Corporate Training + Cognitive Science:
5 Ways to Make Information Stick

FIRST, SOME BAD NEWS:

Employees don’t retain information for long, let alone apply it in their work.

NOW, THE GOOD NEWS:

These five simple instructional design principles will improve your corporate learning outcomes.

ONE

LESS IS MORE: SHORTER VIDEOS MAKE HAPPIER EMPLOYEES.

One study showed that, when consuming video, our attention spans cap out at 6 to 9 minutes (at best). That’s science telling us to make shorter videos.

. . .
Preliminary EdX Video Engagement Findings Videos grouped by length Analysis by Philip Guo (pg@cs.rochester.edu) 0-3 Minutes 3-6 Minutes 6-9 Minutes 9-12 Minutes 12-15 Minutes 15-40 Minutes Certificate-earning students All other students Median time spent watching video (minutes) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

TWO

KNOW THE BRAIN’S LIMITATIONS: OUR EYES AND EARS DON’T LIKE FIGHTING OVER SCRAPS.

Dual-Channel Theory

Eyes Working Memory Ears WORDS Eyes Working Memory Ears WORDS PICTURES
Eyes Working Memory Ears WORDS Eyes Working Memory Ears WORDS PICTURES

THREE

POSE PROBLEMS, NOT ANSWERS: TEST THAT KNOWLEDGE.

Scientific research has shown repeatedly that tests and similar challenges help us retain knowledge better than just studying.

. . .
Roediger, H.L. & Karpicke, J.D. (2006). Test-enhanced Learning: Taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17(3), 249-255. AFTER EVERYONE STUDIED FOR 7 MINUTES THEY... FINAL TEST TOOK PLACE AFTER... 5 Min 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 2 Days 1 Week Studied more Took a practice test FACTS RECALLED

FOUR

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: REPEATED APPLICATION HELPS PEOPLE REMEMBER STUFF.

The Forgetting Curve

E.g. Schrater, Daniel. (2001). The seven sins of memory: How the mind forgets and remembers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Learning TIME KNOWLEDGE RETENTION Forgetting

FIVE

BAIT THE HOOK: NO ONE LIKES BORING THINGS.

If we’re bored, we don’t listen. That’s just a proven fact according to research. And the longer we’re bored, the further our minds drift.

. . .
Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work. Home, and School. Pear Press, 2009 5 HIGH LOW 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 Subjective measureof attention Minutes of class

Published July 2016 by Instructure, Inc.
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