The Learner Lab

By Trevor Ragan, Alex Belser - The Learner Lab

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Each episode we'll dive into a topic that can us become better learners. We're going to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

Episode Date
Emotions, Learning, and Resilience with Susan David & Marc Brackett

The way we traditionally look at emotions can hurt our capacity to grow. To become a better learner we need to change our perceptions of emotions, learn to feel them, understand them, and to work with them rather than against them.

Susan David - Psychologist: Harvard Medical School
Marc Brackett - Director: Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Full show notes

Quick Links:
Susan David
Emotional Agility by Susan David
Checking with Susan David (podcast)
Marc Brackett
Permission to Feel by Marc Brackett
Marc Brackett and Brene Brown (podcast)
Alex Belser
Trevor Ragan

May 12, 2020
How to Improve the Learning Environment Through Modeling w/ Karch Kiraly & Ceci Craft

Our actions have more of an impact on the learning environment than we realize. If we understand the power of modeling, upgrade the way we think about it, and become more intentional about it - we can all improve the learning environment for the people around us.

Special guests:
Karch Kiraly - Head Coach: USA Women's Volleyball
Ceci Craft - All Terrain Project

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
Ceci Craft
Karch Kiraly
All Terrain Project
Imitation Study
Imitation Who What Study
Psychological Safety Episode
Alex Belser
Trevor Ragan

May 05, 2020
Improving the Quality of Practice for Better Learning with Anders Ericsson

All practice is not created equally. To become a better learner we need to engage in more purposeful, deliberate practice. Anders Ericsson, one of the world's leading experts in learning, explains how we can use his research to get better at getting better.

Full show notes

Quick Links
Anders Ericsson
Peak by Anders Ericsson
Alex Belser
Trevor Ragan

Apr 28, 2020
Designing Your Environment for More Action and Better Learning

To build a skill or make a lasting change we have to take action (and sustain it over time). The hard part is that there are a lot of things that can get in the way of this. Today we're going to jump into the field of behavioral economics, look into some common misconceptions about how to change our behavior, and provide some useful tools to help groups and individuals take more action and become better learners.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Alex Belser
Trevor Ragan

Apr 14, 2020
Using the Power of Stories for Better Communication with Matthew Dicks

Research shows that communicating with stories can lead to more retention, action, and connection - which are all essential elements of learning. Today we're going to present the research that shows why stories are so powerful. And then Matthew Dicks (one of the world's best storytellers) will give us some tools and techniques to become better storytellers and communicators.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links
Matthew Dicks
Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks
Retention Study
Simulation Study
Blood Pressure Study
Einstein Study
How Stories Enhance Learning by Saga Briggs
Why Does the Brain Love Stories? by Saga Briggs
Alex Belser’s Website
Trevor Ragan

Apr 07, 2020
Learning from Good and Bad Outcomes

Often times we judge the quality of our process and decisions according to the quality of the outcome. The research calls this outcome bias and the poker world calls it resulting. No matter what you call it, this can lead to a number of traps that hurt the learning process. The good news: once we understand how it works we can find ways to avoid resulting and become better learners.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links
Outcome Bias Study
Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
Casey Yontz’s Twitter
Alex Belser’s Website
Trevor Ragan

Mar 31, 2020
Habits: How to Make Lasting Change with Wendy Wood

If we want to make a lasting change we need to understand how to build our underlying habits. In this episode we call upon one of the world’s leading researchers on habits, Wendy Wood, to show us how to do that.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood
Wendy’s Twitter
Alex Belser’s Website
Trevor Ragan

Mar 24, 2020
Learner Lab: Season 2 Trailer

Trevor and Alex are back for season 2! Each week we dig into useful tools that can help you and your people become better learners.

Mar 17, 2020
The Key to a Better Learning Culture with Daniel Coyle and Amy Edmondson

All groups are not created equally. Some over achieve, others under achieve, but why is that? What's the cause of that? A Harvard researcher, a bestselling author, and a tech company all asked that same question and discovered the same answer: psychological safety.

Full Show Notes

Daniel Coyle: NY Times Bestselling Author
Amy Edmondson: Harvard Business School Professor
Eric Ragan: Grinnell College Women's Volleyball head coach
Nora Hill: Grinnell College Women's Volleyball co-captain

Quick links:
Project Aristotle
The Culture Code
The Fearless Organization
Amy Edmondson's TEDx Talk
Grinnell College Women's Volleyball

Apr 23, 2019
Struggling on Purpose with Seth Godin

What can a college football program, a six year old, an auditing company, a HS basketball player, and Uber driving educator teach us about learning? They show us that the only way we can grow is if we're willing to step out of our comfort zone and struggle a bit.

The one and only, Seth Godin

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
Skateboarding Video
Yale Comfort Zone Research
Alex's Videos
Learning Like a Jungle Tiger TEDx

Apr 16, 2019
Sleep and Learning with Dr. Marcos Frank

Sleep is one of the most important, yet underrated components of the learning process. We brought in Dr. Marcos Frank - neuroscientist from Washington State University - to explain his research and show how sleep affects neuroplasticity and our capacity to grow.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
Dr. Marcos Frank
The Cat Study
The Rat Study
Sleep and Motor Skills Study
Dr. Matthew Walker
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Matthew Walker interview

Apr 09, 2019
The Science of Making Better Decisions

Understanding some simple principles of behavioral economics can help us make better decisions in the short run to achieve our long term goals. This can help us take and sustain action on any learning pursuit.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Payoff by Dan Ariely
Alex's Behavioral Econ Videos

Apr 02, 2019
Neuroplasticity: How to Build a Growth Mindset with Dr. Michael Merzenich

Limiting beliefs get in the way of learning. We can all work to overcome these by building a true growth mindset (the belief that we can grow our skills). The most effective way to build a growth mindset is to dig into the research of neuroplasticity and really work to understand how our brain learns.

Dr. Michael Merzenich Neuroscientist at The University of California, San Francisco. Known as “The father of brain plasticity”

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
Soft-wired by Michael Merzenich
How to Build a Growth Mindset (video)
The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
London Cab Driver Study

Mar 26, 2019
The Science of Being Better When You're Nervous with Ceci Clark and Jeremy Jamieson

When the performance matters we're going to feel some pressure, nerves, and stress. Whether it's a big presentation, a test, or even a date - most people think the most effective way to prepare for these situations is to try and calm down. In this episode, we dig into research that shows why this is a poor approach and the look at how we can do better. We learn how Ceci Clark, Mental Performance Coach for the Cleveland Indians, helps major leaguers perform better under pressure. We also bring in Jeremy Jamieson, Director of University of Rochester's Social Stress Lab, to help explain the science behind stress and how changing our perception of it can lead to better performance.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
GRE Study
Reappraisal Research by Allison Wood Brooks
Jeremy Jamieson - Director of the Social Stress Lab: University of Rochester
Ceci Clark - Mental Performance Coach: Cleveland Indians
Question hotline: 805-635-8459

Mar 19, 2019
Taking Action

Action is the most important step of the learning process. It can also be one of the most difficult.

In order to grow we have to take and sustain action - today we unpack two frameworks that will help provide the fuel.

Full Show Notes

Quick Links
Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull
The Culture Code by Dan Coyle
WorkLife Podcast by Adam Grant

Mar 12, 2019
Learning Like a Startup with Shaan Puri

The tech world is constantly pushing the limits of innovation, problem solving, and product development. This week we brought in the CEO of Bebo, Shaan Puri, to explain some of these systems and how we can all use them to become more effective learners.

Question Hotline: 805-635-8459

Full Show Notes

Quick Links:
The Learn Startup Overview
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Shaan Puri
Intrinsic Motivation - TED talk by Dan Pink

Mar 05, 2019
Boosting Learning with Desirable Difficulties with Dr. Elizabeth Bjork and Dr. Robert Bjork

There's a huge gap between what the science says about how we should study, practice, and learn vs how we actually do it. We met with learning experts and UCLA Psychologists Dr. Elizabeth Bjork and Dr. Robert Bjork to figure out how to close that gap.

Full show notes

Quick Links:
Made to Stick
Elizabeth Bjork
Robert Bjork
Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab

Feb 26, 2019
The Pygmalion Effect with Dr. Robert Rosenthal

Our expectations can have a huge impact on the performance and development of our people. Trev and Alex sit down with one of the most influential psychologists in the world, Robert Rosenthal, to learn more.

Full show notes

Quick Links:
Pygmalion in the Classroom by Robert Rosenthal
Pygmalion in the Classroom
Pygmalion in Prison Classrooms
Pygmalion in Management
Israel Defense Forces

Feb 20, 2019
Learner Lab Trailer

Each week we'll cover a topic that will help us become better learners. We're going to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

There will be a 15 minute Q&A sesh at the end of each episode. Call 805-635-8459 (UGLY) to leave a question. 

Feb 10, 2019