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How to Increase Learning Retention

We spend the first few formative decades of our lives in an almost constant state of learning.  Through early development, grade school and the start of our careers, the flow of new information can sometimes feel like an onslaught. Therefore, learning retention can seem like a Herculean task.

Learning retention is the ability for the brain to transfer new information into long-term memory. It’s a storage area you can access whenever you may need to use that information in the future. If the brain fails to store new information there, however, it gets dumped into short-term memory. Once there, a learner can easily forget it. Early research by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus suggests that most learners will forget 90% of learning material within one month if they do not make an effort to retain it.

How can we ensure the information we learn successfully makes the trip over to our long-term storage facility?

Vary the Delivery

Everyone learns and processes information differently. Some are more visual learners who need a tangible piece of written content in front of them. Yet, others may learn best by being able to practically apply a lesson to their daily tasks. Experiment with PDFs, more visualDark-skinned woman surrounded by ideas and data. PowerPoint slides, audio lectures and more. Instructors can meet their students where they are by offering various ways to consume class material.

Space It Out

Exams and tests during school years may have taught many that “cramming” equals better academic performance. But research shows a technique called spaced repetition has a much better effect on long-term memory storage than those late-night cram sessions. Instructors can help their students better retain material by prompting them to consume new information and then review it on a spaced-out schedule.

Review, Review, Review

What we’ve known for centuries is information cannot be remembered if it is not revisited. Even after a class is completed, students should have access to follow-up material that they can review to refresh their memory. A complete registration management solution like Learning Stream allows instructors to give their students a portal where they can access class material—documents, PowerPoint slides and other lecture material—long after the course is over.

Give your students or participants the best chance of success in retaining the information they learn. Learning Stream’s Student Portal can help with this by giving students the ability to download material, email questions, and access e-learning content. Further, you can dole out the material in bite-sized portions so that learners don’t have to take it in all at once. Additionally, you can prompt them to sign up for refresher courses down the road.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a tour of Learning Stream today.

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