6 Ways to use Neuroscience in Training #3 Create a Brain Friendly Learning Environment

There’s plenty of research to show that our environments can predict how we feel and how we behave; sometimes more reliably and accurately than personality tests.

Creating a brain friendly environment, where we are able to think and learn effectively isn’t that hard.

Here’s a handy checklist so you can choose more brain friendly environments.

Make it light and airy

  • Windows for lots of natural light
  • Preferably fresh air – if it has to be air conditioned ensure there is a functioning control in your room – and under your control
  • Flowers or plants in the room
  • A view of greenery or water – preferably with easy access to get out to them

Get people moving

  • Plenty of space – if you’ve got 12 people and a a venue says the room seats 12 comfortably then you probably need to go bigger.
  • Consider your room layout to people can interact easily and so they can move to work in different groups regularly
  • Chairs that move easily so participants can rearrange the room to their own comfort
  • Tables that move easily but have a brake!
  • It’s nice to have a different space to move to for tea/ coffee/ lunch etc just so people get to see more than just 4 walls
  • Consider putting a screen for displaying powerpoint at the side of the room rather than at the front  – people can move their chairs to look at it or at least swivel around and it will encourage you to use less powerpoint.

Make your own life easier

  • If you walk in and you don’t like where the ‘front’ is then move it to somewhere else – it’s your room for the day – so you decide the layout
  • If you’re using a projector ceiling mounted ones mean you don’t have to have a stand in the middle of the room
  • Push the trainers table to the walls so it’s you that takes centre stage and not your resources
  • Carry an attractive cloth/ sheet with your for covering up ugly boxes, corners etc
  • Plenty of sockets on the walls for plugging in CDs etc (it’s easy to trip over cables coming out of the floor)
  • Quiet venue i.e. not next to a noisy road unless the double glazing is up to it  (this is especially important if you want to open windows or go outside)
  • All excess furniture to be removed from the room
  • Flip chart stands that can fit lots of pens and the legs don’t stick out to be tripped over
  • Walls you can stick blutack on