Brain science is not one particular subject, but an amalgam of several interrelated disciplines like psychology, neurology, molecular biology, and behavioral science. In this article, we’ll discuss the learning techniques and theories eLearning professionals use involving brain science in corporate eLearning to improve employee training.
eLearning has been around for decades. However, it has picked up speed only in the last decade or so, and is now considered not only a viable option to replace traditional classroom training, but its assured successor. The reason behind eLearning’s successful stint recently is the fact that corporate organizations (or rather their learning and development departments) as well as digital learning vendors have begun using actual brain science in their eLearning courses to help learners retain and apply information in a better manner. But what brain science are we talking about? Let’s find out.
What Is Brain Science And How Does It Help Improve Corporate eLearning?
Well, brain science is not one particular subject, but an amalgam of several interrelated disciplines like psychology, neurology, molecular biology, and behavioral science. When eLearning professionals utilize these disciplines when creating eLearning courses, they know what they’re doing. Brain science, thus, when talked about in terms of eLearning, is simply a mixed discipline used by L&D or eLearning professionals to help information stick to the brain. Let us now discuss the learning techniques and theories eLearning professionals use to make that happen.
- Situated Learning
The situated learning theory says that when we learn and apply knowledge in the same context, we do it better. For example, a race car driver who has learned to drive race cars on a track will be able to use his skills best on a race track. The situated learning theory can be used by eLearning professionals do design immersive simulations which put learners/employees in real-life situations they’ll be likely to encounter in their jobs, thus giving them a virtual space to learn and apply skills without the risk of consequences. Later on, they’ll be able to apply what they’ve learned in the simulation in their actual lives.
- Peer Learning
Human beings learn best in groups or from their peers. Learning from their peers leads to better learning because there are no hindrances in communication between peers or colleagues. Employees are much more informal and open with their peers than with instructors or seniors. Peer learning can be used in eLearning by assigning eLearning courses to a team of employees (made up of 2 or more employees), designed in a way that requires teamwork, discussions and collaboration. Peer learning is not so different from social learning, which is widely used in a number of sizeable organizations these days.
- Interleave Learning
The interleave learning theory says that the human brain learns best through contrast and challenge, as they help stimulate it better. This can be applied to corporate eLearning by switching up learning strategies or approaches mid-course. For example, switching to a gamified learning exercise in the middle of a video-based approach in order to interleave learning concepts. A similar approach is used by bodybuilders to train their muscles, where they do different types of exercises using the same set of muscles to train them effectively, rather than doing one type of exercise repeatedly.
- Generative Learning
This theory says that our brains learn best when they create something from scratch once they’ve learned a new skill or some new information, as it helps make it interesting and is moved to long-term memory. For example, once you’ve taught an employee from your sales team how to perform a cost-benefit analysis, ask them to perform a cost-benefit analysis on their own, on any of the organization’s existing or potential customers of their choice. eLearning designers can use a number of interactivities, characters and options in the eLearning course for the learner to encourage them to creatively apply the new concept they’ve learned.
Using the above mentioned theories and techniques will help eLearning designers stick their content onto the learners’ grey matter. There are a number of other advancements in brain science that keep happening all around the world, which can be used by L&D as well as eLearning professionals to improve the retention and application of knowledge in corporate employees. The best way to let learning bloom is to keep providing the learners with videos, articles and other resources about brain science as well, so that they understand how their own brains work.