Writing in CLO Magazine, Carol Leaman posted an article called Learning to Read Their Minds. In the article Leaman discusses lessons learned in the last ten years by scientists studying the human bran and how those lessons apply to learning.
Leaman offers three cognitive strategies. They are as follows.
1. Repeated retrieval – Leaman recommends testing people frequently to help them recall information. She doe not recommend testing per se. Rather, she recommends using short series of questions that force retrieval of information.
During this Examiner’s masters program at Webster University, a psychology professor described brain processing as the mowing of pathways through tall grass in the brain. Each piece of learning mows a new path. Leaman uses a similar metaphor and recommends that, if you can get a participant to go down a path a second or more times, you can lock in learning.
Another application is the simple quizzing of past pieces of critical information that a facilitator repeats throughout a training program. You may actually be “mowing new grass” in your learners’ minds.
2. Spacing – Leaman recommends repeating information at specific time increments with gaps in-between. The article features a graph that displays the repetition curve. Leaman recommends including information learned during training in on-the-job situations to aid recall.
3. Deep encoding – The third recommendation is to link new information to information already learned. Leaman recommends building new information on top of existing cognitive structures. She also suggests breaking information into smaller chucks, with four or five bits of information presented at a time. Finally, she recommends making learning fun to encourage learner engagement.
Taken together, there is nothing really new in this article. The information is, nevertheless, helpful to any learning professional seeking to deliver more effective results.
The original article can be found at http://clomedia.com/articles/view/learning-to-read-their-minds.