For a long time enterprises, learning institutions, learning specialists, trainers and lifelong learners have been combating against one of the oldest bugbears in the Learning & Development (L&D) realm, Ebbinghau’s Forgetting Curve, or simply The Forgetting Curve, a study of how information is lost over time when you don’t intentionally retain it.
Find out how we overcome this phenomenon:
Combat the Forgetting Curve
The famous forgetting curve describes how quickly and easily information is lost if it’s learned quickly, in one big piece and never reinforced. So why does our memory seem to fail so easily? It’s because our brains actually use forgetting as a necessary mechanism to avoid information overload. Your staff don’t need to remember most things. Many of the things we do are short-term or infrequent tasks, or we can remind ourselves by writing lists or making how-to plans, and our brains quickly forget those things to free up ‘space’ to remember new or other important items.
So if forgetting can be a good thing, how do you prevent it when the information you’re learning is critical? The best way to increase retention is to spread out new information over multiple sessions, so the brain isn’t getting inundated with all new things. Then make sure to reinforce and remind people of the things they need to know.
Meet the Modern Learner
Bersin by Deloitte’s infographic “Meet the Modern Learner” is a snapshot of the challenges facing learning professionals today. For those of us who seek to create high-quality training, “Modern Learner” is a more incisive presentation of the way modern workers learn. Here are our biggest takeaways from this research.
- Learning needs to be micro. The central theme of the infographic is the fractured nature of the modern attention span. In Bersin’s words, “most learners won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.” To those of us who recoil in preemptive boredom when someone emails us a six-minute YouTube video, Bersin’s claim rings true.
- Workplaces need to be more aligned. As modern workers discover unprecedented independence on the job, their workplaces need to allow them a productive working environment. That means eliminating counterproductive distractions every 5 minutes. And that can be done through greater work alignment.
- Mobile learning is essential. 21st centurites check their phones 9 times an hour. No wonder they’re “increasingly turning to their smartphones to find just-in-time answers to unexpected problems.” Only learning that works well on mobile engages learners these days.
- Why are so few organizations providing time for training? Employees say they can spend only 1% of their time on training and development. That’s not nearly a serious-enough commitment to training. Time is an essential learning resource—without it, you may as well not provide any training at all.
- Employees really want to learn… Despite the paltry amount of time they feel they can allot to training, employees want to further their careers badly enough that they will pay for the training themselves if need be: 62% of IT professionals say they’ve done so. It’s no wonder why—they work in a field that requires its participants to stay up-to-date. It’s time everyone catches up with the fact that we all live in a world that moves this fast now.
- …but too few are getting it at work. If only 38% of people feel they have access to long-term development at work, our economy is staring at a big, big problem coming down the pipe. Skills training is essential; staying on top of technology is essential. The companies that deliver effective learning best possess a huge competitive advantage.
- Point-of-need learning meets learners where they are. 70% of employees access answers to on-the-job questions through search engines. That’s because Google is often the most readily-available tool at the point of need. Imagine if they got used to accessing your brand’s own instructional content that easily. That’s the power of on-demand performance support.
Contact us now for a FREE consultation to provide a customised solution for your organisation needs.
DemoSMILES is our social micro-learning demo app. Feel free to download and try!