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Trainer’s Tip: Learning Retention


This week's tip comes from Carol Long, writing in resonse to an Any Answers question about learning retention.

When you are training people, the information will only stay in their head if they have fully engaged with what they are taught. This means a number of things have to happen. First you really have to have their full attention and have an environment in which they can engage.

You have to give them the information in a way that works best for them: different people have different learning styles, both primary (visual/spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, verbal/linguistic) and secondary (inter-personal, logical/mathematical, musical, intra-personal).

Different delivery methods have different retention rates. The model most quoted says: 20% of what we read, 30% of what we hear, 40% of what we see, 50% of what we say, 60% of what we do, and 90% of what we see, hear, say and do!

For most people, the lowest retention rate comes from things they have simply read or heard only once. The highest comes from a combination of methods (hear, read, watched it happen) but by far the most effective is by getting the trainee to teach to others what they have just learnt. This is the value of getting them to share their knowledge with their colleagues after the training event.

There is also the need to repeat the information to move it from short-term memory into long term memory: follow-ups after a few days and a few weeks helps "embed" the knowledge.

*Click here to read the question and other responses.


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