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P13 Know the Mind, Know the Learner: Applying Brain Science to Improve Training

8:30 AM - 4:30 PM PT
Tuesday, October 19

Tracks: Instructional Design

We work hard to create effective training experiences but we are disappointed when our employees fail to learn or don’t transfer learning back to their workplace. We might choose to blame the learner or our technology, but training often fails because we don’t understand the mind of the learner. As a result, we build training modules that are not consistent with the brain’s natural means of acquisition. Furthermore, we fail to reinforce memory and to collect data that will allow us to iterate our training and make it more effective. Training should be more effective, and it can be more effective once we understand how the learner’s mind operates.

In this energetic workshop, you’ll explore 10 core principles that will help you understand how the brain controls learning and memory. Through demonstrations, you will gain an exciting new understanding of the mind that will help you create training programs that will effectively engage the brain and maximize learning and recall. This workshop provides you the opportunity to explore and overcome the training problems within your organization. After, you will have both a deep understanding of 10 core principles of modern cognitive science, and you will be able to immediately deploy these ideas to create training that is tailored to the human mind. You will also learn to create a systematic program of follow-up training that overcomes the forgetting curve and allows your organization generate Level 4 and 5 data that proves the value of your training. The workshop will be highly interactive and each of the 10 concepts will be taught using videos, demonstrations, and stand-up activities. Once all of the concepts have been introduced, we will present you with a series of training challenges, and you will have hands-on opportunities to create learning modules that link into the human mind. Come prepared to have fun and learn.

In this session, you will learn:

  • To design training and change management solutions that are compatible with the brain’s natural way of learning
  • To create social learning communities that are based on psychological principles of observational learning
  • To use social media, mobile devices, and coach-on-demand technologies in ways that produce pro-social change
  • To improve employees’ attention within mobile learning by understanding the secrets to people’s levels of consciousness
  • To design effective “follow-up training” by tapping into mnemonic principles of memory
  • To deliver either visual messages or auditory messages based on an understanding of the brain’s dual-coding mechanisms

Technology discussed:

Micro-training, video training, post-training reinforcement, gamification

Art Kohn


ASPIRE Consulting Group

Dr. Art Kohn earned his PhD in cognitive science at Duke University and is a professor of business at Portland State University. His research explores how to maximize learning and memory. He was named National Professor of the Year and won Fulbright Fellowships in cognitive psychology in distance education. He consults with Google Inc. on their international training program and with the Centers for Disease Control on using social messaging for addressing HIV in the developing world. He is the author of Communicating with Psychology and he develops interactive media products for higher education and for corporate training.