Boost knowledge retention with these top tips

Developing digital learning content takes time and effort. The last thing you want is to create content, and for your learners to forget it almost immediately. So, here are our top tips on boosting knowledge retention for your learners:

1. Repetition

Though its validity is debated in the L&D industry, Ebbinghaus’ ‘Forgetting Curve’ shows that learners forget content rapidly after the first piece of learning. The speed at which they forget then decreases with each learning experience. This is called spaced repetition and is a fantastic way to help your learners cement knowledge into their long-term memory.
To facilitate repetition in your digital learning strategy, make use of the tech around you. Create content in multiple formats, catering to learners needs – at the point of need. For example, learners may not have the chance to sit through a full eLearning course again in the flow-of-work. But, they may have time to quickly reference a PDF to double check their understanding. By providing information in a multitude of ways, and thus making learning easier – is a sure-fire way to increase retention.
Your LMS is going to be critical in facilitating repetition in learning. It’ll be the hub of all your learning resources, in every form. And it’s likely to have some additional features, such as learner prompts and reminders, to make sure your learners are accessing the right information, at the right time.

2. Apply it to real life

Linking learning content to real world examples is a great way to boost retention. Applying new knowledge to a situation your learner may face in the real world helps to form strong neurological connections.
This, known in the industry as ‘scenario based training’ is made up of three parts:
  1. The challenge
  2. The choice
  3. The consequence
This allows learners to put their knowledge into practice, without the fear or risk of failure.
If you want to learn more about scenario based learning – check out Omniplex’s on demand webinar “Creating branched scenarios with Storyline 360 and Vyond.

3. Relevance is key

Your learners are busy. They’re not going to take time out of their day to complete courses they do not think are relevant. Nor will they enjoy the learning when they’re eventually forced to take it. Which ultimately means they won’t remember the content – they’ll just remember the annoying course they had to take.
Create learning that is relevant for your learner, for their career and their progression. Stick to the subject, and keep learning content focused. Avoid the temptation to go off on a tangent with ‘nice-to-know’ information. Stick to the important facts, your learners will appreciate it.
What’s more, show your learner’s why the content is relevant. Explain to them through your launch campaign the benefit to them of completing the course. This will undoubtedly help with uptake rates. This in turn helps with retention, because learner’s who never take the course certainly will not remember its content.

4. Chunk it up

There is a strong correlation between volume of learning and the time it takes to learn the information. The more content = the longer it takes to learn. Which in turn = learners remembering substantially less content.
Break up content into smaller, bite-sized chunks for easier absorption and thus, easier retention.
Now you’ve read our top tips on boosting knowledge retention, why not check out our blog on the mechanics of memory?