3 Tips for Activating Accelerated Learning

As Instructional Designers, our philosophy and passion is believe it or not, ‘Instructional Design’. But we are open and curious to other methods, as our intent is to create the best possible experience for our learners. Our curiosity has led us to possess a desire for understanding the passions of others in the industry. One day an industry friend of ours mentioned the words ‘Accelerated Learning’ on a podcast we did with them and from the excitement in their eyes we knew it was something worth checking out. From our research this method seems too good to be true (but it is true!). Maybe you have heard of the term before or potentially this is the first time. All you need to know is that if you are in the Learning and Development industry and you haven’t taken advantage of it, well now is the time.

How many skills have you thought about acquiring though have not had the time to do so? Imagine if you could learn to speak an unfamiliar language fluently or if you could learn to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix. Many of us would write a goal of this calibre off. However, there is a solution and that is using the techniques of Accelerated Learning, a method where you can rapidly learn new skills that traditionally would take months, years or even decades to acquire (Gibson, 2014).

In 1967, Dr. Lozanov experimented with Accelerated Learning on 416 students. These students learned 80 words an hour with 93% accuracy while traditionally they learned only 7 words an hour (Dubai Accelerated Learning Center, 2016).

In 1973, M. Rabsack tested 20 students. They traditionally learned 3,000 foriegn words in 4 years, though with Accelerated Learning they learned 2,000 words in 23 days (Dubai Accelerated Learning Center, 2016).

There are numerous strategies for activating Accelerated Learning, however, for the purpose of this blog we have focused on the top three from our research. Here they are:

1. Break the Learning Down into Small Steps


When we have an ambition to learn a new skill it can sometimes become overwhelming. For example, let’s say you wanted to learn how to speak French. This is quite ambitious and if you don’t know the language you may be thinking, “This will take way too long” or “How will I ever be able to do this?”. The trick is to break larger goals into smaller and more achievable chunks (Wendaful, 2017). 

Here is an example:

Ambition: Learn French.

Measurable achievable goal: Learn the 100 most frequently used French words.

2. Use the 80:20 Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle takes on the simple premise that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your work (Gibson, 2014).

Accelerated Learning encourages learners to focus on the vital 20% of information and avoid focusing on the less important 80%.

For example, when you are selecting content to include in your learning solution, consider what is nice to know in comparison to need to know information. This means picking out the information that is necessary for the learner to know, to meet the learning objectives.

This will enable your learner to focus on the important information that will best contribute to their success in obtaining the skill.

3. Practice makes Perfect

You may have heard the expression that "practice makes perfect" and we agree. You can research how to have effective performance conversations, however, the real magic happens when you immerse yourself in the actual situation. 

When designing your learning solutions, think about how you can incorporate opportunities for the learner to practice the skill at hand.

In the sphere of eLearning, practice activities don’t have to happen in the online environment, if it is more valuable for the learner to practice the skill in the real world, encourage them to do so. For example, if they are learning how to have performance conversations, you could suggest that they practice by having a role play conversation with a peer.


That’s it for this blog on the 3 tips for activating Accelerated Learning. We hope that you gained value from the insights and are able to apply the tips to your projects. Now go and follow your dreams, learn Italian, play guitar like Jimi Hendrix or cook like Jamie Oliver, the world is your oyster and time is on your side. 

If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail please don’t hesitate to contact our passionate founder, Kim Tuohy, via kim@belvistastudios.com or through LinkedIn. 

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                                                          References

Dubai Accelerated Learning Center. (2015). [Dubai Accelerated Learning Center]. (2016, May 12). What is Accelerated Learning? [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Tm408OOsI

Gibson, N. (2014). Accelerated Learning Techniques: 10 Ways to Learn Anything. Retrieved from https://blog.udemy.com/accelerated-learning-techniques/

Wendaful. (2017). Breaking Down Your Goals into Actionable Steps. Retrieved from https://www.wendaful.com/2017/12/breaking-down-goals/

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