Online training is only helpful if your learners remember the information, so they can apply it to their jobs. “What your memory is really for is giving you information about what to expect in the world and how to solve problems in those situations,” says Art Markman, cognitive psychologist and author of Smart Thinking. Successful online training will fill the learner’s memory with valuable information that he or she can use at work in real life.
To help your learners remember this valuable information, try these 6 memory tricks:
Try a scenario-based course, where you put the learners into real-life situations. Scenarios help with memory recall when the learner is on the job and must perform the actual task without detailed instructions. To learn more about creating scenarios to improve memory, check out this blog post: Building Scenario-Based e-Learning Courses.
- Intrinsic feedback
Instead of just telling the learner if the answer was correct or wrong, give an explanation for the feedback. In a scenario-based course, the feedback would be the real-world success or failure that would happen as a result of the chosen answer. For example, if you asked the learner how to approach a potential customer, the feedback could be if the customer was won or lost. When your learners know the consequences like these, it will help them remember in the future.
- Content chunking
This technique is based of George Miller’s research on cognitive load theory, which says there’s a limit to the amount of information the human brain can hold at a time. Chunking the content into bits allows the brain to manage it. For example, when we separate phone numbers into groups of three, three and four, that’s basic content chunking. To learn more about content chunking, read this blog post: 4 Benefits (and Tips) for Content Chunking.
- Learning styles
Keep the 4 different learning styles in mind: visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile. The challenge is that you don’t know your learners’ styles ahead of time when you’re designing online training. That’s why you have to be creative and incorporate something for each type of learner. For more information, check out this post: How to Accommodate the 4 Learning Styles in Your Online Training.
Visual images are an excellent way to represent a concept or cue a strategy. However, imagery actually has several forms, besides the visual image that most people think of first. Auditory images and motor images (sometimes called “muscle memory”) can also help memory. To learn more about adding images to online training, read this blog post: How to Choose the Best Images for Your e-Learning.
End your e-Learning course with a brief recap of what was learned. This gives your learners one last reminder of what they’ve accomplished during your course, so they can take that knowledge and apply it to their jobs.
Like this post? Here’s one you might enjoy too: 5 Strategies for Designing Brain-Friendly e-Learning Courses.
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Christie Wroten graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor's degree in English and Writing. When she's not writing about e-Learning, Christie enjoys traveling or playing piano and guitar.