New ways to learn: Why fun matters just as much as function

For anyone who’s endured (countless) ‘death by PowerPoint’ training sessions, the thought of *another* mandatory training is painful.

For education to be meaningful, it has to be serious… right?

Well… not exactly.

In her paper ‘The Neuroscience of Joyful Education”, Judy Willis noted that removing joy from learning is detrimental to the learning outcome.

“The truth is that when we scrub joy and comfort from the classroom, we distance our students from effective information processing and long-term memory storage. Instead of taking pleasure from learning, students become bored, anxious, and anything but engaged.”

So why expect teams to adopt new skills critical to the successes of a business through learning platforms that are, at best, dull?

Drawing on her own expertise as a neurologist and teacher, Willis delves deep into the realms of neuroscience to confirm something that at Directors of the Extraordinary, we’ve found to be true: people learn best when the experience is positive, and “superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are enjoyable and relevant to students’ lives, interests, and experiences”.

That relatability is a key point that forms the basis of our work in helping teams bond: creating shared experiences through interactive learning so teams can immerse themselves in the moment for sticky learning outcomes

School teachers solving puzzle during PD exercise

What’s a sticky learning outcome? It’s knowledge that sticks. Traditional learning is easily forgotten, but interactive, immersive learning creates memorable experiences, making it easier to retain and retrieve that knowledge at a later date.

Through her studies, Willis’ article puts the science behind the theory: “Thanks to dopamine release and the consolidation of relational memories, students are more likely to remember and understand what they learn if they find it compelling or have a part in figuring it out for themselves”.

So what does that mean for you team? Explore opportunities to gamify the learning process, from unique Team Building experiences to Learning & Development workshops where you can be guaranteed the whole team will have a good time while taking in key learnings for knowledge that directly impacts your bottom line.