Idea Learning Group

"brain-based-learning-2" Posts

The Cafeteria Learning Roadshow

We have been riding an exhilarating wave of activity at Idea Learning Group this season! We added Senior Learning Consultant Lisa Rebagliati to our staff. We launched our new website, logo, and brand. And we introduced our new learning model at three conferences. Whew!

For the past few years we’ve been working on developing an alternative model of classroom-based workplace learning we call “Cafeteria Learning.” Instead of an instructor at the front of the room with a cued-up PowerPoint file, we design interactive stations stocked with hands-on materials. Instead of verbal delivery of content, learners are free to explore and absorb the content at their own speed and direction. It’s self-directed and exploratory. Think of it as “Montessori for adults.”

On October 3, Jillian presented the Cafeteria Learning model at the Western Region Research Conference on the Education of Adults (WRRCEA) in Seattle as part of her “Your Brain is Not a Bucket: Learning Through Experience” session. During the session, participants explored games and other activities. Our research and insight report to support our model was included in the conference proceedings.

On October 4, Emily and Jennie facilitated the Collaborative Learning Lab at the annual ASTD Cascadia conference.


Participants explored interactive content focused on topics such as “conflict and collaboration” and “collaboration tools.” They also had the opportunity to construct a group learning guide using the online Moxtra tool.

On October 25, Jillian and Jennie traveled to Sarasota, Florida to facilitate a session at the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) called “Play to Learn: The Cafeteria Learning Model.”


For NASAGA we designed 12 interactive stations where participants constructed things with playful materials, collaborated with others, completed challenges, and contributed their own discoveries and insights to a real-time online binder.

As we continue to expand our projects and add new clients to our business, it’s an exciting time at Idea Learning Group!

IdeaLearning Group is On the Road in October

October is promising to be a busy month at IdeaLearning Group. Here’s a list of the events we’ll be attending and/or presenting at. Hope to see you there!

  • The Oregon Chapter of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) has invited Jillian to speak on the benefits of onboarding at their October 19th Fall Conference.
  • Finally, on October 25th Jillian and Jennie reprise their presentation “Your Brain is Not a Bucket: Learning Through Experience” for the ASTD Cascadia Annual Conference.

Register Now for IdeaLearning Group’s Train the Trainer on August 24th

Giving presentations produces fear and anxiety for many adults, and it can potentially hold you back professionally. There’s no need to give in to presentation paralysis. Engaging audiences during live presentations is a careful combination of art and science and can be easily learned through guidance and practice.

Jillian Douglas, Chief Creative Officer for IdeaLearning Group, is now offering a comprehensive Train the Trainer program that focuses on tried-and-true techniques for turning an inactive audience into a captive one. During this session, you’ll work in small groups and learn how to hook, engage with, surprise, and even mesmerize audiences during presentations. It’s the ideal session for those who have little or no experience giving presentations or who feel anxious when talking in front of a group!

In addition to the dynamic classroom session, Jillian also invites you to submit your own before-and-after filmed presentations. As part of your registration, Jillian will review the videos and meet with you for 30 minutes to provide custom one-on-one feedback.

During our four-hour Train the Trainer session at the IdeaLearning Group office in NW Portland, you’ll learn how to:

  • Demystify essential brain functions like attention, memory, vision, and pattern recognition.
  • Identify and connect with key audience profiles.
  • Discover practical tools to use when you feel stuck in front of an audience.
  • Use your voice, body movement, and visual aids to present on any topic.
  • Incorporate learning techniques such as chunking and repetition to drive home your messages.
  • Create smooth transitions between topics.

Register soon—only 20 spots available!

Date: Friday, August 24, 2012

Time: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Location: Montgomery Park, 2701 NW Vaughn Street, St. Helens Room

Cost: $200 for this premiere session; existing IdeaLearning Group clients are eligible for the reduced rate of only $100!

How to Register: Contact or call (503) 208-3256 by Tuesday, August 21.

Session includes coffee, tea, and light breakfast options


Here are some highlights from feedback we’ve received from recent participants:

  • “The four hours went by really fast…which is something I never say about meetings!”
  • “She was able to answer our specific questions, she was engaging, and she willingly acknowledged every elephant in the room.”
  • “Really good—now I realize what I submitted for the sales meeting is not that great. It has really opened my eyes to how to make a presentation stick in somebody’s head and also how not to make the audience fall asleep or lose interest.”

Jillian selected to speak at ASTD Puget Sound Annual Conference

We are thrilled to announce that Jillian Douglas of IdeaLearning Group has been selected as a concurrent session speaker for the 2012 “Ignite Your Mojo” ASTD Puget Sound Workplace Learning Conference, scheduled for Friday, October 5. Her session is titled “Your Brain is Not a Bucket: Learning Through Experience”.

Session Description:
The brain is not a finite container to fill, but a complex system of dynamic connections that interpret, process, and organize an amazing amount of information. Most learning takes place through direct experience not formal instruction. This session looks at the shortcomings of traditional lecture-based training through the filter of brain-based learning research. What is the role of experience and sensory intake in learning? How can we implement brain-based learning to create richer, long-lasting learning experiences? 

Hope to see you there!

NEW BUSINESS Contact us with business inquiries or to discuss your project needs and vision.
CAREERS We always enjoy connecting with talented professionals in the learning and development field.
CONNECT 503.208.3256
LOCATION 2701 NW Vaughn St #103
Portland, OR 97210

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