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  • Rikki Lee

What Do You Know?

When someone asks, “What do you know about…?” they’re really asking, “What and how much knowledge can you recall about…?”

Whether your training program concerns preventing harassment in the workplace, driving a forklift or communicating with elderly patients, the quality and quantity of knowledge that learners have retained equals what they know at that point in time.

If a learner says that they’ve attended a class or taken an online course, that doesn’t mean they still know much about the topic; in fact, they may have forgotten most of it. “I used to know that” is a no substitute for “I know that.” Knowledge retention is the key to effective instructional design.

That’s why it’s necessary to help learners retain the important knowledge as far as possible into the future with:

Otherwise, your learners may eventually know almost as much as someone who wasn’t even in training.

Train to retain

A classroom instructor might say, “This will be on the test,” which will encourage a learner to remember the content longer. (Online courses usually don’t provide such hints.) But even after a learner has passed the test, their knowledge can diminish and degrade unless they review the content frequently or put it to everyday use.

And just as you should provide learners with additional opportunities to increase retention, don’t forget about doing the same for yourself. For example, if you’re busy building storyboards, scripts and slides every day, you might forget to look up at the “big picture” of adult learning theory and practice. To help you with the latest tips and techniques, we highly recommend that you keep up with our blog.

If you’ve been following the blog from time to time, you might have discovered some information you could use. But how much do you actually remember? We'll help you find out. Or, if you haven’t read any of the posts, we'll give you a chance to find out what you do know while introducing you to the blog.

Take a quiz

Try this quick five-question quiz, which is derived from the blog. Jot down your answers. Then, once you’ve received your score, we’ll provide a link so that you can review each post again (or read it for the first time).

1. Which of these is a good technique to help cure “designer’s block”?

A. Forget your learning objectives B. Stay up late until you can force yourself to write C. Aim for a perfectly written first draft D. Do research to find more information

2. Which of these is not a principle of adult learning?

A. Adults want the training to be easy

B. Adults must be treated as equals in learning

C. Adults prefer to be self-directed

D. Adults need to transfer knowledge immediately

3. In the “SMART” technique of designing learning objectives, the “A” stands for

A. Accurate

B. Accessible

C. Attainable or achievable

D. Assessment

4. What temptation should you try to overcome when training for certification or regulation?

A. Believing that everything should be taught in one session

B. Also training employees on your company’s internal issues

C. Relying on “buzzwords”

D. Teaching only the regulations you agree with

5. When working with voiceover talent,

A. Avoid using more than one narrator in the same course B. Hire a pro who records but doesn’t edit C. Consider depicting the narrator as a relatable character D. Ask Tony in HR to record the script; he’s got a great voice

Now, scroll down to below the image to reveal the answers.

The Answers

Here are the answers. How many of them did you get correct? To review the content and strengthen your retention of basic instructional design knowledge, click each link to read the blog post.

1. D. To help cure writer's block, do research to find more information. Link to post.

2. A. A principle of adult learning is not "Adults want the training to be easy." Link to post.

3. C. In the acronym "SMART," "A" stands for learning objectives that are attainable or achievable. Link to post.

4. B. When training for certification or regulation, avoid also training employees on your company’s internal issues. Link to post.

5. C. When working with a voiceover narrator, consider depicting them as a relatable character. Link to post.

Well, what do you know! Learners can retain knowledge longer by reviewing the content multiple times. So, fight against the pessimistic outcome of forgetting content, and begin practicing the habit of increasing its retention. Figure out the best way to add this technique to your current and future training, such as with frequent refresher sessions, follow-up emails, challenging online quizzes and other ways to keep the content fresh in the learner’s mind.

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