Corporate Training Programs | Brain-Based Research and Learning

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Brain-Based Research and Learning

Research about the brain and how it learns is fascinating, and it provides many new considerations related to learning. There are three things that strike me as very important in brain-based learning. The first is the importance of making associations. The second is active involvement. The third is emotion. Each of these points will be addressed in this post, starting with associations.

The importance of associations cannot be underestimated. According to Cercone, “The human brain is always looking to make associations between incoming information and experience” (2006, p. 298). Because this is an important way for the brain to grow, it must be considered as a part of learning and Corporate Training Programs. For me, this means that I must find a way to help students make connections between what they already know and what they must learn. One way in which I do this is through the use of advance organizers. There are many different styles of advance organizers, and they can each be used as a means to help students learn new material by showing them how it relates to what they already know.

In addition to making connections, it is also important to ensure that students are actively involved in the learning in Corporate Training Programs. By keeping students actively involved, there is less of a chance of the students becoming bored by what is being taught. While hands-on activities are a great way to ensure this, physical activity can also be useful. One example that Cercone (2006) gives is to have students perform physical dexterity exercises to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain. For example, students can march in place or touch their right leg with their left hand. In my own classes, I have found these exercises to work quite well to keep students engaged in the learning; I have actually had them march in place while learning how to use formulas in Microsoft Excel!

Just as important as associations and active learning, ensuring that students are reached emotionally is also very useful. As Cercone (2006) mentions, I vividly recall what I was doing on September 11, 2001, and it was indeed related to learning. I will never forget it! While I do not believe that this extreme type of emotional connection is a good thing, making some kind of positive emotional connection can be very helpful for students. One of the best types of emotion that I have found useful in class is happiness. If I can keep my students very happy, through the use of humor and fun learning activities, they seem to retain more information. The emotional connection they have with the material makes it easier for them to remember the information in the future.

Brain-based learning is still a young field, and we will undoubtedly know more about it in the future. Even so, there is plenty that we currently know about how the brain learns. By using what we know about the brain in our Corporate Training Programs, we have a better chance of connecting with our students and helping them in the learning process.

Reference

Cercone, K. (2006). Brain-based learning. In Sorenson, E. K. (Ed.). (2006). Enhancing learning through technology. (pp. 292-320). Hershey, PA, USA: Information Science Publishing.

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Scott Fabel is a senior corporate training consultant with Computer Aid, Inc. He has over 18 years of experience working with various Fortune 1000 companies on Help Desk Implementations, Microsoft Technologies, Business Analysis, and Project Management. This includes both consultative services and customized training programs. He is HDI certified, PMP certified, CBAP certified, and a MCT. Scott has been teaching others business skills, professional skills, and technical skills for more than 13 years. He is a faculty fellow at the University of Delaware and is currently pursuing his doctorate in education for which his dissertation will focus on the benefits of corporate training and mobile learning. He speaks three languages and was recently inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame. His communication skills, combined with his martial art skills, provide him with a unique combination for keeping his sessions informative, lively, and interactive.

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