Infographic: Boost Your Training with the Neuroscience of Education

Eureka! In recent years, neuroscience research has made findings that could transform training and education. We’ve popped the results into our infographic-o-whizz-9000. Out came this handy piece brimming with tips for your next L&D project, and the lessons are spot on for both companies and schools.

One of the more interesting findings is that while many know neuroscience can improve training, few are applying its findings. That means this infographic shows how you can impress your boss with widely accepted ideas, but still leap ahead of your professional peers.

So, make your learners recall more for longer, boost their motor skills, and see their comprehension soar.

Note: A text-only version of the infographic is available below.

Neuroscience of Education


Text-Only Version

Knowing About the Brain Helps L&D People Train

We’ve looked into the latest research on the neuroscience of learning. This exciting new field has created a wealth of great tips to make L&D more effective, but you can relax. Understanding neuroscience isn’t brain surgery.

How Neuroscience Can Boost L&D

  • Learners Become More Engaged
  • Better Training Creates Cost Savings
  • Fewer Staff Leave
  • Training Impresses Learners
  • You Can Increase Your Confidence and Credibility as a Practitioner
  • Trainers Can Confirm Hunches About What Makes L&D Effective
  • The Field Opens Up Other Perspectives and Creates Discussion

Many Professionals Know About the Neuroscience of L&D…

  • 64% are aware of the neurochemistry of learning
  • 65% are aware of brain plasticity
  • 65% are aware of learning through ‘deep practice’
  • 76% are aware of generational changes in brain function affecting learning e.g. the difference between younger and older learners
  • 78% are aware of cognitive issues around decision making, such as type 1 and type 2 thinking
  • 71% are aware of ‘mentalising systems’, which are how we process signals from other people and how this affects social learning.
  • 71% are aware of unconscious thought theory, such as problem-solving through our intuitive mind when we’re not actively trying.
  • 70% are aware of learning states during game-based learning
  • 81% are aware of the correlation between physical exercise and increased learning performance
  • 77% are aware that human reasoning and logic affect how we learn e.g. cognitive traps and illusions
  • 64% are aware that ‘mirror neurons’ help embed learning, e.g. through role-modeling

…But You Can Be at the Cutting Edge of Applying It

  • 6% use it
  • 12% use it
  • 13% use it
  • 13% use it 16% use it
  • 16% use it 18% use it
  • 24% use it
  • 25% use it 25% use it
  • 27% use it

5 Neuroscience Findings That Can Help L&D

  1. The brain is plastic. You can use this fact to boost creativity with tasks that make unusual mental connections. E.g. people write better stories when asked to incorporate a set of unrelated words. This strategy automatically raises activity in brain regions associated with creative effort.
  2. Space out learning sessions. An MRI study has shown that we do more unconscious practicing when the learning is spaced out over time. This is true for studying facts, grammar, mathematics and many other topics.
  3. Sleep is important for memory. Our sleeping brain replays activities that reflect our daytime experiences, which helps us to remember better. Quite simply, get learners to sleep more. Also cutting out their caffeine creates much more efficient sleep, and learning.
  4. Using technology wisely trains brains better. Late at night, close, bright screens can delay production of a key sleep hormone more than TV. Yet action video games appear to develop cognitive skills like switching visual attention, ignoring distraction and enhancing contrast sensitivity. Interestingly, laporoscopic surgeons playing these games make far fewer errors.
  5. Take regular exercise. Regular aerobic exercise boosts the efficiency of brain systems important for learning and concentration. Also, exercise stimulates the hippocampus which aids memory. In one study, adults showed a 20% increase in memory performance for words learned straight after two three-minute sprints. e-Learning on the Wii anyone?

5 Brain Friendly Training Ideas

  1. Introduce activities which help delegates process information themselves, for example by sorting information or storytelling.
  2. Find time for active reflection and regular breaks.
  3. Provide information in short bursts, of no more than ten minutes.
  4. Introduce movement and exercise into blended learning situations.
  5. Think about how to create stronger memories with emotion, for example using laughter and happiness or shock and disgust.

Sources: CIPD Research Results

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