Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2016 - (Page 57)

SCIENCE OF LEARNING CREATING BRAIN-COMPATIBLE MATERIALS - ART KOHN, P H.D. Some materials are inherently harder to learn. For example, take a minute, and try to memorize the following letters: CI AOS HAUF OHR DMV. It's hard, isn't it? Your brain wants to impose meaning, but the 15 letters seem random and research shows that our brain is terrible at remembering random facts. You probably face similar challenges when asked to teach your employees equally random bits of information about your company's products or procedures. They simply can't remember everything. One solution is to teach these disparate facts in new and exciting ways. Perhaps you can insert a new drag-and-drop game into the learning exercise or provide incentives for people who pass a quiz. A better possibility, however, is to restructure your content so that it is more meaningful and therefore easier to learn. Using the current example, consider how much easier it would be if we rearranged the letters into more meaningful chunks: CIA OSHA UFO HR DMV. Now, instead of having to learn 15 letters, they simply need to remember five more meaningful chunks. This is a whole lot easier. To extend this logic even further, we can combine these syllables into a single easily remembered sentence: The CIA discovered OSHA violations and a UFO in the Human Resources department of the DMV. Suddenly, the entire collection of 15 letters becomes easy to remember. MNEMONICS Making difficult material more accessible lies at the heart of effective teaching. Mnemonics are memory devices that are proven to help learners recall information. There are many types of mnemonics and each is best suited to remembering different types of material. Most mnemonics fall into two broad categories: (1)Verbal: those that organize operative terms into a distinctive pattern (2)Visual: those that involve the creation of memorable images VERBAL MNEMONICS Within the category of verbal mnemonics, the best known technique is the method of word associations. In this technique, simple cues such as acronyms organize the disparate information into a single pithy statement. For example, students can remember the name "Roy G. Biv" to be reminded of the sequence of the color spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet). Researchers found that subjects who used this word association technique recalled six times more information than subjects who used simple rote techniques. In another technique, known as the method of fixed rhythms, verbal material is organized into verse or other phonological order. For example, the jingle "Thirty days has September..." is effective because its rhymes and lyrics make it memorable. These same principles of lyric and verse enabled Homeric bards to memorize the Iliad in its T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - SPRING20 1 6 I WWW.TRAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE entirety, and in more modern times, enables even our most mediocre learners to recall lyrics from a vast number of popular songs and television commercials. VISUAL MNEMONICS Among the visual mnemonic techniques, the method of loci - which Roman orators developed to help them recall major points during their long speeches - promotes memory by associating important ideas with familiar locations. To use this technique, students need to imagine strolling through a sequence of familiar locations such as the front entrance, their desk, the conference room, the cafeteria and so on. Then, when they need to remember the twelve stages of a sales fulfilment procedure, for example, they associate each stage with a location along their walk. In one test of the method of loci, college students memorized a list of 40 concrete nouns by placing the objects at various locations around campus. When tested immediately, the students correctly recalled an average of 38 of the items. When the test was delayed until the next day, they recalled an average of 34. By restructuring difficult content, learners are better able to apply meaning and improve recall. Mnemonics can be a useful learning tool to make complex information more memorable. Dr. Art Kohn is an internationally recognized professor, speaker, consultant and cognitive psychologist who helps organizations apply insights from science and technology to solve their organizational challenges. Email Art. 57

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2016

Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2016
Transforming the Classroom Experience
Table of Contents
Onboarding Successful Leaders
Will the App Become the New Classroom?
The Evolving Classroom
Developing Micro-Learning for Micro-Moments
Testing the Waters with Mobile Learning
Incorporating Instant Messaging into Communciations Training
Tools for the Mixed Physical and Virtual Classroom
Training a Diverse Workforce
Next Generation Classroom: Providing the Ultimate Learning Experience
Meeting the Five Moments of Need
Save the Learners: Build a Serious Game Strategy
Universal Design for Learning Revolutionizing the Classroom Experience
Crossing Cultural Training
The Changing Face of Training Outsourcing
Design Learning so Everyone Gets an 'A'
Creating Brain-Compatible Materials
Four Ways to Become an Agent of Learning, Not Change
BizLibrary Invests in the Science of Memory
Company News
What's Online
Training Talk

Training Industry Magazine - Spring 2016