7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Memory & Knowledge Retention
The storage capacity of the human brain is virtually limitless. So you don’t really have an excuse to stop learning.
The mind must be exercised just like any other muscle in the body. The harder you think about a memory, the more likely you are to remember it accurately. Thinking will create a stronger link between active neurons. This is why knowledge retention methods and tips are so handy to have. Just reading helps (if the subject interests you), but you really have to work and do some brain squats to retain knowledge.
Attention spans are getting shorter. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. Now, it’s 8 seconds. That’s shorter than the 9-second attention span of the average goldfish. This is where regular quizzing can step in and tackle both the attention span (interactivity stimulates!) and boost retention.
Your brain starts slowing down at the ripe old age of 24, but peaks for different cognitive skills at different ages. In fact, at any given age, you’re likely getting better at some things and worse at others. So you can develop a cool new skill at the young age of 70! Basically…You’re never too old to learn 😉
Forgetting isn’t just the learner’s fault — the presentation of information can either hinder or spur a memory. So try making relevant and interesting content.
To learn, the brain builds on existing knowledge — that’s why practice can make perfect.
Improving Knowledge Retention, How To Do It
Create Bite-sized Learning Objectives
Setting smaller learning objectives is a great way to divide your block of information into smaller and easier to remember chunks, that are way more manageable. Trying to remember too much in one go is why most people have trouble retaining knowledge. Keep in mind that the same goes for the length of your study sessions. As a human being, you can only concentrate for a relatively short time span. So keep it short and try to create easy learning objectives.
Create a Story
People retain information better if they if you have an emotional connection with the thing being learned. Create small and simple stories or situations you can relate to. This helps with retaining the knowledge but also with understanding it better. Be careful not to overcomplicate things, it’s easy to get carried away with small details and forget what your learning objectives were supposed to be in the first place.
Active Learning Instead of Passive
Don’t just read but actively use course materials. Create interactive activities, simulations or even use real-life examples to activate yourself to use the knowledge you want to retain. Write it and repeat it out loud or create mini-quizzes you can do after each objective to help retain the knowledge.
Test, Quiz, Ask
One of the simplest knowledge retention techniques is to incorporate a quiz into your learning content. It helps you to keep track of your own progress and lets you see what you have learned and retained. The best way of doing this is by testing yourself throughout the whole study process. This has two benefits:
This gives you an opportunity to review your notes
You’ll have a better idea of what the important themes and topics of the material are by the end.
An oldie but a goodie is repetition. Reiteration is really important for remembering the things you’ve learned. Repeating new material is crucial in allowing information to move into a learner’s long-term memory.
Apply in The Real World
Try applying the subject matter to real life events. Learning an abstract concept is much harder than something applicable to your own situation or environment. So…try asking the “Why” and try connecting your topic to your life.
Supercharge Learning By Using Interactive Quizzes For The Classroom
Give immediate feedback on incorrect answers: It’s not enough to tell learners they’ve answered wrong or right. Make sure you provide corrective, in-depth feedback, studies say this helps improve retention massively.
Encourage reviewing critical material within your quiz. Try to connect restudying to your employee training quiz. This gives the learner the chance to review/ restudy the material and instantly learn from their mistakes.
Choose your questions carefully for your test preparation – don’t just put a question in for the sake of it. Learners will begin to anticipate the quiz questions, which encourages them to pay close attention to the material. A study showed that people who knew they would be quizzed took more notes during a lecture and reported that their minds wandered less (19% as compared to 40%).
Quizzes help learners to stay focused and keep moving forward. Challenge learner perceptions by asking a question that they’re likely to get wrong. Your learners will think, “Wait! That can’t be right!”. Then they’ll become curious about how and why they’re mistaken. That way, you grab their attention.
Motivation is the “why” or, the reason we learn. Engagement, meanwhile, is typically the “what”. You want learners to become involved in learning. Think of eLearning quizzes – they really drive learner engagement by making them interact with the content. Doing a quiz, a learner has to think, dig deep, and ultimately become an active participant.
As a learning strategy, frequent no- or low-stakes quizzes help cement long-term learning. Why? Because these quizzes require you to bring previously acquired information to mind. By retrieving information, you organize it and create cues and connections.
3 Innovative Knowledge Retention Strategies
A fun and engaging activity that involves the use of the company knowledge base. Scavenger hunts start off with a customer concern. The learner’s task is to use the system and find the appropriate resource to address the issue. Not only does it familiarize the learners with the system, but it also prepares them to handle real-life customer scenarios.
GBL is the most fun among all the knowledge retention methods. GBL or, Gamification, is turning a certain aspect of learning (or business) into a game. It has 3 important elements:
(Most importantly!) Fun
Learning by Teaching
Learning by teaching means that you allow learners to prepare and teach the lessons (or part of them) to their fellow students. It’s an elaborate process where the trainer is both moderator and subject matter expert. Remember that learning by teaching does not simply mean a presentation or a lecture presented by the learners. The learners are the ones who are facilitating the session by engaging with fellow students.