Synthesis. The human brain has a tremendous capacity to store data, information, and experiences. By tapping the regions of the brain where experiences are amassed, we can activate instant learning. At times, all we need to do is allow the learners to be by themselves and avoid interrupting their process of learning.
In a workshop I was running, I asked participants to come up with the shortest and most instantaneous way to help learners recall memories of some work incidents and events. My idea is that experiences help us learn instant learning.
Due to past occurrences in our lives, we retain certain information and react spontaneously towards conditions or environments which are similar to the past set of experiences.
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I continued to challenge the thinking of the participants and asked them these questions:
- How do we develop instant learning?
- How do we help learners instantly a past experience to remind them of a lesson or policy?
1. Lapses of memory. Most participants who have learned about safety are aware of the policies and have been trained in safety procedures. Accidents do happen when there are moments of lapses where the worker is not paying attention. To provide instant learning - like Chainsaw Joe - they must be reminded of the safety policy they already know. It is not learning new ideas, but application and reinforcing the ideas that can be easily forgotten.I attended a TEDX session at Caltech last January 14, 2013. One presenter, Allan Jones shared a research that showed, that a micron of a brain section is lodged with terabytes of data. Scientists are awed by the extent of wiring in our brains due to the expanse of memory stored.
2. Learning by drawing from abundance of experience. Participants were almost unanimous in saying that abundance of experience is the source of instant learning. When a child accidentally touches a candle’s flame and gets his or her finger burned by it, that kid would grow up knowing that fire is hot and definitely dangerous. After that experience, the child learned instantly and carries that lesson throughout life.
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To draw learners’ attention instantly, it is logical that we appeal to the most abundant areas of our brains in terms of experience. Why? The wealth of experiences can quickly help learners connect the context of the idea like Chainsaw Joe to a past experience. Hence, when one views Chainsaw Joe, the person is instantaneously and unconsciously reminded of a past incident and the learning. I certainly believe that this is one way to help learners learn quickly and reinforce what they already know.
1. In designing quick and short learning nuggets, draw from the abundance of the learners’ experiences.For further information, preview the Webinar Recording on Instant Learning. Click here.
2. It is OK to be brief, snappy and concise, like Chainsaw Joe. Allow the brain to take over the learning.
3. The shorter, the better, since we allow learners to draw from experience faster. Avoid interrupting learners’ learnings. Click here.
Instant Learning: How it works and how to make it happen?
Map of the Brain by Allan Jones, TEDx, Caltech video