Rapid Learning Insights offers tools and best practices to help learning professionals, HR executives, managers and supervisors train and develop people. Our editorial team seeks out the latest research on workplace learning and reveals what top learning organizations are doing to conduct effective training and make it stick. Key topics covered include assessment, goal-setting, coaching, motivation, adult learning, training technique and follow-up.

Stage fright? Don’t try to calm down

Stage fright? Don’t try to calm down

April 9, 2014 by

Public speaking is a common source of anxiety, even for training professionals. The next time anxiety strikes, trying to stay calm might be a mistake. Instead, get excited. Researchers from the Harvard Business School conducted a public speaking experiment with 140 college students. Before the speech, half the students were instructed to say “I am [...]

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Talk among yourselves: group discussions work

Talk among yourselves: group discussions work

April 2, 2014 by

If you want training to stick, allow learners to talk it over. That’s what a recent meta-analysis of adult education techniques suggests. The research highlighted the numerous benefits of dialogue and discussion in adult education, including learner engagement, performance and critical thinking. One such study, which took place in an upper-level college biology course, measured [...]

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Slideshows: Adding bells and whistles can lose learners

Slideshows: Adding bells and whistles can lose learners

March 26, 2014 by

We’ve all heard it before: slideshow presentations are boring. The slideshow, long the dominant medium for trainers, simply doesn’t offer the dazzling animation and embedded video that supposedly enthralls modern learners. Meanwhile, a new generation of presentation software can turn a slideshow into a near cinematic experience with just a few clicks. When gauging the [...]

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The best time for a coffee break?

The best time for a coffee break?

March 12, 2014 by

The next time you conduct a training session, consider serving coffee after the meeting, not before. A study out of Johns Hopkins University suggests that consuming caffeine after a learning experience aids the transition of new information into memory. In the study, subjects engaged in an exercise involving image classification. Afterwards, one group received a [...]

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Survey: Effective training programs more likely to focus on follow up

Survey: Effective training programs more likely to focus on follow up

March 5, 2014 by

Our sister blog, Top Sales Dog, recently reported on a survey of sales-training practices — specifically, on what’s different about effective versus ineffective programs. Its key finding is relevant to any kind of training, not just sales: Effective training programs invested more in follow up. The survey found that companies with effective programs spent more [...]

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To boost retention, close with questions

To boost retention, close with questions

February 19, 2014 by

At the end of your training session, do ask, don’t tell. That’s what two recent studies into learning and retention suggest. Researchers found that learners whose instruction ended with review questions performed significantly better on final tests than learners who received closing summary statements. The boost from questioning occurred for both in-person presentations and self [...]

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