5 easy brain tips #2 for engaging learners

 This is the second of my series of blogs from a session I ran at the CIPD NAP conference. The five tips can be remembered by using the mnemonic CRUMMSS.

  • C – choice – last weeks blog
  • R – Rewards – this weeks blog
  • UM – Use metaphors
  • MS – Microskills
  • S – stories

IMG_1186R for Rewards. There has to be some reward involved for people to make the changes to their behaviour that the organisation needs. Just holding on to their jobs may not be enough.

When there is the promise of reward, dopamine is released into the bloodstream and this keeps learners engaged. You can put your brain into the right chemical sweet spot by thinking about the rewards and also using humour.

Both dopamine and adrenaline, are neurochemicals which are produced when excited. Fear just yields adrenaline. The expectation of a negative event also reduces dopamine. Too much adrenaline causes negative effects. So getting the right balance between excitement and engagement is crucial.

IMG_5003Recent research from the CIPD(1), shows that using uncertain rewards in learning can help increase adults emotional response to the learning and can be used to enhance the learning experience. Games with random prizes can play a significant part in retaining the attention of your learners. If learners do not know what the prize is, then they are more likely to be emotionally connected to the game.

Rewards for your learners could be: stickers, points, sweets, a certificate, being on the winning team and getting a cheer or even a treat from a pound store! It does not have to be expensive.

1. Fresh Thinking in L&D Part 1 of 3 Neuroscience and Learning Feb 2014

 

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