Employees usually have a lot on their plates. If they are not busy solving problems in the workplace, then they’re dealing with errant customers or complicated tasks. There is also the added pressure of ensuring that they are at the top of their game so that they land the next big promotion. Thus, when the management offers them an online training opportunity, they are usually too tired or stressed to make the most of it. Not to mention, they are left with very little room in their memory to grasp the information being conveyed. This makes it difficult to retain the concepts and skills for later use. There are, however, 6 things that eLearning professionals can do to reinforce knowledge retention when designing an online training course.
6 Ways To Improve Knowledge Retention Rates
1. Set Up Online Communities For Collaboration
People can learn a lot when sharing among themselves and strive to understand differing points of view. Invite corporate learners to take part in collaborative communities where they can interact and share their experiences. Upon the completion of a certain online training course, corporate learners can visit collaborative forums where they get to discuss a problem as a group. The problem should be designed in such a manner that members have to use the information and skills taught in a particular online training course to come up with a solution. Online communities allow them to reflect on previously learned knowledge and assign meaning. Sometimes, they may even see if from a fresh perspective with the help of their peers.
Bonus tip: Another great way to encourage peer-based collaboration is to set up a social media page or group. Invite corporate learners to post resources or tips for their co-workers. They can also leave comments on other posts to share their opinions or offer their own insights.
2. Gamify The Experience
If you want your corporate learners to retain as much information as possible, then you should structure your online training program like a game. Games are usually divided into levels whereby the players are required to successfully complete a challenge to proceed to the next round. There are usually prizes for completing a level, such as a badge or points. Subdivide your online training course into levels and invite corporate learners to complete online training activities, assessments, and modules to advance. The challenge should require corporate learners to use the skills taught in your online training course. Award badges for the successful completion of a level or move them up the in-course leaderboard.
3. Invite Corporate Learners To Host Webinars After Every Online Training Course
Teaching has always been one of the most effective ways to reinforce knowledge retention. You can incorporate this valuable online training opportunity into your online training course through learner-hosted webinars. When a corporate learner is able to teach another individual, he or she will have to break down what they have learned for them to pass on the information. They may even have the chance to learn a thing or two from their attendees in the process. Ask them to choose a topic beforehand to reduce the risk of repetition, as well as create an outline and complimentary online training activities or resources for the event.
4. Use Emotional Stories To Drive The Point Home
People are more likely to comprehend the topic if they are emotionally connected to it. This makes emotional storytelling one of the best ways to reinforce knowledge retention. Create a case study that uses familiar characters and challenges that corporate learners can relate to. This will get corporate learners interested in online training, which ensures that they are more receptive. You can also create interactive stories by adding video, images, and clickable links to enrich the experience. For example, corporate learners can access supplementary online training tools or activities to broaden their understanding.
5. Offer Bite-Sized Podcasts
Podcasts aren’t just for busy audio learners who want to brush up on work-related skills. They’re a valuable online training tool for every member of your team because they offer small bits of information that are easy to retain. Produce several podcast episodes that explore different online training topics or tasks and create a centralized library. Employees can access the podcasts whenever the need arises to refresh their memory and delve deeper into the subject matter. Better still, put a twist on the employee-hosted webinar idea and invite them to produce their own podcast series. Then create a learner-generated audio library that anyone can use during their ‘moment of need’.
6. Put Skills To The Test With Simulations And Branching Scenarios
The best way to reinforce knowledge retention is to put knowledge into practice. Incorporate simulations and branching scenarios that allow corporate learners to apply their knowledge or skills in a real-world context. For example, they use their communication skills to resolve a workplace conflict or handle a difficult customer in a virtual simulation. This also allows them to evaluate their own performance and see how previously learned concepts tie into new ideas. For instance, a sales tip they covered in the first module helps them achieve a favorable outcome in the current branching scenario. It’s all connected, and interactive online training activities strengthen mental schema and enhance meaning.
With their hectic work schedules and challenging job requirements, it is not easy for corporate learners to retain the information taught in online training. The above 6 tips will help eLearning developers come up with online training courses that reinforce knowledge retention. You should do also your homework to determine which online training tools are best for your employees and their learning preferences.