4 Cost Effective Ways to Make Learning Stick
No matter what type of learning we are talking about or what kind of e-learning methodologies you are implementing, one thing is universal for all of the learning incentives – you want the knowledge that people acquire through lessons to stick with them for a long time. It doesn’t matter if you have different learning objectives or your audience is different, creating a memorable learning experience is always a must.
If not, the people participating in the learning course will quickly forget what they learned and the whole thing won’t have much sense. On top of that, if we are talking about employee training, it means investing money, and when your employees forget what they learned, then it means that you’ve wasted both money and your employee’s time.
Learning professionals also need to learn tricks that will help them create courses that are memorable and that will stick with the participants for a long time. This is our topic for today, as we will discuss what you can do to make your learning courses even more effective in delivering the knowledge to your students.
The first thing you should do is look find an LMS with an integrated Tin Can XAPI so that you can see how your participants learn and compare their performance with the way their learning experience is taking place.
1. Engage learners emotionally
People involved in your learning courses need to be surrounded by elements that resonate with them. Like it or not, for a student to adopt a certain knowledge, he or she needs to be open to it and have positive emotions towards that topic. If someone thinks that a piece of information is obsolete and without purpose, chances are that the person will not remember the information.
This brings us to another issue, how can you emotionally engage all the people that take part in your elearning lessons? Depending on the type of audience that will be participating in your learning lessons, you need to find the adequate elements that will engage them emotionally and make them open towards the course itself.
Make it about them and about their roles. For example, if we are talking about training customer support employees, create a learning scenario where an angry customer is calling them and blaming them personally for their lost shipment. Make them aware of their actions and reward them for doing well by acknowledging their efforts.
2. Include collaboration into your e-learning courses
Although learning can be done individually, it can also be done within a group. Learners want to interact with coworkers or peers and talk about things that concern them both within their learning experience. This is how they will engage in an immersive and interactive learning process where they will be able to learn new things and confirm their knowledge through conversation.
When peers collaborate amongst each other, complete assignments together, or talk to each other through social media about their learning courses and the knowledge they acquired, chances are that they will probably remember everything they learned more easily.
On top of that, learners can benefit from the learning experience they’ve already had and the knowledge they gathered, while their peers will only remind them again of those same things and even give them additional knowledge about a certain topic, in case they missed something important.
3. Create courses that focus on learners need
One of the reasons why learners forget something they’ve learned from a certain course is the simple fact that they never needed that knowledge or the practical skills they acquired. For students to remember what they learned, it is important that they get to use the knowledge acquired and not just keep it with them for show.
This means that the training or learning course needs to have practical and applicable knowledge that they will get to use in the future, and not let it disappear from their minds. This also means that learners will be more open towards acquiring this knowledge through the lesson you prepared for them if they understand that this is something they will be needing in the future.
Games, quizzes, simulations and real world scenarios include learning activities that will give your learners the opportunity to use the knowledge they acquired and relate to the subject matter in the real world situations. Knowledge application also includes a lot of repetition and this can additionally boost the memory of learners and allow them to retain the knowledge they acquired.
4. Try to make your lessons as simple as possible
When we say “as simple as possible” it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to explain more complex things within your learning courses. However, it does mean simplifying it as much as possible, so that the people taking your course don’t have to put in extra effort to understand what you are trying to tell them.
For example, make sure that your texts are clear and concise by splitting up long paragraphs and adding bullet points, dividing information, creating multiple modules, and making sure that important information is highlighted. This is how you won’t overload learners.
Rely on the types of content that can quickly explain something, instead of sticking to one type of content. For example, you can use graphic or a chart to explain complex concepts with comparison examples. On the other hand, you can also use images and videos to effectively demonstrate how something is done, instead of writing huge paragraphs with instructions.
In the end, all of the content that you include in your learning lessons needs to be clear and concise. It also needs to direct learners towards achieving something. Simple things can be remembered more easily and good examples can also help some information become more memorable. Remember that a lot of visuals can be distracting as well, so you will have to draw a line somewhere.
Learning is not a race and you don’t have to rush people to adopt new knowledge in a designated amount of time. For Example, if we are talking about employee training, not everyone might have the time to use their LMS on regular basis, and some people will simply be slower. Split the training sessions into smaller modules that are easily digestible by anyone, and that’s how you will make sure that everyone retains the information they acquired.
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system& authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.