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Beverlie Wilkinson

Nuggets of Learning

Business Trainer, Coach and Facilitator

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Why accelerated learning increases your L&D ROI


HR departments are always under pressure to reduce costs and reduce returns. How can you get better value for money? Can you really deliver more with less? Using accelerated leaning could be the answer.

Advanced training methods based on the latest psychological research

Accelerated learning is an advanced training method, designed to speed up and enhance the learning process for delegates. It is traditional, in room training sessions with groups of delegates – but with a real, tangible difference. 

Accelerated learning is based on the latest brain research. It works with the way we all naturally learn. Yet conventional learning methods have often left this untapped, appealing predominantly to auditory learners. As education in schools has changed to adapt to the latest research and appeal to all different types of learners, so professional training and development needs to do the same.

Engaging all five senses

Accelerated learning involves the whole person, using physical activity, creativity, music, images, colour and other methods designed to get course attendees involved in their own learning. By bringing the senses into play you can harness the very essence of the human spirit to stimulate the will and the ability to learn.

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives” ~Clay P. Bedford

This multisensory learning can be delivered in a number of ways. It could include the use of music to evoke emotions – for example in training about personal effectiveness. It could involve the use of scented markers to engage the sense of smell, or physical activities to encourage team working.

This multisensory engagement cements learning practices in the brain and creates real behavioural change much more quickly than traditional methods. Each session is based on the VAK model and designed to appeal to all three different types of Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic learners.  In contrast to traditional lecture based techniques, accelerated learning sessions involve regular movement in the training room. Getting people to think while standing up is vital. 

There are 5 steps to an effective accelerated learning session:

1.  A positive learning environment 

This includes not only the basic hygiene factors of sufficient space, light and heating but also more emotional factors that create a relaxing yet stimulating space in which delegates can learn. Training sessions begin with fun and practical icebreakers that lead to instant engagement with delegates and a convivial learning atmosphere.

2. Involving, active learning

People learn best when they are active and involved. Learning is something we do and we create - not something we simply watch or absorb. Learning is activity based and adapted to the learners in the room – not based on pre-created, standardised presentations. Learning is an adventure into the unknown and therefore it should be exciting, imaginative and memorable.

3. Collaborative, social learning

Accelerated learning is about participating, talking and learning from each other. It is not about sitting in silence listening to a trainer. It is about being part of a learning community and having fun on a shared learning experience.

4. Encompassing all learning styles

Accelerated learning sessions use a variety of training methods to engage all five senses of every individual and cater for individual delegates.

5, Real world learning

Accelerated learning puts real life work at the heart of the learning process. It isn’t about learning the theory and then putting it into practise. It is about investigating the real world as it is now and what we can do to shape its future.

“Accelerated learning is neither a myth nor a passing fad. It has been known to improve the effectiveness of learning by up to 300%* and cut down trainer preparation time by 30%.**” *Donald Schuster, Professor of Psychology Iowa State University ** Debbie Meddins, L&D Manager Atos, UK

Bite-sized learning for busy schedules

Most importantly accelerated learning caters for time poor managers who need bite sized learning that can fit into their schedules – and into their headspace. Bite sized learning workshops of no more than 90 minutes work with the brain’s capacity to concentrate for 45 mins at a time, delivering practical and relevant training within a tight time frame. Learning is also “fun” as the brain learns best when it is relaxed – not under stress.

Better retention = Better ROI

Accelerated learning delivers better information retention in learners as it puts them at the heart of the learning, engaging their whole brain in the process. That increased retention is more likely to deliver the behavioural change the organisation needs, increasing ROI. Retention from just a 90 minute accelerated learning session can be greater than a full day traditional workshop. Just 5,400 seconds could enhance the way your business operates.

Making the shift from Trainer to Facilitator

Ask your training provider – can they provide accelerated learning? Ensure you are constantly reviewing your providers and challenging them to use the latest and most effective techniques to provide you with the best return on investment.  

Author Profile Picture
Beverlie Wilkinson

Business Trainer, Coach and Facilitator

Read more from Beverlie Wilkinson

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