Unfortunately, we can’t avoid forgetting some of the content we consume. Whether it’s books, podcasts, articles, or anything else that we gather information from, we’re bound to forget some of it at some point in our lives. However, as an eLearning professional, you may find yourself wondering how you can improve the knowledge retention rate in your courses. With the lack of physical classrooms and face-to-face interaction, it might be challenging to ensure that your learners will retain the knowledge they acquire and be fully engaged with the material. In this article, we'll explore 9 strategies for boosting knowledge retention in your online courses and delve into the factors that affect it.
Before highlighting how you can improve your courses' knowledge retention rates, it's important to understand what affects someone's ability to assimilate what they're learning. First, motivation and interest are what draw learners to an eLearning course. Our brain tends to focus on matters that catch our attention, and we usually learn more effectively when we have a specific motive. Additionally, learning retention depends heavily on the repetition of the learning subject. A task is most likely remembered by someone if they repeat it several times. Then, learners usually recall ideas or concepts more effectively if they can find significance or associate them with something they're already familiar with. Finally, your eLearning content must be transmitted through various channels to help your learners find the one that suits their needs and preferences.
Spaced repetition is a technique for improving long-term memory retention by spacing out the learning material over time. Instead of cramming everything into a single study session, learners should review it at periods of increasing length. This will help them remember what they’ve learned in the long term by strengthening the neural connections between pieces of information. You can implement this in your eLearning courses by providing weekly quizzes covering the previous week's material, prompting your learners to retrieve it from memory. Alternatively, you should choose an eLearning platform that has a reminder feature for learners to schedule their homework at certain times.
Active learning is a teaching technique that involves engaging learners by having them participate in activities and exercises. For example, you can implement quizzes and simulations that require active engagement with the learning material. These activities can be designed to reinforce essential concepts and provide opportunities for learners to apply them. Likewise, instructors can encourage learners to take part in online discussions and group projects that foster critical thinking.
Use various forms of media, such as text, images, videos, and audio, to enhance the learning experience. Research has shown that this type of learning can improve knowledge retention, as it helps students understand complex concepts. You can start practicing that by providing video lectures, infographics, diagrams, or podcasts, to reinforce the online course’s content and visualize complicated information.
By understanding each learner's unique needs and learning styles, you can provide personalized feedback and support, which leads to higher knowledge retention rates. Give learners the opportunity to choose the topics they like, set their own goals, and work at their own pace. As an instructor, you should use data analytics to help you track each learner’s progress and provide customized feedback and recommendations.
When students understand the relevance of the material they are learning, they are more likely to engage with it and beat the forgetting curve. The simplest way to achieve this is through real-world examples. Use case studies, news articles, or anecdotes to help your learners understand how the course material applies to their lives and the world around them. You can also ask them to express how they think the lessons relate to some of their personal experiences and ask them to share these with the class.
Formative assessments help learners identify gaps in their knowledge and understanding. They can also provide the learners with immediate feedback on their understanding of the material and help them decide where to focus their learning paths moving forward. As an eLearning professional, you can use the results of these assessments to adjust your teaching strategies and provide targeted support to those who need it.
Self-regulated learning is the ability to manage one's own learning process effectively. Emphasize this by letting your learners set their own goals, create study plans, and monitor their progress. Of course, you should also guide them on other effective strategies that might benefit their learning journeys. For example, talk to them about time management if you notice that they're falling behind in their studies.
By applying what they've learned to real-world scenarios, learners have the chance to understand it more deeply and put everything into context. One of the most effective hands-on activities is Virtual Reality (VR) simulations. VR has the power to enhance engagement, improve memory recall, and provide practical experience in a risk-free setting.
Let your learners be teachers for a day. Each week, you can choose a volunteer who feels they've understood the lesson. This learner can even create a brief presentation and assessment for their peers, as well as answer questions to help those who need more guidance on the subject. Not only does this make the most of collaborative learning, but it empowers learners and bolsters their self-confidence.
Memorizing key concepts and ideas won't get learners far when it's time to apply their newfound knowledge in the real world. This is why it's crucial to not only focus on boosting knowledge retention rates but to make the information stick. Check out our list of the top custom eLearning content providers to find the right outsourcing partner to help you create contextual experiences that leave a lasting impression.
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