Did you know that the human stomach has gastric folds within it that allow it to stretch to contain up to 4 liters of food and fluid? This makes me think of the accordion blinds that hang in my office window.
This is one of many facts I am learning as I study anatomy – a COVID quarantine way to pass my time. Trying to learn something that is totally new and unconnected to my career path or other hobbies has been a fascinating journey. It has given me the opportunity to consider and apply the cognitive and neuroscience research from the perspective of the learner. This, in turn, has led me to create even more ideas to support the learners in my training sessions.
For example, we know from research that making connections between prior and new knowledge improves understanding and retention. Instructors often use analogies to assist learners in making these connections. While helpful, these are instructor-driven rather than learner-driven. Given that not all learners have the same background or personal interests, it has been proven more effective to have the learners create their own connections. Here’s a simple and effective way to do it:
Telling isn't that same as teaching. Participating isn't the same as learning. So pack your session with research-based ideas like this one. Want more? Contact me to discuss how we can customize some professional learning activities for your team.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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