In November, 2004, I enrolled in the ASSE Safety Training Symposium and Expo. I had worked as a safety and health professional for almost 20 years, but long recognized that training was my passion and my strength. I was a good trainer, but I wanted to improve my skills and knowledge. While I had several degrees, I had never taken the opportunity to enroll in education courses. One instructor at the Symposium introduced me to terms I had never heard before - accelerated learning, brain dominance, Brain Gym, brain wave states, etc. (Anzalone). Ann Anzalone from Wright State University was the epitome of an "effective trainer." The session was fun and interactive. With passion and enthusiasm, Ann exposed me to a higher level of learning than I ever imagined possible. Immediately after the course, I emailed Ann with lots of questions and she graciously responded with more answers and references to read. And so, for the last five years, I have been immersed in accelerated learning, brain books, training seminars, etc. I have reworked many of my training courses. Like Ann, I now facilitate fun, interactive training programs using principles of accelerated learning.

Accelerated learning means changing behaviors faster, i.e., learning new skills, knowledge or attitudes with increasing speed (Russell 4). When I think of traditional learning in college, I recall a biochemistry course that I took. It was a boring, passive, lecture style course where we were expected to memorize facts such as the Krebs cycle. I often questioned the value of rote memorization compared to problem-solving. Contrary to traditional learning, accelerated learning is a smorgasbord of fun, interactive experiences with a variety of instructional methods. Accelerated learning is collaborative and involves the whole brain. In traditional learning, the instructor feels that he/she is responsible for the trainee's learning. In accelerated learning, the instructor facilitates the experience, and the trainee is held accountable for his/her own learning.

Accelerated learning is critical for businesses today, especially in the current economic crisis where we are expected to do more in less time. In 1986, Mary Jane Gill, a training director at Bell Atlantic, attended an accelerated learning seminar. She later led the way for Bell Atlantic to cut training time in half and measurably improved job performance by converting its initial training of customer service representatives to an accelerated learning format (Meier 5). Revising your training programs to incorporate accelerated learning principles can be an important competitive advantage for your company in 2009 and beyond.

This paper will discuss several principles of accelerated learning and how you can use them to deliver effective training sessions.

Appeal to Multiple Intelligences

Do you know how many intelligences there are and whether one is better than another? Do you use a variety of instructional methods when you train? Do you follow the 30/70 rule?

Howard Gardner authored the principle of multiple intelligences.

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