Five Tips for Retaining Knowledge

Over in the United Kingdom, the E-learning Centre has suggested five simple ways to help your learners better retain the knowledge obtained through e-learning initiatives. They are:

1) Think in smaller bits. Instead of creating one 45-minute course, break it up into three 15-minute chunks. At the beginning of each chunk, review what was covered in the last session. Repetition helps, so repeat early and often. Encourage the learner to take each section one or two weeks apart. If you can, have your LMS do the scheduling part for you.

2) Create a short — and we mean short! — follow-up mini-course that hits the main key points. Pull some memorable images from the original e-learning piece to trigger memories of any potent scenarios or characters that you may have used.

3) Follow up with practice exercises. Instead of creating a follow-up course, how about a follow-up exercise? Give the learner the opportunity to work through another example as a way of providing repetition and reinforcement.

4) Send content ticklers. Send out short follow-up e-mails, reminding the learner of key points. Send an e-mail one week after they finish, then three weeks, and so on. You just might reactivate some important point.

5) Make use of other tools. Think outside of the course. Create a blog on the subject matter. Use Twitter or Yammer to send out little snippets or tips. Generate a topic related newsletter. Make a poster. The point is, keep the topic alive and well with your learners.

To learn more, visit Dr. Will Thalheimer’s blog (http://willthalheimer.typepad.com/). Additional info can be obtained at www.e-learningcentre.co.uk.

Over in the United Kingdom, the E-learning Centre has suggested five simple ways to help your learners better retain the knowledge obtained through e-learning initiatives. They are:

1) Think in smaller bits. Instead of creating one 45-minute course, break it up into three 15-minute chunks. At the beginning of each chunk, review what was covered in the last session. Repetition helps, so repeat early and often. Encourage the learner to take each section one or two weeks apart. If you can, have your LMS do the scheduling part for you.

2) Create a short — and we mean short! — follow-up mini-course that hits the main key points. Pull some memorable images from the original e-learning piece to trigger memories of any potent scenarios or characters that you may have used.

3) Follow up with practice exercises. Instead of creating a follow-up course, how about a follow-up exercise? Give the learner the opportunity to work through another example as a way of providing repetition and reinforcement.

4) Send content ticklers. Send out short follow-up e-mails, reminding the learner of key points. Send an e-mail one week after they finish, then three weeks, and so on. You just might reactivate some important point.

5) Make use of other tools. Think outside of the course. Create a blog on the subject matter. Use Twitter or Yammer to send out little snippets or tips. Generate a topic related newsletter. Make a poster. The point is, keep the topic alive and well with your learners.

To learn more, visit Dr. Will Thalheimer’s blog (http://willthalheimer.typepad.com/). Additional info can be obtained at www.e-learningcentre.co.uk.

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