Learning methods you choose can reduce the rate at which your employees forget and can maximize your learning ROI. Here is why & how mobile learning can help. Read to know more.
We don't need math to know that forgetting directly impacts ROI from your learning budget. Whatever your colleagues don’t remember they don’t apply. That percentage of learning which they forget after a classroom program or workshop automatically reduces the scope of ROI from your learning investments. This much we know.
Here is what we don’t know about the ‘Forgetting Curve’?
We all know of the (in)famous Ebbighaus’ Forgetting Curve1. But, here is the catch! There is no universal rate of forgetting that can broadly be applied to all learning interventions.
What you see in the above curve is strongly influenced by different factors. Not only that, your choices can actually influence those factors. One of the most influential factors is the learning method. The learning method you choose can play a big role in reducing rate at which your employees forget, thereby increasing the scope for higher ROI on your learning investments.
Traditional classroom interventions can be highly-focused. Although they require your employees to take time out of their workday to attend such workshops, they can be 'worth it' for the comprehensive learning opportunity. However it is universally accepted that employees will forget most of what they learnt in a one-time intervention like a classroom program, workshop, webinar, etc.
There are caveats though. A report by Work-Learning Research Inc. that consolidated studies on various learning methods, and concepts to different groups suggest that there is no universal rate at which learners forget. Learning methods chosen can make a big difference in how much people remember and therefore make training effective and increase the scope for ROI from your learning budget.
So, what methods are better than traditional classroom sessions at reducing forgetting? Interventions that make learning a participative process can be effective. Interestingly computer-gaming simulations ranked high on the list. The test performed of college students found that students forgot as little as 2% to 5 % after a week2. “This research showed that with a very meaningful task (i.e., simulation play), learners forgot very little either after 10 minutes or 1 week.” These numbers are highly reduced from the widely seen numbers of the internet that range between 40% to 80% of forgetting after one week of learning.
But, learning interventions are not organized for memory testing. It is to help your employees develop - not only better their performance but also take the next step. This does not happen in a week. For this, they will have to remember their learning over a longer period of time.
What is the fix for forgetting in corporate training?
So we know that some computer simulations can help reduce learning over a period of a week but how do we sustain the learning for longer periods?
It is not your fault, humans generally tend to forget most of what they learn in a single instance. Here again the choices you make can help. Memorizing something is better served when the same bits of information are re-visited periodically - spaced learning or spaced repetition; which is a learning method designed exactly for that, holds the key.
Multiple studies have shown that spaced learning or spaced repetition can reduce the rate at which learners forget. In the same report by Work-Learning Research Inc studies showed vast differences between massed learning (where learners learn in a single, long sessions like in classroom trainings and other methods) and spaced learning where learner re-visited the same material over a period of time.
A study of high-school students showed that spaced practice resulted in a forgetting rate as low as 11% as opposed to massed practice; when practice was done at once, which resulted in a forgetting rate as high as 31% after a period of 4 days3. This is still a massive improvement from the unsubstantiated statics quoted all over the internet and attributed to the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve.
Mobile Learning and Learning Motivation
Now we know that one-off workshop or classroom type interventions, as focused and comprehensive as they can be, need repetition. The question then is why mobile learning? You may also ask, “Why can’t our colleagues re-visit the existing course material or photocopies?”
As an HR you might appreciate that motivation is hard to achieve and sustain in your colleagues. Work and other stresses get in the way. Mobile learning has shown to address this problem. Statistics published on eLearning showed that mobile-learning has advantages that other platforms don’t provide.
What’s more, mobile learning greatly increases accessibility, fits into the workflow of your employees and makes repetition or spaced learning a breeze. Mobile-based micro-learning platforms like the ones we offer at enParadigm afford many conveniences to both the learner and you the administrator. Here are some of the details:
But the admin features are not the focus of this article and we can elaborate on those features in a future blog post. If you would like to know more about the admin features of our mobile products then you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have queries about our mobile based platforms then please reach out to us at email@example.com. You can also visit the pages on our website for more details. We offer mobile based learning platforms for onboarding, large-scale learning interventions, learning retention, and sales enablement.
 - https://virtualspeech.com/img/blog/forgetting-curve.jpg
 - Thalheimer, W. (2010, April). How Much Do People Forget? Retrieved December 7, 2018, from http://www.work-learning.com/catalog.html
 - Bloom, K. C., & Shuell, T. J. (1981). Effects of massed and distributed practice on the learning and retention of second-language vocabulary. Journal of Educational Research, 74(4), 245-248.
 - https://elearningindustry.com/mobile-learning-trends-2018
 - https://elearningindustry.com/mobile-learning-trends-2018