How neuroscience principles can lead to better learning

Our brains are hardwired to learn in a certain way, but too often, people approach learning in ways that run counter to what works best. Ben Eubanks is an author, speaker, and the Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory — in his Prezi video, he shares three ways that employers and educators alike can apply neuroscience principles to develop better learning. Watch his video below or read on for his tips.

Appeal to the natural explorer in all of us 

The vast majority of people learn best by being hands-on and experimenting, Ben argues. Putting people through formal training or classroom settings will only hamper learning instead of encouraging it. He recommends giving people some “white space” and encouraging them to try things. This will allow your students or employees to observe, hypothesize, experiment, and draw conclusions, which will help them better understand key concepts. 

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Don’t forget — we often forget 

A one-and-done approach to learning will only result in people forgetting (almost) everything. Ben points to a study that found students only retained 10 percent of learning concepts after three days. To help with this, he suggests offering multiple touchpoints throughout the learning process. Make sure you bring concepts back up repeatedly, and offer plenty of opportunities for learners to apply these concepts. 

Skip the boring stuff

How long did it take you to tie your shoes? Ben poses this question because chances are you have no idea. Our brain automatically eliminates information and inputs that it deems unnecessary, and this applies to the things you learn as well. If something is boring or irrelevant, then we simply won’t retain it. Ben emphasizes that relevance is everything — your learners need to understand how the concepts they’re learning connects to a bigger picture or impact. Once they make that connection, it’ll act as a motivator to drive higher effort and performance. 

Take another look at how you encourage learning, whether it’s in the classroom or workplace, and see if you’re applying these neuroscience principles. Check out more research from Ben and his team, and start learning more effectively today. And, be sure to visit our Video Gallery, where you’ll find inspiration from many other educators and professionals already applying these principles to how they present.

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