10 Foolproof Ways to Increase Learning Retention
10 Simple Ways to Increase Learning Retention
Whenever you participate in a learning environment, the end goal is to absorb new information and process it for future applications. However, learners in any environment, whether a corporate training course or a college student, can find retention challenging.
With some tips and tricks, you can improve your ability to recall new information down the road.
What Is Learning Retention?
As a formal definition of learning retention, this is the process of taking new information and transferring it into your long-term memory. This means information has been fully processed and filed for future recall.
Without retention, anything learned is liable to leave your short-term memory after a brief period of time. Statistically, people forget up to 70% of new information within the first 24 hours.
How Does Learning Retention Work?
Rather than temporary assimilation of information, learning retention strategies help the mind process data, facts and other information more fully, allowing it to be drawn upon in the future. Learning retention improves the educational experience of the individual, as long-term memory recall is more beneficial when it comes to application.
Deeper engagement with the material and learning is a significant factor in ensuring long-term retention of information.
What Are the Top 10 Ways To Increase Learning Retention?
On the journey to improving retention, there are several ways to get more from the information. These are 10 of the top tips for helping learners recall material down the road.
1. Read Less
Information overload is a leading factor in poor knowledge retention. For many learners, less is more. Break down information into bite-sized segments and learning objectives and build upon them. Smaller chunks of information are more manageable and more easily absorbed.
2. Use a Narrative
By putting information in story form, it is easier for the brain to deeply engage with the material. Don’t make the story too complicated, but the creation of a narrative with a few characters and situations can help reinforce the objectives and learning retention objectives.
3. Use Assessments
Including assessments in the training material gives learners the ability to track their progress. Use quizzes or tests with each learning objective and evaluate the learner’s immediate response to the material. Go sparingly on cumulative assessments if you want the learner to self-evaluate their retention.
4. Use Interaction
Students who are actively engaged in the learning process are more likely to retain what they are learning. Bring simulations, scenarios and interactive activities to the learning environment. Technology, such as virtual reality activities, can bring a more immersive experience.
5. Use Repetition
Many understand the principle behind repetition, though many choose to avoid this route because it can easily become boring and disengaging. Find creative ways to repeat or reiterate new information or tasks to enhance long-term recall. Refreshers units and different techniques like role-playing or simulation can lend creativity to the emphasis on repetition.
6. Make Learning Applicable
Information that only seems to work in a classroom or training setting is easily forgotten. It is important to take abstract concepts and make them relevant to real-world needs. The mind will quickly abandon information it feels is unnecessary or unrelated to personal needs.
7. Create Learning Guides
Some learners need more direct assistance with learning and not everyone does well at self-guided learning. Consider ways to provide assistance in learning courses, either with an avatar or other coarse guide to keep students on track.
8. Create Learning Categories
Grouping information according to relevance or category can help with learning retention. Categories make it easier to draw associations or connections, especially when there are long lists of information that need to be remembered.
9. Teach Others
Many people don’t realize how much they have learned until they try to teach others. Fully engaging with the material will allow a learner to explain it clearly to someone else and reinforce personal learning at the same time.
10. Appreciate Mistakes
Don’t let mistakes become reasons for frustration or examples of failure. Use mistakes to identify areas of improvement and spend extra time for further retention.
How Does Learning Retention Help Beyond the Classroom?
Whether you are developing a training module or formulating an academic course, focusing on retention will help the learner develop skills that can be drawn upon at a later time.
As a whole, a person can perform more consistently when there is a wealth of information to incorporate into their daily tasks. For help crafting engaging learning environments for online delivery, reach out to an LMS partner to get started.