Picture this. You have a test tomorrow and are trying to cram up whatever you can from your notes. But when you close your book and try to summarize the chapter, you keep missing out on certain important points. However, you still remember the lyrics of the song your dad used to play during the family picnic!
Isn’t it strange that you remember all the words of a song that you heard during your childhood, but cannot remember something you learnt a week ago?
Well, it happens. You can create effective learning only when you undestand how the human memory works.
We, as IDs, are passionate about creating useful learning. We take care of all the aspects starting form course objectives to content to aesthetics and so on. But the most important aspect of any learning is how well the learners are able to retain it.
Here are a few tips on how to make it hard for your learners to forget.
Create courses that are easy to remember
Make it useful. If you want your learner to remember something well, you need to make it useful. The content should motivate the learner to take the course and remember the learning points. For that to happen, you need to examine their knowledge and attitude, and create the learning based on the results. So, when they ask ‘What’s in this for me?’, they get an answer that has personal significance.
Make it familiar. The learners will remember concepts when the information is familiar to them. You need to be able to link new concepts to familiar stuff. Try linking information to something that has a familiar sound, maybe categorize it or try and use mnemonics.
Make it eye-catching. Your learner needs to pay attention to the content in order to remember it. So, it is up to you to make it interesting and eye-catching. You could grab attention with the help of images, videos, colors, and so on. You could use scenario based learning. Articulate Storyline has many templates for building scenarios. It has other fascinating templates too, for making your course look interesting.
Make it digestible. The human brain has a limited capacity to hold ideas. If you cram too much information on one screen, the learner will get overwhelmed. So break it down into sizeable chunks that are easy to digest. Instead of using long winding paragraphs, you could consider using a bulleted list. You could also use click and reveal interactions. Storyline has numerous options of such interactive templates.
Get them engaged. The more engaged your learners are, the more willing they will be to learn something. You might want to use this to your benefit. Involve them in the learning by asking them questions, facilitating group discussions, allowing brainstorming sessions and other activities. When you let your learners create content, they retain it better.
Organize information. The content should be organized meaningfully. Group ideas and concepts into meaningful categories. The human brain loves organized information. You could alphabetize it, or use mnemonics, or limit the number of bullets in a list.
It is difficult to hold the attention of adult learners and make them learn. But the tips discussed above can go a long way in ensuring that your audience remembers the learning for a longer time.