In many respects, neurosciences is uncovering new perspectives on how we might learn or validating old theories. Here are 3 ways neuroscience can guide improvement in learning design.
You are a learning professional in your company. No one knows your skill set, job or processes better than you. Now your boss or the Learning and Development (L&D) department has asked you to give a presentation to business partners. You think to yourself “meh, piece of cake! I just tell people how things work and that should do it.” Think again...
Learning and Development (L&D) seems to always be 15 to 20 years behind whatever academia has provided in research and practice. So it's the case with learner-centered approaches to learning which seem to be derived from student-centered approaches practiced by school teachers. A learner-centered approach works great in school and academic settings because the teacher takes the time to get to know each kid and cater to their individual needs. Sadly, this it's not the norm in those environments.
Do we have loads of misinformation and hidden marketing ploys confusing the average learning professional today! Of course, we are dealing with the dilution of Instructional Design (ID) as a field, the lack of knowledge and practice of Instructional System Development (ISD), and the cool and popular concept of Learning Experience Design (LXD).
You have been there and you also, like me, rolled your eyes back into your skull when you saw some clever L&D "expert" pull up a pixelated image of the forgetting curve. Why? Apparently, it's the only thing you should show your C-suite to justify more courses or learning events since we forget stuff over a series of hours and days. What is the forgetting curve? It's the pioneering work of eminent German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) on memory retention from 1880 and 1885 for time savings on relearning.
What gets over 23 thousand views, 600 reactions and over 250 comments on a LinkedIn post? You guessed it! A post about Learning Styles. Why? Well, it's complicated, like your Facebook status. No, it's not. Although many people have already cross the bridge of cognitive dissonance and departed the fields of cognitive bias; learning styles are still the main reason why Learning and Development is neither learning nor developing.
Much of the attribution to a systems approach to training comes from the remnants of what was known as systems analysis. The latter is an engineering process employed by the US military during World War II which gathered a team of experts to work together on a programmatic solution and complex tasks.