No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Trainer’s tip: Making IT training more memorable


QUESTION MARKIT training can cover complex material that is hard to digest so how can you make it more memorable? Our trainers have come up with some valuable advice to help you ensure your trainees remember what they are taught.

Charlotte Wetton asked on our Any Answers forum:

Does anyone have advice on how to make my trainees actually remember the things I teach them on IT courses? I have recently gone back to do refresher sessions (I am an in-house trainer so this is easy to do) and am disappointed by how little people have remembered. I don't know if the problem is the original course I delivered - or if this low retention is normal and refreshers are the only answer?

Mike Abbott suggests a competency/needs based training approach:

We currently have a number of staff studying for an ITQ qualification. This is mainly taught on a 1:1 basis with the assessor either visiting the student's desk or using a dedicated facility. One thing that came out was, by visiting their workplace the training can be tailored to suit what people do, not what they are told they should do. It suggests that they don't realise how it can be made relevant to their work. If you are able to go to a competency/need based training then the benefits should far outweigh the downside. Have a word with a local college to see if they can offer ITQ as you may be able to get some or all of it funded under Train To Gain provided the students go for the qualification.

Emma Baxter has three recommendations:

At the end of the training session give the delegates time to create a mind map of their own that takes them from how it was to how it is, in their own language and thoughts. Encourage pictures and different colours where appropriate, this can be used outside of the classroom to refresh their memories.

You could also build a story. If you can find a 'hook' within the training then liken it to a visual story, the more memorable the story the better. Characters named after the changes to the systems perhaps? Bring it to life more?

If the delegates are existing staff that are familar with your businesses IT systems then give them full rein on the learning. Here is the new system and the new processes; split into teams and through searching, playing with the new system and reading the trainer material to create a presentation of the new changes, you merely facilitate a successful outcome.

Garry Platt suggests there is need for management briefings:

On the assumption that your training was appropriate you might want to consider whether line managers were adequately briefed and aware that their people would need to apply and practise the skills and knowledge you introduced them to otherwise it would all be for nought. If the managers can't give the person this opportunity then one wonders why they are on the event and you may as well just burn the money and save everybody the time and energy attending the programme.

Nicola Smith, meanwhile, recommends accelerated learning:

I have been using accelerated learning methods in IT training for 14 years, and they greatly improve retention and recall. For example, when I used to train people in using relative and absolute cell references in spreadsheets, I would have squares marked out on the floor with masking tape and then the delegates would become the formulae, they were actively involved, moving around the floor and it took two minutes for them to understand the concept rather than longer with a book or flipchart explanation.

And Paul Jervis recommends trying something out of the ordinary:

My advice to you is to ditch the demo. I know it may be hard to see how this might work. The trick is to get your students to get hands on straight away. 'How on earth will they know what to do if I don't demo?' you may ask. As well as ditching the demo, keep the amount of instructions down to a minimum but get them involved by asking them about what they see on their computers and how they think they might do something. They will probably need some hints to help them get it. This will keep your students engaged and they will love it and because they will be using their brains to think for themselves and work things out for themselves they will remember more.

Quizzes and memory aids are also a good idea. The quizzes, used before you give them a final exercise will help consolidate things and keep the practice exercises too. Repetition is good for memory. I am not sure about the colour and music for IT sessions though, I can see how they might work for non-IT sessions but definitely little analogies or work-based examples could work.

View the original posting:

How do I make IT training memorable?

See more Trainer's Tips


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!