9 Knowledge Retention Techniques For eLearning
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How To Enhance Knowledge Retention In eLearning

Your eLearning activities are immersive and interactive. Your eLearning content is clear, concise, and goal-centered. Now the question is: are your online learners going to remember anything when they step into the real world? Learning is one thing, but absorbing and assimilating the information is something else. These 9 techniques can help you improve knowledge retention in your eLearning course.

1. It All Starts With Audience Research

Before you design your eLearning course, audience research should be a top priority. You have to know about learner preferences, goals, and preexisting knowledge. Information they already have in their memory banks is extraneous at this point. Which means that it may contribute to cognitive overload. There's only so much room in the working memory, and you don't want old concepts taking up valuable space. Conduct surveys, interviews, and online pre-assessments to learn as much you can about their experience level, skills, and abilities.

2. Optional Self-Assessments

Most online learners automatically shut-off when they hear the word "mandatory". They know that boredom and tedious coursework are what's in store. For this reason, it's wise to incorporate optional self-assessments that allow online learners to track their own progress. More importantly, they give them the opportunity to review the information and put it into their own words. By doing so, online learners assimilate the key takeaways and move the information from working memory to long-term memory.

3. Microlearning Online Resource Library

Microlearning online resources are brief, targeted, and easily accessible. Online learners get the information they need quickly so that they can achieve their goal and overcome everyday challenges. A microlearning online library gathers all of your bite-size eLearning in one place so that online learners can get in, get out, and get back to business. These online resources can include eLearning videos, online tutorials, podcasts, and product online demos. The secret is breaking the information down to its most basic components in order to make it memorable. For example, a complex task might involve 5-minute eLearning videos that center on specific skills and steps.

4. Visual Summaries

It's a proven fact that the human brain remembers images more effectively than text. Which is why visual summaries help to boost knowledge retention and active recall. This includes pictures, graphics, infographics, mind maps, and charts. Visuals also help online learners connect the information to existing mental schemas. For example, an online learner recognizes an image and immediately sees the relationship between the new concepts and previously learned ideas. Just make sure that you follow the "law of proximity." Grouping images does curious things to the mind. We automatically think that the objects are somehow connected, even if they aren't. Thus, you must be careful about the visuals you choose and their placement on the page.

5. eLearning Course Gamification

Everybody loves a good game, especially when they're expecting dry and dull subject matter. Adding badges, levels, leaderboards, and other game mechanics to your eLearning course can significantly improve knowledge retention. Online learners are more engaged, which leads to active participation. As a result, they absorb more information without distractions getting in the way. They concentrate on earning points and progressing to the next level instead of checking their Facebook posts. Another option is serious games, which are both educational and entertaining.

6. Spaced Repetition

The brain needs a break every now and then. Spaced repetition improves knowledge assimilation by preventing cognitive overload. Online learners are able to review the concepts multiple times, using multiple eLearning activities. For example, first they explore the task in a simulation, then they watch an eLearning tutorial on the same topic, and finally they read an interactive summary followed by an eLearning assessment. Each eLearning activity covers the same learning objectives and ideas while expanding on the topic. This also caters to different learning behaviors, as every recap relies on new multimedia elements or interactions.

7. Mobile-Friendly eLearning Content

Most of your online learners are on the go. They don't have time to sit behind a computer and complete a half hour eLearning course. As a result, you must make your eLearning portable and easily accessible. Otherwise, online learners won't actively engage with the eLearning content or assimilate the main ideas. Using a responsive design tool is usually your best bet. It gives you the power to create mobile-friendly eLearning content that adapts to any device. Just develop a master layout and the system automatically shifts the layout to adapt. You should also consider readability and navigability when creating mobile learning content. Make the buttons big enough to touch, optimize your eLearning images, and opt for legible fonts.

8. Learner-Generated eLearning Content

Creating something requires comprehension. Online learners must know the topic inside and out in order to produce an eLearning blog or online presentation. This is why learner-generated eLearning content is such as a powerful retention tool. Encourage your online learners to produce materials that focus on specific task, topic, or trend. Once they complete the assignment they can upload it to the eLearning course platform or social media page. Their peers are able to leave feedback and offer advice that builds comprehension. The act of creating the eLearning content also gives online learners the chance to refresh their memory and actively recall the information. That's a winning combination for knowledge retention.

9. Online Mentoring

Sometimes teaching is the best way to learn. Pair each online learner with an experienced mentor who can share their expertise and insights. Provide them with a list of eLearning activities and online resources that can help them achieve their learning objectives. In lieu of mentoring, use social media groups and online forums to facilitate the online collaboration process. Reviewing the information with their peers can fill knowledge gaps and improve long-term retention.

These knowledge retention techniques allow you to beat the forgetting curve and impart long-lasting knowledge. This adds value to your eLearning course and helps online learners achieve their learning goals without memory lapses getting in the way.

The human mind has its limits. Read the article Cognitive Limitations Of Adult Learners In eLearning: 6 Factors To Consider to discover factors that determine the cognitive limitations of adult learners.

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