Microlearning- The Answer to the Forgetting Curve

Developing training for adults can be challenging, especially when time and money are large factors in workplace learning. This is why it is so important for the training department not only to create training around a topic but also to cater to the type of learner. A recent blog on the Association for Talent Development (ATD) has addressed some issues surrounding adult learning in workplace learning.

The article states, “One reason training programs fail is that they’re not designed for adult learners. Unlike children, who are dependent and learn to advance to the next level, adults learn when they need specific knowledge to do their jobs more effectively—that is to say, they’re independent and must be motivated to learn.”

A key element to effective training is taking into account the forgetting curve. The forgetting curve was researched in the 19th century by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. His findings on how quickly the brain loses new information show that the mind’s retention is set to an exponential decline by default. In order to counteract this decline, microlearning provides short periods of learning that cover a single topic, which is followed up with assessments. This concept is easy to understand but often overlooked in workplace training.

Have you felt like training was not effective for you? If so, read more about Microlearning and see if the issue of retention could have been resolved with a smaller, more relevant training.

Microlearning provides short periods of learning that cover a single topic