Long time learning retention technique

Learning retention is a person’s ability to transfer new information into their long-term memory so that it is easy for them to recall and put that knowledge to use in the future. In simpler words, learning retention is all about making new knowledge stick for a long time.

4 Factors of Learning Retention

Here are a few factors that affect learning retention for an individual.

  1. Interest and motivation
    The interest and motivation of a learner behind a learning program are of uppermost importance. When learning is accompanied by a motive, it is often retained for a long time because the human brain tends to focus more on matters of interest. For example, a sales rep would be more motivated to learn about a CRM than a marketing automation tool. If trained in both, the seller is more likely to retain the CRM tool knowledge for a longer time compared to the automation tool knowledge.
  2. Repetition
    Repetition of the learning material plays an essential role in learning retention. The more an individual repeats or practices a task, the better it is retained in their memory. For example, it’s hard for most kids to learn mathematical times tables. This is why they are advised to write the tables on paper and stick them to the study board to revise and repeat throughout the day.
  3. Association
    Paying attention to the meaning and significance of the content or associating it with real-life scenarios helps individuals learn quickly and retain the information longer.
  4. Use of multiple channels
    Different people prefer different learning styles – some are visual learners, some need hands-on experience, some require an instructor to guide them, etc. Therefore, it’s important to choose the appropriate learning method or technique to boost learning retention for an individual.

What Is the Learning Retention Pyramid?

The learning pyramid, also known as the “cone of learning,” was developed by the National Training Laboratory during the 1960s. It is a theoretical model that illustrates various learning methods of learning along with their expected retention percentage. The pyramid illustrates how well one can retain information based on the different techniques such as listening to a lecture, reading a book, watching videos, etc.

Learning pyramid

  • Reading – In comparison to a lecture, reading is marginally more effective when it comes to learning retention. The advantage of reading over listening to a lecture is that it provides the learner with reference material to recall the information.
  • Audio/visual – Audio and visual learning content make it easy for learners to absorb information. Learning a new skill by watching a quick video is more convenient and less time-consuming than reading lengthy, text-heavy documents.
  • Demonstration – Learning by demonstration involves a teacher or mentor showing the learner how to perform a task by walking them through a step-by-step process. The demonstration provides information more clearly than passive study methods and helps understand and retain complicated details better.
  • Discussion – Discussions offer an active, cooperative learning environment that leads to greater retention of information. Discussions stimulate a learner’s thinking and increase participation and engagement.
  • Practice by doing – Getting “hands-on” experience is one of the most effective learning methods. This learning style allows learners to apply their knowledge to practice every day, which helps them retain the information long-term. According to the 70-20-10 model, 70% of learning comes from employee experiences.
  • Teaching others – According to the learning pyramid, teaching others is the most effective way to master a subject and retain knowledge for a long time. If one can accurately and correctly teach a subject to others, they’ll have a good mastery of the concepts and superior knowledge retention.