For many of us over a certain age, the idea of education and entertainment don’t go together.
Education evokes memories of long, wrote-style memorizing, with the teacher talking for extended periods of time while students listened.
A Better Way to Learn
But studies have proven that this is not the most effective way of learning. Neurological studies from both 1997 and 2003 show that environments of stress and boredom are prohibitive to learning. Students learn best when they have a strong emotive reaction to something.
In application, an experiment published in College Teaching, an academic journal for those in the education field, found that students could recall a lecture on statistics more easily when the lecturer added jokes into her monologue. In the workplace, employees are also more likely to try new things when there is an element of fun.
Applying the Research to Workplace Training
With entertainment and engagement holding the key to information retention and more efficient learning, many organizers of workplace training are modifying their courses to provide more engagement and entertainment.
Gamification is becoming more popular, where workers compete against one another during the course of their training. This is particularly effective in situations where workers have to complete training courses in their own time. An office leader board with a small reward for the individual who completes the most training sessions or performs the best in all the sessions keeps participants engaged and on track with the training.
Interactive activities are also a great way to break up long periods of sitting and listening. An activity which involves communication and group work will offer a change of scenery and re-engage participants who have become bored and disengaged.
To retain engagement, doing away with “lectures” altogether is helpful. Holding conversations instead is one way of keeping participants engaged. For example, a lecture on Safety in the Workplace sounds dry, disinteresting, and dull. However, a conversation, which invites participants to share their thoughts and experiences, which includes a mind mapping session of how the employees think the workplace can be made safer, is a far more engaging way to learn.
Many courses are using entertaining videos as a way to make training more interesting. This appeals to visual learners as well, who may not find it easy to retain information that is presented to them in an auditory form.
Examples of Entertainment and Education
Modern technology provides more avenues to include entertainment in workplace education. It has facilitated the creation of eye-catching visuals and allowed information to be presented in a more interesting and engaging way.
Going one step further, some workplace training companies are camouflaging training as entertainment. One company is providing IT video training disguised as quality entertainment, with exceptional results.
The marriage between education and entertainment is not merely a modern technology trend. It is providing professionals with a more efficient way of learning. Teaching techniques which blend the two are providing professionals with more dynamic classes, with more learner participation, and providing them with the tools to retain more information. “Edutainment” is the future of professional development and workplace learning.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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