Monthly Archives: November 2016

Cognitive Learning


Six cognitive strategy groupings can speed up learning, improve learner retention, and accelerate the learning process. Cognitive strategies are the


Session with Anubha Maurya W and become Trainer and OD Professional with PRISM course

thought processes with which people study and learn. Unlike metacognitive skills, which are higher-level functions, cognitive strategies are applicable to specific, practical learning situations. Good learners use a variety of strategies in the classroom

The six cognitive strategies for learning are:

1. Clustering: The student arranges data for easier grasp and retention.

2. Spatial: The learner arranges information visually in a way that makes it easy to understand and remember, like organizing steps into a flow chart.

3. Advance organizers: The instructor provides brief introductory information that helps the learner visualize the upcoming coursework.

4. Image-rich comparisons: The learner utilizes analogies, metaphors, and literal comparisons that bridge past knowledge with new learning.

5. Repetition: Learners practice content until they learn it, as when students learn their multiplication tables.

6. Memory aids: Learners use words, letters, or images in easy-to-remember ways that enhance retention of more complex subject matter



PRISM SESSIONFour types of training are most often used in formal settings:

1. Receptive training is a variety of “telling” learners the information. It assumes, perhaps dubiously, that students will have the ability to digest the coursework into useable knowledge and workplace skills. While receptive training has limitations, it does make learners aware of the material to be learned. It is most effective when used spariTypes of training session by ANUBHAngly for short instructional blocks.

2. Directive training depends on a leader/follower dynamic. The leader issues directions for the purpose of leading learners to new knowledge, but the students have little control. This method is most successful with a group composed of people with limited prior knowledge of the course materials.

3. Guided discovery training depends on a more equitable partnership between trainer and trainee. Learners plunge into hands-on or problem-solving activities right away. The teacher provides direction, but the learners are responsible for discovering what to do and how to do it.

4. Exploratory learning in this advanced-level training method, the trainer creates the learning environment and the learners take control of the experience, setting their own goals and strategies.

These four types of learning mirror a natural progression of learner sophistication. For best results, the creative trainer will mix and match the methods, remembering to use receptive training sparingly, if at all.



TRAIN THE TRAINER SESSIONKey considerations in selecting any training program include the following:

* Who will take the course and why?

* What is the context and focus of content?

* How deep is the learning level required?

* What type of learning is needed?

* What is the training time frame?

* How will the training take place?

* How will training performance be evaluated?


Trainers should keep in mind the following important points:

* Experts and novices process information differently

* A learning style is a mode that is most effective for each individual

* Matching the form of instruction to an individual learning style optimizes learning

* Persistence and time on task is more critical to training success than creating a fun experience

* Enjoyment follows learning achievement

* Media and technology do not heighten learning effectiveness

* A blend of online and face-to-face instruction produces the best learning results

* Formulas for solving problems train learners to solve similar problems

* Learners have cognitive load limits that process chunked information more easily than volumes of data

* An effective training program allows sufficient time for learning, offers pre-training preparation and post-training support, supplies adequate resources and incentives, and gives workers opportunities to act on new knowledge

* Good performance during training does not necessarily translate to improved job performance

* Right brain/left brain-focused training is not as effective as engaging the whole brain

* Common sense is one of the major enemies of science

Effective trainers must also remember that the best courses are learner-centered, performance-based, and produce demonstrable results.

Finally, as analytical psychologist Carl Jung has demonstrated, true learning often takes place on a deeper level of consciousness, while both instructor and learner are conveying and absorbing material. Body language and word choice carry deeper nuances that reach the level of consciousness where transformation, rather than absorption of information, takes place.




TStress Management Session
hompson has developed seven best practices, called the ARSENAL system, that leaders can use to prevent stress. The best practices include: Awareness, Rest, Support, Exercise, Nutrition, Attitude, and Learning.

1. Awareness – an unaware brain is a surprised brain. Awareness is the foundation for the six other best practices. Through awareness, leaders collect feedback on their environment and their responses to it. By increasing awareness, leaders can improve their decision making skills. There are four mandatory elements to this best practice:

  • Devote time each day to observing one’s own actions.
  • Obtain feedback from multiple sources each day.
  • Monitor information from the cognitive and emotional functioning dashboards.
  • Take time to understand one’s feelings and why they have arisen.

2. Rest – a tired brain is a grumpy brain. Rest enables the brain to rejuvenate itself and store information in long term memory. Adequate amounts of sleep are necessary for cognitive and emotional effectiveness. Sleep is the most important type of rest, but napping can also be used to reduce sleep debt. There are five mandatory elements to this best practice:

  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Incorporate personal time into each day.
  • Plan vacations and other long rest breaks.
  • Learn to say no.
  • Identify several different types of mental and physical breaks.

3. Support – an unsupported brain is a sad brain. Support comes from the psychological, emotional, and physical help that an individual receives from others. Research has shown that high quality relationships are correlated with longer lifespans. There are five mandatory elements to this best practice:

  • Identify people who provide support.
  • Offer support to others, which has a reinforcing effect.
  • Spend more time around people whose presence is uplifting.
  • Practice a faith, attend religious services, and engage in charitable activities that involve the greater good.
  • Use your safety net, if necessary.

4. Exercise – an unfit brain is a slow brain. While exercise benefits the cardiovascular and muscle systems, it also keeps the brain functioning well. Leaders who are physically fit resist stress and recover from stress more rapidly than those who are inactive. Research has shown that physical fitness is directly related to one’s ability to resist cognitive and emotional problems during stressful periods. There are six mandatory elements to this best practice:

  • Get a complete physical before starting any exercise program.
  • Start moving.
  • Establish baseline measures for factors like heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Determine a preference for working out alone or in a group.
  • Do not miss an exercise session for the first sixty days – this will help transform new behaviors into a habit.
  • Set reasonable goals.

5. Nutrition – a hungry brain is a distracted brain. To stay mentally and physically sharp at all times, leaders must eat a healthy diet. There are nine mandatory elements to this best practice:

  1. Make healthy food choices and consult with a doctor about whether to lose weight.
  2. Keep a written log of food consumed.
  3. Monitor weight daily and keep a record.
  4. Make small, gradual dietary adjustments.
  5. Stay away from fad diets.
  6. Minimize exposure to and consumption of junk food.
  7. Drink lots of water.
  8. Reduce consumption of sodas.
  9. Reduce portion sizes.

6. Attitude – a negative brain is an angry brain. Attitude is a reflection of one’s mindset and contentment with the environment and people. A leader’s attitude can provide insight into their motivation, commitment, character, and self-esteem. People with positive attitudes tend to have high energy levels and good health, as well as good memory, cognitive, and emotional performance. There are six mandatory elements to this best practice:

  • Engage in activities that generate self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Smile.
  • Have a positive outlook and see the glass as half full.
  • Seek feedback from trusted individuals.
  • When unhappy with others, talk directly with them to address the problem.
  • Become a team player.

7. Learning – an unused brain is a forgetful brain. As people age, their brains also change. However, this should not prevent individuals from learning new skills on a continuing basis. Thompson compares the brain to a muscle that requires regular exercise to maintain strength. There are five mandatory elements to this best practice:

  • Set daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual learning goals.
  • Spend time with people who like to learn.
  • Spend time with intelligent people.
  • Get out of the comfort zone.
  • Choose a variety of learning goals to exercise all parts of the brain.

Leaders can measure how well they are doing with the seven best practices by using the ARSENAL Assessment Graph. This is a radar chart or spider chart that plots a person’s performance for each of the best practices and quickly illustrates which areas need work. Leaders should strive to expand their ARSENAL ability levels as much as possible. The good news is that the best practices work as a system. A change in one tends to move the other in the same direction.

Stress Management Session