Dopamine in learning

Since last weeks CPD event about Neuroscience I have been reading different articles as I would like to incorporate ways to release dopamine in any learning and development solution I create.

In 2012 Martha Burns, Ph.D shared Dopamine and Learning: What The Brain’s Reward Center Can Teach Educators through Scientific Learning. Martha:

refers to dopamine as the “save button” in the brain

eLearning Industry explains we are all on crack in their article Make Your eLearning Content AddictiveThey go on to say the key to engagement is to make eLearning content addictive and get learners to crave your content. eLearning Industry suggest this is done by 4 dopamine triggers

  1. Include the thrill of the hunt – don’t provide the information let the learner find it.
  2. Give the brain regular jolts –  this could be quick camera angle changes, changes in music tracks or visuals. Dopamine is stimulated by surprises and unpredictability; those jolts provide the surprises.
  3. Put a little Pavlovian puppy in your program – build in cues to let learners know there is a reward coming.
  4. Present a learning byte appetiser–not a main course – leave the learner wanting more.

Eliminate repetitive static elements – like company logos and copyright statements on every screen – can increase attention. When all the screens contain the same static elements, learners tune out the content on the rest of the screen—even if the other content on the screen contains jolts. Think of repetitive logos and copyright info as anti-jolts; instead of emotional “uppers,” they’re mind-numbing “downers.”

Following this article I am going to review the awareness package I am currently designing and remove all reoccurring logos. I am also going to look at ways I can promote engagement in this topic by adding jolts and let the learner explore the information on their own terms. Wish me luck! 

The views and opinions expressed in the articals shared are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views do not necessarily reflect those of Focus N Develop.


One thought on “Dopamine in learning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s