What is the point of creating awesome training programs without learning retention strategies? According to science, we normal human beings forget a lot of what we read, see, think about, even though we try to remember. Cramming for exams a day before the D-day and getting low grades, sounds unforgettable, huh? Yet forgetting is unavoidable, teachers and trainers are continuously looking for efficient strategies to assist their employees to recall material for extended periods of time, thus boosting learning retention.
In this post, we’ll show you how to improve learning retention that will help your work-based learners remember what you’ve tried hours to deliver to them. But first, let’s go through the definition of learning retention.
- What is Learning Retention?
- 9 Learning Retention Strategies to apply in creating Corporate Training
What is Learning Retention?
Learning retention is explained as when new information is ultimately stored in long-term memory. This indicates that you have effectively absorbed the information and can recall it in the future.
If you don’t retain what you’ve learned, it will fade from your short-term memory after a while. Finding innovative tactics and solutions to guarantee you engage with the subject is vital to boosting your learning retention. This will assist your brain in recognizing the significance of the new information.
Back in the late 1800s, Hermann Ebbinghaus started outlining the Learning Curve. He also explained the Forgetting Curve, which shows that if we don’t make an attempt to remember new information, we lose around 70% of it within 24 hours.
So, how can we make sure that employees remember the most crucial aspects of their training?
9 Learning Retention Strategies to apply in creating Corporate Training
Many external influences can have an impact on your ability to retain information. Because your brain has to process a lot of data, the chance is high that at the end of the day, you understand and memorize any pieces of knowledge. A lot of learning and development managers are doing the wrong way to foster knowledge retention of employees by making them learn too much new information at once. We know that multi-tasking brings you busyness, not productivity.
Here are some suggestions for engaging the brain and improving learning retention:
1. Fail productively
Let’s start with the pre-test, instead of jumping right into the river of knowledge.
Quick question: “What does the word “vibe check” mean?
If you do not belong to generation Z, you probably think: “What the heck is that? How can we check the vibe?”
The answer is hilarious. It is a method by which a group or individual obtains a subjective assessment of another person, location, or thing’s mental and emotional condition, according to Urban Dictionary.
This question is so random but it proves one point. You struggle to find the answer because are too old for this new language. However, the next time you are asked the same question, you’ll respond immediately. According to psychological studies, taking a “pre-test” quiz before studying the subject stimulate the brain to absorb the information later better, even if you don’t get a single question right. This approach works for both simple trivia memorization and a deeper knowledge of more complex topics. Whatever materials you’re designing, attempt to test the learners with new knowledge-related questions to assess their present knowledge of the subject – make sure they have to struggle the same as you when trying to figure out the meaning of “vibe check”.
2. Create engaging content
None of your learners respond to different sorts of content in the same ways; some enjoy watching videos, while others prefer to listen to audio recordings and take copious notes. So, how do you make the knowledge stick permanently in their mind?
Lots of educational psychologists assume that providing a variety of information is the key to making training more intelligible and memorable. As a result, while constructing a training session, use a variety of content kinds to keep it interesting. For example, you could begin the session by presenting a brief, relevant video, then verbally explaining a concept that connects to it, and then inviting your students to write down their own opinions on the subject.
3. Break down information into bite-sized chunks
It’s not always a good idea to try to take in too much knowledge at once. Instead, break down your goals into smaller, more doable bits. This theory also relates to the amount of time you devote to your studies.
Most people can only focus for a certain length of time before needing to take a break. Your memory will begin to deteriorate in a short period of time, and you will become exhausted. Break down your learning into smaller chunks and take regular breaks, as this lesson:
4. Incorporating blended learning
Blended learning allows your employees to experience the learning process more effectively by accessing theories and joining face-to-face in-field training at the same time. For instance, you can offer your workers in-person or webinar seminars on important topics. Then, in the LMS, you can build an online course that repeats the lessons from this session so that your students can go over the content as many times as they like until they feel certain that they understand it completely. You can also include a recording of the in-person or webinar session in your online course. This act of repetition raises the chances of your listeners remembering what you’re saying.
5. Test, quiz, ask!
The next suggestion is to incorporate quizzes into your training course. If the pre-test is just for the sake of challenging your employees, the after-learning tests need to be designed to help the learner to keep track of his or her personal development and to what extent they have learned. It also tells you how practical your learning strategy is and whether it needs to be improved. To optimize information retention, test more frequently after each unit or module, adhering to the “less is more” principle once more. You’ll be able to test more precisely and your trainees will be able to focus on and remember the specific topic rather than a large amount of information.
6. Apply learning to the real world
Creating learning modules that are directly pertinent to your trainees’ working lives is beneficial. That way, they’ll be able to see how training will affect their work, and learning retention will be much higher. You may improve this and turn learners into active participants by encouraging them to find the value of the things they’re learning for themselves. Simulators, once again, are an excellent method to demonstrate how your learning objectives apply in the real world and to allow learners to see the benefits.
7. Learn by teaching others
Teaching the material to another person is perhaps the most potent way since it challenges you to exhibit a strong conceptual comprehension. One of the most effective methods to learn new material is to teach it. You’ll reinforce your own learning by engaging with the material enough to describe it well enough for someone else to understand it. This could be assisting a peer in their studies or simply discussing what you’ve learned with a colleague or friend. Participating in online chats might also help you retain more information because you are accumulating the content in new and creative ways.
8. Get moving & exercise
Contrary to popular belief which is large muscular people are dump, the fastest learners are also the most physically active, because cardiovascular exercise causes the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine, which are necessary for memory formation. Therefore, if you want to learn and retain information, you can’t do it if you’re tired and sluggish. In order to live a balanced lifestyle, you must improve your health and exercise every day.
9. Do nothing
Together with working out routines, you should encourage your employees to allow their brains to recover after putting them through all of those pleasurable challenges. Basically, it doesn’t mean taking a break to watch TV, but rather doing nothing. Prof Michaela Dewar of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh discovered that allowing the brain to “wakeful rest” – without any external stimulus – allows it to solidify memories of what it has learned.
The essential lessons are that you must connect with the subject, analyze and dissect into parts, and employ repetition tactics to learn anything new. Every learner is unique, but by following these steps, you may be able to enhance your capacity to remember new material.
Finally, to ensure good learning retention, take advantage of how the adult brain absorbs and retains information: keep learning objectives clear, keep training sessions short, make an explicit link between what is being learned and real-life context, and get trainees to put that knowledge to use as soon as possible. If you incorporate these principles into your course design, you’ll have a memorable training program!