AGES Model: Elements For Long-Term Learning
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What Is The AGES Model?

In this article, we'll be talking about the AGES model and how effective it is in creating long-term learning. But before we go into that, let's have a look at why most corporate training lacks mental challenges.

Why Most Corporate Training Lacks Sufficient Mental Challenges

Well, people think that the main reason corporate training is less challenging (mentally) is due to learning professional's incompetency. However, that's not the case as most organizations often deliver training to their employees, intending to achieve a high ROI and productivity.

The kinds of challenges that most professionals face are not about being able to create an effective learning program to move their organization forward. After all, they are professionals and they understand how to create engagement and a level of challenges. Instead, it's often due to cost restraints, training resources, and time barriers they have to work within.

The AGES model is an essential element of neuroscience that you can leverage to create effective learning programs necessary to improve employee performance. It's effective and depends on how the human brain retains knowledge for a long time.

AGES is an acronym which stands for Attention, Generation, Emotions, and Spacing. It's highly effective in both eLearning and traditional classroom teaching. Research has it that during training, learning retention and recall get connected to the strength of activating the hippocampus.

During training, the AGES model focuses on 4 essential elements—attention, generation, emotions, and spacing—to improve retention. Let's have a look at these 4 key elements one by one.

1. Attention

Attention is similar to focus, which is one of the essential ingredients in learning retention. An employee is able to acquire knowledge and retain it better if they focus on training without having divided attention while learning.

Unlike before, it can be hard to manage attention during training, irrespective of the learning modality that's being used. For instance, when your employees are present in a learning program, are they there or is their focus somewhere else?

Two vital factors can make your employees more focused on a learning program. These include:

  • If the training is highly engaging
  • If they can understand how relevant the training is to their success in your organization

So, irrespective of the challenges being faced by learning professionals, creating engaging and relevant training will help them address the first point of AGES.

2. Generation

Generation in this context is the ability of learners to create a connection to new ideas. That usually involves mapping out what they are learning to their pre-existing knowledge.

This means that each learner does not necessarily need to listen passively but must be able to generate their mental links during training. But how can you effectively make generations happen when creating your online learning program?

While numerous strategies can work, simply creating training involving multiple senses will work best in helping learners retain knowledge. However, learning professionals must be able to link learning programs to individual employee’s roles.

And instead of just reading or watching, learners must be able to listen, think, speak, and practice during the learning process.

3. Emotion

Emotion is the third element of the AGES model that helps to promote learning and retention. I'm sure you'll agree with me that the emotional moments in human lives are usually unforgettable.

So, the stronger you're able to make your learners feel emotional during your training program, the more you're able to help them retain knowledge. However, it doesn't have to be too strong as that can even distract learners from the learning objectives.

So, how then can you prepare your training program to moderately and positively strike your learners' emotional side? Create a learning experience that enables your employees to connect, interact, and learn together to become more productive.

Also, introduce gamification and game-based learning as both of them are essential to help increase employee engagement levels.

4. Spacing

Usually, most training sessions in an organization are a one-time thing. Even if the satisfactory rating of the program is high, there's a slim chance that participants are going to achieve long-term retention. That's because long-term retention works better when we learn over several spaced sittings. These spaces allow learners to have time to reflect on what they have learned before the next training session.

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