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How to Build Effective Learning Reinforcement

New knowledge learned only becomes new knowledge gained with effective learning reinforcement. But how do you build learning reinforcement directly into materials themselves? How do you avoid the dreaded “forgetting curve,” the rapid decline in learning retention after studying new material?

Most workplace study occurs with the goal of creating behavioral change. Here are the key strategies of any learning or upskilling program to get you there.

Getting Learning Started on the Right Foot

In order for learning to be effective, it needs buy-in. To HR or Training Coordinators the need for a particular course of study might be obvious. But does it seem relevant to the learner? What is the purpose of the material they will study?

Getting eLearning (or classroom) started on the right foot requires including employees in the process. Get trainees to vocalize their own goals. Ensure they see the connection between those goals and the proposed study program.

Make the Material Engaging

Most employees will have had many years of formal education. But what if you ask them, how relevant did that education feel to real life? How engaging was the material they studied?

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, educational programs often fail learners.

However, the high level of access to new material after formal education can rectify the situation. Through eLearning and specific, laser-focused, bite-sized learning courses, employees can quickly upskill their skillsets to fit job needs.

The format of the material itself matters.

Four key points for effective learning formats include:

  1. Format - as much like a game as possible, as research indicates.
  2. Relevancy - high. The more related to the needs/desires of the student, the higher the retention of material.
  3. Feedback - positive and (ideally) instantaneous.
  4. Repetition: medium-high. While repetition reinforces learning, too much can feel condescending.

Of these crucial elements, the most important is positive feedback. Known as positive reinforcement, it’s a concept long studied in behavioral psychology. It makes study stick.

Building in Positive Reinforcement

One could write a book about it! In fact, many books have been written about using positive reinforcement to affect behavioral change. The long and the short of it is this: if you want someone to listen, remember and use what they study, you need to praise, inspire and encourage them.

Learners often perceive corrections to be negative. So, make corrections about encouragement, rather than about shame, embarrassment, or being “wrong.”

Utilize Learning Technology

Effective learning reinforcement meets students where they are: their devices. At Arist our eLearning platform deploys micro upskilling courses to cell phones or through the collaboration apps Slack and Teams.

Whatever you teach your employees, wherever they are, we have the technology to reach them, teach them, and make learning count.

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