help you maximize learning potential. No matter what your topic, if you take the time to prepare in advance and apply solid adult and brain-based learning strategies, you can create an environment in which everyone can participate and benefit at their own level of comfort and potential.

Four Strategies for Making Adult Learning More Effective by The Creative Trainer

Here are four simple strategies that can assist you in your efforts to make learning impactful:

  1. Let learners have the opportunity to share their personal experiences related to program topics whenever appropriate and possible.
  2. Mix theory with practice by changing the pace and style of your delivery every twenty minutes or so.
  3. Nurture comments and efforts made by learners in order to encourage further involvement by them and others.
  4. Organize all materials, furniture, and other elements of the learning environment before participants arrive so that they have a positive first impression.

For additional creative ideas on how to create and maintain learning environments that can engage and stimulate your learners, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results, and Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners. 

Three Ways to Get Adult Learners Back from Breaks on Time

Three Ways to Get Adult Learners Back from Breaks on Time

Getting adult learners to return from breaks and meals on time can sometimes be a challenge. This can be frustrating for you and the others who have returned as scheduled. However, it does not have to be that way. If you take some lessons learned by brain researchers on how the brain works best in a learning environment and adult learning theory, you can increase the opportunity to better engage your learners. Build in a bit of fun and novelty to your program design. Doing this can enhance the potential to better attract, engage, and hold learner attention through the session.

Three Ways to Get Adult Learners Back from Breaks on Time by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

Here are three simple techniques that I share in my train-the-trainer programs to help facilitators encourage trainees to return on time from breaks:Three Ways to Get Adult Learners Back from Breaks on Time

  1. Use what newscasters have been doing for decades. Employ a teaser like, “Following our break, I am going to provide those of you who are back with one  dynamic technique that will allow you to increase your production/effectiveness by 10% in the area of ….” Use this strategy exactly at the scheduled restart time and do not repeat it for those who show up late. In doing this, you provide an intangible incentive to be back on time.
  2. Prepare a fun activity (e.g. crossword or trivia puzzle) that you announce will be on their chairs when they return. The first person getting the most correct answers within five minutes of the restart time, get s a prize.
  3. Do something special after each break. For example, tell a humorous story, joke, or share a work-related trip or perform a magic trick that ties to session content. Those not present, miss out on the information.

For more creative ideas on how to tap into brain-based learning research to create a more stimulating and effective adult learning environment, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Books Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning, Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners, and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

Three Simple Ways to Engage Adult Learners

Three Simple Ways to Engage Adult Learners

Three Simple Ways to Engage Adult Learners

Adult Learning Theory (andragogy) and brain-based learning research both point to the effectiveness of actively engaging learners in order to maximize learning outcomes in training and adult education environments.

Here are three simple ways to help accomplish interactivity:

  • Divide learners into small groups for activities using creative techniques such as different colored erasers or toys placed at each learner seat to identify which group they will join.
  • Encourage learners to think outside the box when problem-solving or discussing real-life issues during a session.
  • Find different ways to engage learners throughout the session (e.g. brainstorming, discussion groups, nominal group activity, or role-play/simulation). Use multiple approaches during a session to keep participants mentally stimulated and physically engaged.

For creative ideas on learner engagement, applying brain-based learning research to training and educational environments and making your professional development sessions more interactive, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning; Energize Your Training: Creative Techniques to Engage Learners; and Creative Learning: Activities and Games That Really Engage People.

Three Simple Ways to Engage Adult Learners by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas

Robert W. Lucas is an internationally-known author and learning and performance expert. He specializes in workplace performance-based training and consulting services. Furthermore, he has four decades of experience in human resources development, management, and customer service in a variety of organizational environments. Robert Lucas was the 1995 and 2011 President of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD).

Robert W. Lucas has lived, traveled, and worked in 28 different countries and geographic areas. During the past 40 years, Bob has shared his knowledge with workplace professionals from hundreds of organizations, such as Webster University, AAA, Orange County Clerk of Courts, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, Martin Marietta, all U.S. military branches, and Wachovia Bank. In addition, Bob has provided consulting and training services to numerous major organizations on a variety of workplace learning topics. To contact Bob visit his website at www.robertwlucas.com or his blog www.thecreativetrainer.com.

Maximizing Outcomes in Adult Learning Environments

Maximizing Outcomes in Adult Learning Environments

Maximizing Outcomes in Adult Learning Environments

Preparation is the key to success in virtually everything you do in life. Training design and delivery are no different.  If you fail to prepare; your program is likely doomed to failure. It does not matter how smart you are or how much you know about a topic, if you do not take the time to design an effective interactive program based on actual learner needs, your efforts are wasted.

By analyzing the outcomes of brain-based research on how the brain best processes, stores and uses information, you can apply creative strategies to potentially enhance your adult learning environments. Such applications can help maximize learning outcomes. Additionally, planning creative activities, creating brain-based learning environments and using techniques that engage your learners are key strategies for ensuring that your learners get the most from their experience and that they will later be able to recall and use their new knowledge.

Planning creative activities, creating brain-based learning environments and using techniques that engage your learners are key strategies for ensuring that your learners get the most from their experience and that they will later be able to recall and use their new knowledge. Always use an innovative approach throughout the ISD (Instructional System Design) process and add variety so that you can address various learning styles and preferences. Also, remember to think like your learners, have an alternate plan in case you need to modify something before and during the session, and use a variety of learning strategies. By doing these things, you can positively impact the learning outcomes in your session.

For more ideas on applying brain-based or creative learning strategies that can aid in enhanced learning outcomes, get copies of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning and Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results.

The Role of Learner-Centered Activity in Training

The Role of Learner-Centered Activity in Training

To effectively engage and energize your participants, you must build a variety of learner-centered activities into each of your sessions. Brain-based learning research adult learning theory (andragogy) suggests that participants learn and retain more when they are an active part of the learning process. Such involvement can be the result of individual and/or group activity. In whatever format, involvement can lead to more confident, independent, and self-managed learners.

The Role of Learner-Centered Activity in Training by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Adult Training Author

The Role of Learner-Centered Activity in TrainingAs Carla Hannaford stresses in her book, Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All in Your Head, “To ‘pin down’ a thought, there must be movement. A person may sit quietly to think, but to remember a thought, an action must be used to anchor it.” Just as children learn through experimenting, so do adults, through experiential and accelerated learning strategies. To maximize the potential of such activities, provide a variety of opportunities for learners to mentally and physically process and practice information and skills.

One way to get learners involved is through the use of visual imagery exercises (visioning).  In such an activity, participants are asked to close their eyes and imagine or visualize themselves in an environment that you suggest and using the information or processes they have learned to successfully complete a task. For example, you might ask them to relax and imagine an environment in which they are using the steps to a decision-making process that you have taught them to solve workplace problems. Encourage participants to involve as many senses as possible and guide them through the imagery by asking questions like:

  •  What does the environment look like currently?
  • How does it feel to do (whatever the process entails)?
  • How does it look as you are performing (the activity)?
  • What positive feedback do others give you as a result of your actions?
  • What is the final outcome after you successfully performed the task?

An alternative way of conducting a visioning activity is to have participants envision a situation, then open their eyes and write down a description of their image or draw a picture of it. As participants are introduced to the activity, you can provide some light classical, Baroque, or instrumental music in the background. Some current musicians who have produced music include Dave Koz, Kenny G, Giovanni Marradi, Jai Peng Fang, and George Winston. Just be selective and find tunes that are more mellow and lower beat for your activities so that you do not distract learners.

Other individual activities to potentially stimulate learning include the use of:

The Role of Learner-Centered Activity in TrainingFor additional ideas on how to actively engage learners and stimulate your learning environment get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.