Accelerated Learning (AL) has been shown to speed up the design process for instructional designers, and enhance the learning process for learners. It focuses on total learner involvement, because people retain more and learn better when they actively participate with the material.
AL is most successful when the environment is participant-centered, instead of facilitator-centered. After all, knowledge is not something people passively absorb but what they actively create, so AL is activity based.
Activities in an AL environment encourage group work and collaboration, as well as personal responsibility for the outcome and retention of knowledge.
Keep these five phases in mind when designing Accelerated Learning:
Learner Preparation Phase
In the first phase, you’re designing icebreakers and ways to prepare learners for learning. Here learners can be requested to do pre-work, or they engage in activities that help them feel relaxed, excited, comfortable and confident.
In the second phase, the purpose is to design instruction that offers a significant emotional experience for the learner.
An emotional connection to the information allows for deeper retention long after the course ends. In this phase activities might focus on helping participants build a sense of community and connect with one another, too.
In the third phase, discovery becomes key to learner participation. Learners want to feel part of something larger. They want to go beyond a connection and have a sense of discovery, knowing that what they’re learning impacts their lives beyond the course or classroom.
Activities that allow participants to drive the discovery process are crucial.
In the fourth phase, participants actively work with the new information or skill they are learning.
Role playing and guided practice activities help participants directly apply their new knowledge to a real-life scenario.
In the fifth and final phase, participants are asked to review activities they’ve experienced. They are encouraged to explore their own insights into this new knowledge and how it can be applied in the real world.
During this reflection, participants are encouraged to connect positive emotions to their learning experience. They’re invited to explore questions and try to answer these questions themselves. This way they can anticipate barriers in the future and continue the learning process.
For more information on Accelerated Learning, and activities that work well in this environment, click here.