It is likely that you would have used one or more online platforms to deliver training or interact with people – both within and outside of your organisation, in the recent past. The current world situation has pushed us all into re-thinking our business and operating models. Be it leading people or modelling strategies – it was challenging enough in a face-to-face environment (as no two situations are ever similar), but with the ongoing virtual revolution, the pressure to innovate every day, has increased by ten fold.
But when thinking of innovation, particularly in context of L&D, it has always intrigued me that how irrespective of age, geographic regions, personality types and even ethnicities, people always learn best when the knowledge is presented keeping three elements in mind – fun, active engagement and focused attention.
“Laugher is no enemy to learning.” – Walt Disney
Well, let me present to you a simple case – think about a time when you had to remember basic information about the people joining your team by reading their profiles – basic information like their names, their hobbies and their likes and dislikes. Nearly impossible to differentiate one from the other, right? Now think if you had the opportunity to meet with them and play an interactive game in which the new folks tell you about themselves. Wouldn’t you be able to remember much easily? This is true even with subjects that require deeper understanding. The reality is that while we are surrounded with constant changes, what has not changed is the way we learn. Our brain is wired to stay motivated through emotions and learning still happens when it is fun.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. – Benjamin Franklin
This is a no-brainer. Not surprisingly, all forms of training initiatives include a mix of facilitation, simulation, multimedia and games. A fun fact to support this from neural science is that when new information is presented in the form of lectures and presentation, there is little to no changes in the neural chemistry, simply put there is zero learning. But when the same information is presented in the form of a simulation or a game or multimedia, our brains show a firework of neural connections.
The brain remembers the first part and the last part of a long list. This is called the primacy-recency effect. The primacy effect is the ability of our brain to remember the first part of a list because that’s where we started and the recency effect is the ability to remember the last or the most recent part of a list. Don’t believe it? Think of a time when you prepared a huge grocery list but forgot it at home. What you would remember are the starting few items and the last few items and everything in between would be a blur. This is also true for training initiatives. Therefore, training initiatives are usually designed keeping information limited to short bursts.
While the above mentioned elements can be integrated conveniently in face-to-face learning environments, we wanted to explore its feasibility in virtual set-up too. In fact, we challenged ourselves to explore this on mobile-based, self-paced microlearning programs as well and the results have been quite promising.
We decided to take it one step further. We threw a fun challenge for our FocusU work family to create microlearning videos that are non-work related, educational, and yet, fun! We call this the “Oops! Did you just microlearn today?!” challenge. From under-a-minute recipes, funny English proverbs, and even gardening tips – our team surprised us with their fun videos! This challenge not only helped us tap into our creative side but also brought us closer to each other, in the process.
The question we would like to ask you is –
How is your organisation blending fun with learning?