LEARN|July 4, 2020
By: D.C. Alves M.Ed., Chief Leadership Officer, ExuLAB
Learning transformation only happens when learning is acquired, as I like to call it, so deeply within the DNA... the living molecules of the learner that it viscerally becomes one with their very being. Wow! That is very powerful! Some learning, unfortunately, falls very very dismally short of meeting this goal. I can think back to countless conferences, webinars, online learning, and in-person classes, and what I know for sure is that most learning that does not create memory is lost for the long term. You may remember for the very short term- a couple of hours or even a day- but then eventually it just disappears as though it never even happened. Shocking!
Research by Hermann Ebbinghaus' hypothesis findings called "The Forgetting Curve" from his 1885 published work "Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology" offers us such proof.
Learning that creates, what I call, "strong memory" lasts forever. Why-because this learning is part of your DNA, your molecules! It has been embedded deeply within for recall and application. Imagine if you could create such learning transformation in your organization! Imagine what could be possible for your learners, their impact and the prosperity of your organization.
Only those learning experiences that create strong memory are worth your time and money to create. If not, it is a waste. Period. Without the creation of strong memory, it would be the same as if the learning never even occurred.
So, how do you create "strong memory". One word- EMOTION.
I can honestly tell you that throughout my decades plus long escapade in the world of learning and leadership development, the countless books, research, conferences, talks, workshops, articles- ad nauseum- the one sure thing that works and gets results transformation is summed up by this one little three syllable word.
Many people are scared to use emotion- they are scared because they don't know how and/or lack the mindset for embedding emotion into the learning design. See, when you design with emotion, you, yourself must abandon yourself, your ego and fly where the emotional inspiration takes you- when you design with emotion you are are in creativity- and creativity requires freedom to explore and capture the inspiration that just may so choose to grace you with its presence- and when it does- WHAT A GIFT! Gratitude fills me and am humbled by its awesome power!
All of this is in service to your learner.
It takes commitment and courage to open yourself up to this process.
Here are 3 easy very basic helpful tips that you can use in online and in-person learning design to get you to step into the creative process that enables "strong memory" to flourish through the creative use of the beautiful power of emotion.
3 Helpful Tips
Music can wake up your learners- in a good way! Be very intentional about the mood that you want to create. Some of the best learning moods I have found are- contemplative for reflection and intense critical thinking and problem solving or high energy for intense recall and application. Consider meditative music for reflection and high BPM (beats per minute) music- think high intensity dance music-for high energy sessions.
Choice creates personal bonding to learning concepts. Choice also creates personal ownership of learning. Consider using choice in the most unexpected of places in your learning design. Choice is best used when it comes as a surprise. Consider limiting choice to a maximum of 3 options.
Color evokes different emotional responses. Be intentional in your usage of color. Typical "learning colors" are purple, blue and green. Colors such as red evoke excitement and positivity and or fear (caveat- be very careful with using fear in learning- fear should be limited to non- threatening limited loss aversion and delivered in a very safe intentional way with a positive outcome.) Bright yellow evokes cheerfulness. Consider the use of primary colors- they are playful colors to evoke adult creativity, free expression and ego-less action.
For more tips and helpful coaching on how to create "strong memory" in your learning design contact firstname.lastname@example.org.