Learning is a natural part of the human experience; but for many in the Learning and Development sector, training can be wrought with frustration when the process of effective learning is bypassed or ignored.

Dr. Joe Pulichino from Navex Engage breaks down the process with the “AGES” model: Attention, Generation, Emotion, and Spacing (along with repetition and retrieval).

Given that the human mind can only pay attention for about 15 minutes before fatigue sets in, it becomes essential to find ways to keep learners engaged for the duration of their training by providing adequate breaks. The brain will continue its learning even during these short breaks, but will avoid exhaustion or boredom in participants.

Generation in learning allows learners to “connect the dots” between what they are learning with what they already know – which helps solidify the material and improve retention.

We are emotional beings, and process a lot of the world through an emotional lens. Connecting your training to the emotions of your participants helps improve associations. An added byproduct is that learners stay motivated to engage in the learning because they are emotionally invested.

Spacing, along with repetition and retrieval, helps stave off the dangerous statistic that 65% of training is lost within a week. Spacing helps create frustration during retrieval, which increases the strength of neural connections – resulting in greater mastery of the training essentials.

Be sure to continually reinforce the purpose behind the training, as well as the impact that the application of the learning will have on the participants’ lives. What is the goal of your learners? Why are they here? How are they going to use the training? Getting students to answer these questions will keep them motivated to stay attentive throughout the training and will help them build stronger connections to the material.

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