Use the science of learning to embed your training programmes

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Remember the teacher in Charlie Brown and Snoopy?

Sitting alongside Linus, his sleeping classmate, all Charlie could hear was an undecipherable drone coming from the front of the classroom – wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa, wa.

We could all empathise with Charlie. But then we were kids, and that was the ‘70’s, and surely we’re beyond that now. Hopefully.

Well, I’m not sure we are.

How many training courses have you sat through that conjure up memories of Charlie’s mind-numbing learning experiences.

Being talked at, rather than engaged, is a typical failing of poorly designed training. Which is why moving from lecture-based to experiential is essential to effective learning programmes.

The science of great learning has four key steps:

1. Explain the learning point 2. Demonstrate the learning
3. Create experimental practice 4. Review learning & consolidate it

These are proven means of delivering effective training.

However to ensure this training model is embedded and has longevity we asked Samantha Ward, our Organisational psychologist to explain the best way to approach the learning. She specified three key elements worth noting:

  1. Create a Safe Environment

If training vehicles such as word plays, case studies, group discussions etc are to be introduced then it is important to create a safe environment.

Overcome peoples anxieties by emphasizing the confidential nature of the training; allow people to explore the learning unencumbered and with no fear of judgment.

Samantha referred to a training session for up skilling senior mangers to coach their teams. Part of the training mix was a role-play exercise which was introduced only in the afternoon, allowing people to become comfortable with the surroundings and build confidence in front of their peers.

  1. Have a Clear Business Need

It is essential to have a clear business need for the training. Once this is established the learning objectives will hang off this.

They need to be specific, measurable and especially time bound, so that it is known by when the training should be embedded. The use of the SMARTER principle is a great help in designing the learning objective.

Outlining the business need not only helps focus the training; it also helps to justify the training investment to key stakeholders.

  1. Know Your Audience

It is vital to understand the audience when designing learning.

  • Who are the people in the room?
  • What are their capabilities
  • How do they fit with the complexities and usefulness of the material
  • Respect their experience and anticipate what they are bringing to the room
  • Remember that they are not passive and need to be active in the learning process

To hear more from Samantha and other learning strategies listen to the Uspire webinar “Designing to Embed, A Core Leadership Competence

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