Using Brain Research to Enhance Adult Learning
Brain researchers continue to discover the importance of various factors on the human brain in an adult learning environment. When integrated with existing adult learning theory, this research can aid learners in potentially better mastering session content. To capitalize on neuroscientific research findings, you can design your learning environments in a manner in which participants have maximum access to information and flexibility to address their individual learning styles or modalities.
You should also plan activities in which they can best use their five senses to receive and process information. It is important that all elements of your adult learning environment complement subject matter as close as possible. Never use something that does not directly support the accomplishment of your learning objectives. To ensure that this happens to consider your audience, organizational culture, subject matter, and expected outcomes for the training.
Enhance Adult Learning
With these factors in mind, set out to create a learning utopia in which you address all the elements of brain-based learning 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 many of the concepts that brain researchers have found stimulate brain neurons and help create memories (e.g. color, lighting, sound, movement, novelty, and learner engagement).
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 enhance your training. Often, for only a small amount of time and money (less than $50 dollars) you can obtain decorations, materials, and props that will add pizzazz to your classroom. In doing so, you can help to better attract and hold learner attention while relaying your thoughts and ideas to them. You can also reconfigure seating or modify lighting to better accommodate participants and their individual learning needs (e.g. sight or hearing impairments).
The key to enhancing and enriching your training environment is to add variety and novelty while fully engaging learners. Make it your goal to entice, challenge, raise emotion and stimulate their brains to a point where the transfer of training to the workplace is a natural outcome.
For additional thoughts and ideas on applying what researchers have discovered about the brain and how you might apply it in the design and delivery of adult learning events, check out Training Workshop Essentials: Designing, Developing and Delivering Learning Events That Get Results and The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.