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5 Facts Every L&D Professional Needs to Know

5factsThere’s a lot to consider when you’re devising a new training and development plan for your organisation’s employees. Here are five facts that will make the entire process much easier for L&D professionals!

Fact #1. Remember: boredom kills

When our brains are active, we can absorb a whopping 84% more information than when we are bored. This is because when we’re bored, the amygdala (a part of the brain involved in the processing of memory, decision-making and emotional reactions) becomes hyperactive and sends information straight into the lower 80% of the brain – where it can’t be used or remembered.

So don’t bore your learners. It’s absolutely vital that they are engaged in their training programmes if you want the L&D roll-out to be a success.

QuestioningFact #2. We need a reason to learn

If I ask you to go away and learn the states and capital cities of America, you’ll probably ask, “Why?” or “What’s in it for me?”

It’s exactly the same for your learners. If they don’t know why they’re being asked to undertake training or what it’ll do for their career, they’ll think it’s just a waste of their time.

“Taking this ISMM course will give you an Ofqual-recognised sales and marketing qualification that will be a great addition to your CV and may help your promotion prospects,” is far more likely to motivate employees than, “You have been enrolled on the ISMM Level 3 Certificate eLearning course. Please log in to your Learning Management System to take it.”

Fact #3. Bite-size is best

As humans, we can only remember a certain amount of information at any one time. If we try to squeeze in any more we’ll simply get ‘cognitive overload’ – a term coined by educational psychologist John Sweller in 1998. Once this hits, we’re unable to remember anything new, hence why bite-size nuggets of learning content is best.

BrainFact #4. Repetition, repetition, repetition

It’s incredibly unlikely we’ll remember anything without repetition. Think of moving house – it takes a while to remember your new postcode and landline number. For a couple of weeks you might have to carry the information around in your wallet, but after a few times of telling people and writing it down, you’ll find you know it off by heart. That’s why repetition is so vital in learning.

But we don’t mean repetition in the sense of asking learners to write out an answer ten times or going through an eLearning module twice or more. Instead, this repetition can be achieved after the learning has taken place – through ‘social’ learning. Social or informal learning involves sharing information with fellow learners after the eLearning has ended, and collaborating on projects. It can be web-based (such as our Insights Groups) or taken into the classroom for team-based learning. Either way, it works to reinforce what has been learnt and get it to stick in learners’ minds.

Fact #5. Fun is fantastic

Fact #1 explained the importance of avoiding boredom, and said that the solution lies in engaging learners. One of the ways to do this is to make learning fun through the use of gamification. It involves awarding points, badges and achievements to learners as they process through their training, and it really works – evidence shows that our brains are 68% more active when we’re having fun, and since we’ve already seen that brain activity improves information absorption by 84%, it’s clear why gamification should be a part of your training and development plan!

Find out more about gamification in eLearning and how it supercharges learner engagement by downloading our free white paper!

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