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Learning and the Brain

There’s a new movement called Organizational Psychology. It’s about using psychology to make sure you hire the right people, develop the people you have, and understand employee engagement. Sounds a lot like what L&D departments do, right? That’s the point Clark Quinn ponders in a recent Learnlets blog post.

Is organizational psychology coming to take over learning and development? Is L&D a subset of organizational psychology? Or are we all just using different terms to promote the need for aligning how our organizations work with how our brains work?

There definitely seems to be some overlap there, but organizational psychology also focuses on things that happen before any training happens (interview techniques, tracking retention to ensure those techniques are resulting in the right hires, etc) and also long-term company culture and employee engagement in the work, not just the learning materials.

However, that doesn’t mean we as instructional designers should ignore organizational psychology. We are firm believers in the importance of understanding how people learn and using that knowledge to improve performance. We hosted a great webinar a while back with cognitive scientist Carmen Simon. She used the field of neuroscience to help us understand how people pay attention, remember content, and ultimately act on it. It was a really engaging webinar and helpful for instructional designers looking for more research-based techniques to try.

Today, we have our own in-house cognitive science expert, Marty Rosenheck! He and the eLearning Brothers Custom Solutions team provide learning experience design for companies who want to increase time to productivity. And, you can learn some of his secrets by attending “Practical Guidelines from Cognitive Science for Creating Awesome Learning at DevLearn in October.

Have you heard the new term “organizational psychology? Are you using any cognitive science-based methods to develop your training content? Be sure to check out Marty’s session at DevLearn 2018 if you’re interested in cognitive science.


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