eLearning 101: The eLearning Retention Resolution

By
Alycia Mann
on
May 6, 2019

So, you’ve chosen your content delivery platform and you’ve written some grade A, engaging content for your learners; great job! Now we need to make sure all that hard work doesn’t go to waste — it’s time to work on the “eLearning retention resolution.”

In this three-part series, we’ll cover the three main questions our clients ask when starting an online learning program:

  1. Getting your online training in the hands of your learners
  2. Engaging learners with their online training
  3. Helping learners retain the information

How much do you remember about the last online course you took? What did it look like? What was the topic? Let’s consider the following:

Woman in an orange shirt looking thoughtful with her hand on her chin - eLearning 101: The eLearning Retention Resolution The eLearning Retention Resolution- eLearning Development - Flare Learning

Will your learners remember their training?

Many eLearning courses are taken once to communicate policies and processes, achieve a certificate, or complete annual recertification but how likely are your learners to remember that information when it’s really important? Here are some tips for your eLearning retention resolution:

Use KISS for eLearning Retention

Keep it short and simple. If you’re using traditional eLearning, don’t overload a slide with text. Use bulleted lists and pair it with more in-depth narration to support what the learner reads. Take a small bite out of your content to drive eLearning retention and use only what the learner needs, no fluff.

Most learners would be more likely to engage with their company’s eLearning if they knew the lessons were shorter. How often have you put off a task because it’s just too long? Finding time for hour-long training modules in our busy schedules is a task of its own!

What about trying micro-learning? Smaller chunks of information are easier to remember and will help with your eLaerning retention goals. We can typically only remember seven things at once in our short-term memory. What happens when you learn the eighth thing? Well, you lose one of the original seven unless it shifts to long-term memory. This is why micro-learning is such a great tool.

How Repetition helps eLearning Retention

Using activities throughout the course is a great way to reinforce important information to learners in a fun, new way that they saw it on the slides the first time. Activities allow you the opportunity for a multifaceted approach which can help your learners to understand the information from more than one angle. Using non-graded activities lets your learners try, problem solve, and most importantly, learn. At the closing of your course, include a graded quiz to really drive home your most essential points.

Even from a biological standpoint, the more we use information, the more likely it is to make its way into our long-term memory. Slow and steady wins the race, right? In the last post, we talked about gamification and — I can’t repeat this enough — microlearning is a phenomenal tool for this. Knowledge retention is not a “one and done” kind of concept. We all know cramming doesn’t work. Learning is more efficient when it is spread out across time. Want to try microlearning for yourself? Check out OttoLearn to claim your free trial.

When do you need your learners to remember?

eLearning retention helps make sure that in those low volume but high stakes situations, your learners are ready to act!

eLeaning Retention Scenarios

We learn by doing. You can probably relate. Experience is one of the best ways for adults to learn. And if you can’t give real-world experience to your learners, scenarios to support eLearning retention will do! Scenarios can help engage your learner and encourage them to use problem-solving skills which lead to better retention.

If your content is written in an engaging way, you’re going to have better eLearning retention overall, but what if your content is mainly memorization? Sometimes facts are unavoidably boring and using scenarios or examples can help bring the learners’ attention back to the task at hand. Learners can make sense of an otherwise foreign fact if it is used is a familiar scenario.

Stop. Collaborate and listen.

If your learners are able to leverage a community or like-minded group, they’re more likely to retain the knowledge they discuss. Group projects, group ranking systems, or leaderboards can be great tools to influence your learners and their progress.

Even just giving your learners a chance to discuss what they liked (or didn’t like) about the training will help them to retain it just by repetition alone. Learners who are given the chance to talk about, or even teach, their newly gained knowledge are much more likely to remember it.

So, what’s the eLearning Retention bottom line?

Your eLearning courses can be engaging and your delivery platform can be superb, but without learner retention, what is the point?

Your LMS can do wonders for introducing material and teaching your learners. But too often, the courses are too long for a learner to want to repeat enough to maintain that level of knowledge. Microlearning is an incredible tool and it works exceptionally well on its own or in tandem with your LMS. It’s easy to develop, easily accessible, and easy to digest.

Want a great LMS to start you off right? Check out SmarterU and chat with our amazing team to see what’s right for you. Not sure where to start with your microlearning journey? OttoLearn provides an adaptive experience. Don’t bite off more than you can chew—our team of Instructional Designers can help to create your bite-sized content. As experts of online learning, we’ll ensure your lessons light the way for your learners to follow. Ask us how!

About the Author

Alycia Mann

With her academic background in science, Alycia leverages her instructional design expertise towards each project. As our Instructional Designer, she loves working with Subject Matter Experts to unpack their knowledge to meticulously craft the right story that will educate, inform, and drive KPI’s.
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Alycia Mann

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