There are three principles to remember when you are implementing user adoption in your workplace.
1. The Edgar Dale principle – the Nature of Involvement.
The principle stated that after only a 2 week period, we tend to remember only: 10% of what we read (text), 20% of what we hear (audio), 30% of what we see (pictures), 50% of what we hear and see (videos, demonstrations, etc), 70% of what we say (reiterating information) and 90% of what we both say and do.
The Principle at Work: It is important to remember that “practical application” and providing your employees with an opportunity to frequently practice the learnings from their training, is essential to skills attainment and retention. After an instructor-based training, allow the participants to have a discussion, provide demos to other employees, or present weekly or bi-weekly updates on things that have learned with the new system. In Webinars, allow for discussions and even allow for participants to take control of the mouse.
Micro-learning is a great and new way of providing effective training to employees. The idea is to keep the lessons short (5-7 minutes), thereby only giving the participant the essentials and allowing them time to apply the lessons to their daily activities.
2. The Memory Decay Theory- Memory fades with the simple passing of time
The theory behind this principle is that with the mere passage of time, your short-term memory fades. Some research shows that the time of decay is anywhere between 2 and 5 seconds after a verbal presentation. Generally speaking, the Theory of decay says that within 2 weeks of learning something substantial such as a training course, you will forget about 80-90% of the key lessons learned. There are evolutionary reasons and supports for Decay Theory, but basically, the brain would be too overwhelmed if it had to remember every blade of grass (or car) that you pass in your travels.
The Theory at Work: Generally speaking, the training you’ve invested in (for your employees) becomes a wasted effort 2-weeks after the training session. The longer the training program takes, the worse the decay gets. This is because your brain loses focus quickly, becomes overwhelmed with the new knowledge, and/or is still trying to understand the application of the first topic as the course proceeds into the following modules.
Micro-learning allows your employees to take “study sessions” since each learning module is usually only 5-7 minutes long. If done correctly, the modules should be video based with written text as well as images. Additionally, each module should only contain essential information, and the next module should build on the skills of the previous.
3. The Forgetting Curve – Emphasizing Decay and Importance of Review
There are many graphs of this curve that show the percentages of information loss and decay. However, the most interesting aspects of the research around this theory is the influence of the individual’s repetition of lessons. By applying numerous retention/recall activities at precise intervals of the curve, research has been able to conclude that retention of learning concepts is strengthened to nearly 100%. The keys are to exponentially (or at least, double) the lengthening of time between the retention activities.
The Curve at Work: The biggest thing to remember with this theory is that frequent and programmatic repetition is key for long-term retention of topics and essential skills. applying for programs that “test out” the training participants and have periodic follow-ups with quizzes, activities, and reviews are ideal to make learnings stick. When choosing a training provider, or investing in an internal system, be sure that frequent reviews are part of the program.
Microlearning can be a great avenue to support continuous review. Since the modules are interactive and short (5-7 minutes), they are quick and easy ways for employees to revisit materials. a great micro-learning provider will ensure that repetition and programmatic review of materials are incorporated into the experience.
What to remember about learning
The main takeaways for successful learning are:
- Make sure that the learning method use is well rounded. It should have video, audio, text-based presentations that allow for the individuals to recognize the real-world application.
- Provide the users with time and support to further their understanding by having discussions, encouraging them to share their learning, and support further understanding by allowing “study sessions (or groups)” for later reflection of real-world applications.
- It is key to remember that individuals will forget the presentation within seconds of leaving the training session. Therefore, provide them with opportunities to take notes and armor them with essential learning cheat sheets.
- Keeping lessons short (micro-learning) will provide employees with quick lessons to learn then ample time to reflect and apply the lessons into their daily routine and tasks. Keep these short lessons to the point and only focus on essential skills, tips or tricks.
- Continuous and programmatic review of the lessons and key learnings is essential to long-term retention. The best learning method will provide a program that tests the individual during the module and frequently after the completion of testing.
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