Tips from BESD: Enhancing brain function, facilitating learning, and improving outcomes

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, October 1, 2010

As educators, we are asked to enhance outcomes, demonstrate results, and provide evidence of return on investment. This can be challenging for educators who wonder, "We taught them those skills, why aren't they demonstrating the skills in their clinical setting?"

We are in a pivotal role to accelerate the transfer of learning to the clinical environment. Our goal is for learners to demonstrate competence in the actual work setting. Recall of information and application of learning leads to enhanced competence of staff and, therefore, improved outcomes.

Successful retention of information includes four steps: receive, filter, store, and retrieve information. Memory and recall can be improved by facilitating learning that is cognizant of these steps.

As we examine how we are facilitating learning, educators must ensure that the approaches we use are congruent with brain function. Our brains ask little of us—air, water, and organization. That may seem straightforward, yet the actions we take to ensure a comfortable physical environment, including proper ventilation, contribute to improved brain function.

Editor's note: Subscribers to Briefings on Evidence-Based Staff Development can read the rest of this article in the October 2010 issue.

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