Making Learning Happen

We all know that one learning session is not enough.  Over a century ago Herman Ebbinghaus did some ground-breaking work that effects your business today.  He conceived and developed the forgetting curve.  The forgetting effect states that memory loss is exponential, meaning it flattens out by the square of the previous number until flattening out 30 days after the training session.

For training to improve performance, change behaviour or retain information a training intervention must be followed up and reinforced.  It takes varied practice, lots of review and workplace support to become competent in new skills.  We also know that it is difficult for employees to find time to engage in long term learning opportunities.

In today’s time poor businesses, we need alternatives to conventional one-time learning events.  We need solutions that are distributed over time or as they are known, spaced learning.  Here are some examples:


1. Involve managers

In our experience this is the most effective and suggest that managers become involved in our other suggestions as well.  When managers support training, rather than seeing it as a separate activity, team members are encouraged to improve their skills more quickly.  To do this in the best way they can requires them to discuss what the individual is learning and provide opportunities aligned with the person’s learning goals.


2. Facilitate on-line discussions/collaboration

Post-training discussion groups are some of the best ways to continue learning.  In this approach, the learning experience designer works with a subject matter expert to seed the discussion with real-world questions, case studies and problems to solve.  If the discussions are relevant the learners will soon take over.


3. Deliver Modlette lessons

Create weekly or fortnightly lessons that extend training.  Modlettes is an ideal medium for delivering short lessons and evaluating learning.  Rather than overwhelm learners with a long course, decompose it so learners can work on the core knowledge and skills during the workshop and then case studies, problem solving and further bits of content via regular Modlette assignments.  Modlettes have excellent quiz formats to assess learning.


4. Promote mentoring programmes

Mentoring refers to developing a long-term professional relationship between an experienced guide and a person who is seeking advice and guidance for professional development.  Successful mentoring not only helps the mentor and mentee, but it helps organisations maintain and grow their pool of talent.


Think of a training event as laying the foundation for continuous learning rather than the end in itself.  Base your course design on an event preceded and followed by short bursts with Modlettes