The Training Oasis Inc. - Accelerated Learning & Experiential Learning

Accelerated Learning and Experiential Learning FAQs

For over 20 years, we have helped organizations in 9 countries boost the effectiveness of their training and development programes through experiential learning and accelerated learning.


  • We are a Toronto (Canada) based training and development firm, specializing in accelerated learning, experiential learning, and instrutional design.
  • ALL inquiries are handled from Toronto.
  • Our faciitators travel from Toronto to serve our clients, all over the world.


Anne was given short notice with respect to her role, yet responded enthusiastically and quickly to understand the needs and plan the required sessions. Anne designed and prepared the materials for technical training (cellular, paging, etc.). The materials Anne presented were well received and used to convey the vision and goals of Bell Mobility. She also conducted "train-the-trainer" sessions for managers in Western Region presenting to front-line employees prior to the launch. In this role, Anne worked independently and flexibly to accommodate the needs of various departments and regions of Bell Mobility. Her participation contributed to making the Bell Mobility Launch a success.

Jerry Bokser, Managing Partner, WPI Events

We hired The Training Oasis, Inc. to design a course on Instructional Design....Anne is a very knowledgeable and creative instructional designer. She knows how to address the participants' needs and make technical training more interesting. I have no hesitation in recommending Anne for any future project.

Dunia Wojtarowicz, CGU Group Canada Ltd. (Toronto)

Anne has tremendous expertise as a team building specialist and presentation skills coach. I hired Anne to train our in-house trainers in the delivery of training programmes. It was an excellent investment. Not only did she connect with the group immediately, but she also had them fully engaged to the very end. I also personally benefited by sitting through a few of her sessions. I would certainly hire Anne again.

Phillip Brown, Director, Director, Human Resources & Administration at Caribbean Development Bank

Anne has a lot of experience in behaviour based interviewing and her experience has been very useful for me. I like the way the workshop was conducted - very personalized with lots of hands on practice. I really liked the snack pack energizers which contained a lot of of things to keep my energy level high.

Jocelyn Goh, Higher Executive Officer, Power Grid Ltd. (Singapore)

Anne is an excellent mentor who taught me years ago how the training profession operated. With her as my coach, I progressed from being a telephone customer service rep to being a full time trainer in less than a year. A few years after that, I was promoted to Manager of Call Centre Training at one of the largest telecom companies in Canada.

Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes






What is Accelerated Learning?

Accelerated learning is not a method or technique. It's not about baroque music, games, and icebreakers. You can produce accelerated learning even if a koosh is no where in site. The term accelerated learning refers to the results of interactive, participant centered learning.

What results?

  • Covering more content in less time and with reduced learner frustration.
  • Making it easier for learners to "digest" content that is complex or theoretical.
  • Making it easier for participants to master skills by providing increased opportunity for practice.
  • Increasing retention by creating vivid & memorable learning experiences.
  • Facilitating transfer of learning to the job by spending more time on application.

Remember, it's all about results. How we produce those results depends on the group and the topic.


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What are some of the benefits of accelerated learning?

Accelerated learning will:

  • Cut your training time by 20 - 50% without cutting critical content
  • Streamline your programmes and double their effectiveness
  • Help participants grasp technical and complex material more easily
  • Increase retention by creating vivid and memorable learning experiences


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What is unique about the way in which The Training Oasis approaches accelerated learning?

The Training Oasis specializes in accelerated learning for rapidly changing organizations, especially where there is a need to produce results quickly. We emphaize bottom line results.

Our training sessions are different because we add our own unique touches like vacation DVD breaks, multicultural energizers, dance energizers, and outdoor breaks and energizers. We look for ways to surprise and delight participants and keep energy high.

We devote 1/4 to 1/3 of the session to application exercises to facilitate transfer of learning. We prefer to use real world projects rather than artificial cases.

Not only do we design and facilitate accelerated programmes, we focus on producing results in day-to-day business contexts such as meetings, project management sessions, and problem solving.

Accelerated learning is not just for the training room. Its real impact is on re-shaping the corporation, making it more employee-friendly and fostering an innovative culture. We have successfully used accelerated learning with conservative and senior audiences.

For more information about our approach to accelerated learning, visit Design Services.


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What are the 3 main ingredients in accelerated learning?

1. Solid content (the meat of your session) that:

  • addresses a clear and specific business need.
  • produces measurable results.

2. Using the results of research into how the brain and the senses operate in the learning process to design effective training experiences. The Theoretical Tidbits issue of Spice of the Month goes into a lot of detail about how and why it work.

3. Catering to the preferred learning styles of participants so that they can learn more easily. We call it "season to taste".


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I can't quite picture it. What will happen during a training session that is designed to produce accelerated learning? How will it differ from traditional training?

You will notice significant differences before, during and after the session. (Some of these touches are our own enhancements.)


Before the Session

Ideally, we'll start with a brief and focused meeting with a member of your senior management team. Together we'll:

  • Identify the specific improvements in business performance that are desired
  • Pinpoint performance measures and begin to track them

Next, to get a clear picture we'll collect information from the participants about:

  • Their specific business issues and challenges
  • Their learning style preferences
  • Any potential hot buttons or turn-offs


We'll collect this information through a combination of interviews, learning style inventories and participant profile questionnaires. Then, we'll identify the specific topics and content to be covered during the session and recommend an approach that fits your group, topic and corporate culture. You'll have a chance to review our recommendations and either approve them or suggest some changes. Often we use themes in our sessions. For example, we used a "hurry up offense" football theme for a senior management kick off retreat for a high technology company. For courses and workshops, we'll provide a handy coaching guide to help your managers prepare the members of your team for the session.

At the Beginning of the Session

You'll notice the difference as soon as you walk in the room. For example, instead of the standard classroom set up in rows, the seats will be clustered around tables in groups of 4 - 6. Even if the audience is conservative, there will be a hint of theming through one or two posters and relevant graphics for slides and handouts. If your group is open to creative approaches, we'll pull out all the stops with energizing music or videos, decorations, and refreshments that fit the theme. At the beginning of our sessions, we don't sit around deciding if we should wait five more minutes to see if everyone will arrive. Instead of frivolous get to know you icebreakers, we kick off the session with a short exercise that zeros in on key business challenges related. We'll use this information throughout the session.



During the Session

Even if the audience is conservative, we'll draw rich examples, analogies and metaphors from the session theme. We'll avoid long presentations and lectures. Instead, participants will spend most of the session in group exercises, simulations, real world case studies, and peer coaching. If the audience is creative, we'll use games, game shows, contests, and other upbeat approaches to convey any content that's complex or tedious.

To ensure effectiveness, we won't wait until the end of the session to do a traditional evaluation. Instead, we'll stop at the end of the first morning and at the halfway mark to make sure that we are in sync with your group. As the session draws to a close, participants will develop a specific plan of action to take what they've learned back to the real world.



After the Session

We'll provide a coaching guide to make it easy for managers to do follow up. We'll track performance measures to ensure that the session had the desired impact.


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What proof is there that accelerated learning works?

They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and there are many "real world" examples that demonstrate the effectiveness of accelerated learning. We get asked this question so often that we devoted three special reports of our Spice of the Month Accelerated Learning Ezine to answering it. They are in our archives:



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Does accelerated learning always include music, fun, and games?

The short answer is "no". Accelerated learning is not a one size fits all approach. While music enhances the learning experience for some participants, others find it distracting. Even though research has demonstrated that barouqe music matches Alpha brain waves, produces relaxation, and enhances learning, for some younger participants, in partucular, it is a turn-off.

Even before The Training Oasis was launched in 1996 and LONG before "gamification" became a buzz word, our President was a big proponent of games in learning. Games can make learning complex information less tedious but some participants consider them to be childish time wasters.

Never force fit an approach that is a turn-oof to participants just because reserch indicates that it is usually effective. It is extremely important to have learners complete participant profiles and learning inventories so that you can identify which approaches are likely to resonate with them. Be sure that you are pushing participant hot buttons and not just your own.


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Is accelerated learning appropriate for senior management audiences?

Absolutely. It's just a matter of picking the appropriate time and place to introduce it. Senior audiences usually appreciate a change of pace during executive development programmes executive retreats and team building. You can also improve the effectiveness of problem solving and brainstorming sessions by using out of the box approaches.

For some ideas, check out the Food for Thought issue of Spice of the Month (available in our archives). Our free Corporate Team Building Blog for our sister company, Executive Oasis International, has dozens upon dozens of ideas for executive development.


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What is the difference between accelerated learning and experiential learning?

Accelerated Learning: The term accelerated learning refers to the results of interactive, participant centered learning. It's based on:

  • an understanding of how the brain processes information and experiences during the learning process.
  • identifying and catering to diverse learning styles
  • keeping participants alter and engaged in the learning process by stimulating the senses


Accordingly, our sessions incorporate props, music, bright visuals, and themes to create a vivid and memorable learning experience.


Experiential Learning: Participants learn through active involvement in a set of experiences and reflecting on them to unpack key learnings.

For this reason, our programmes feature action learning, a high ratio of practice to theory, frequent review, and peer coaching.


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How can I win support for accelerated learning in a conservative environment?

It takes time and patience but it can be done. The worst mistake you can make is to plunge right in. Conservative audiences need a period of transition and time to "warm up" to new approaches.

  1. Give a brief presentation highlighting the latest research about the impact of colour, music, interactivity, etc. on the brain.
  2. Use a smorgasbord approach and give participants lots of choice. It is extremely importnat to give conservative participants opportunities to choose the exercises that provide most value for them.


To win the support of senior management, it's important to build a business case and demonstrate R.O.I. It's one of the consulting services we offer. Also, if ou sign up for the full archive of Spice of the Month, we will give you a complimentary R.O.I. calculator.

For more ideas, visit our Conservative Corner and check out the Winning Support for Accelerated Learning in Your World issue of Spice of the Month. Both are available in our archives.


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