Learning by Doing: Why Is Retention The Goal In E-learning and Training Courses?

Retention is a key factor to consider when creating e-learning and training courses. But what does retention mean, and why is retention so important?

What is retention?

The Cambridge English dictionary defines retention as:

“The continued use, existence, or possession of something or someone”.

When you apply this definition to e-learning and training, retention essentially means to remember the information you’re being taught and to recall it from the memory banks at the appropriate moments — an exam would be useful.

E-learning courses and training programs that deliver low retention rates suggest that people are not absorbing the information in the short term and, thus are less likely to recall and apply information at the appropriate moments.

Low retention rates are, therefore, unproductive for professionals and can damage opportunities in the marketplace for students.

A screengrab of the VR Cooking Training showing the user putting gnocchi dough on to the gnocchi board

Why is retention so important in terms of e-learning and training courses?

The primary goal of any e-learning and training courses is to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills. However, this knowledge is only valuable if it is retained over time. Retention ensures that learners can recall and apply what they have learned when needed.

It’s hugely important for learners to understand the content of whatever they are being taught. Research shows that memory is only stored if we have existing knowledge of the topic matter or comprehension of information that we can relate to.

So, for e-learning and training programs to promote long-term learning if the content in the course is either relatable or already known. But when it is neither, the content has to be visualised so that the student or trainee can see relatable images without having to rely entirely on their imagination. Seeing is believing.

Effective training benefits the workplace because if the training is effective, staff are less likely to need to be re-trained, thus saving your business time and money.

In a competitive job market, those who can retain and apply their e-learning knowledge and skills have a competitive advantage. They are better positioned to excel in their careers and stand out to potential employers.

For organisations and individuals investing in e-learning, a high retention rate is critical to achieve a strong ROI. If students are not able to retain what they’ve learned, the training investment may not yield the expected results.

How to increase retention in your training?

One of the key ways to increase retention is interactivity. Rather than passively consuming content, learners retain information better when they interact with the material. This can include discussions, group activities, problem-solving exercises, and hands-on simulations.

However, the best methods we have available today are through various animated interactive video content including augmented reality, virtual reality and gamification.

Using animation, e-learning and training courses shows how the training content is relevant to real-life situations. The course material should provide examples and case studies that demonstrate how the knowledge or skills can be applied in practical scenarios.

Moreover, strategies such as gamification make learning more fun and active, meaning trainees are more likely to remember what they’re being taught. You can also incorporate interactive elements into your training, such as quizzes, polls, and exercises such as point-and-click puzzles.

Studies show that using interactive e-learning or even gamification methods like rewards, badges, and leaderboards can help to increase motivation and engagement, leading to better retention.

Making the interactivity intrinsic to the information being taught makes the user play an active role in their learning. Use visuals like charts, diagrams and infographics to complement textual content. Visual aids help learners grasp complex concepts and can enhance retention.

It’s also useful to encourage discussion and collaboration among learners. Peer learning and discussions can reinforce understanding and retention.

Will your training program benefit from interactive e-learning content?

Then why not get in touch with our e-learning content creators? We understand the importance of retention and have experience in creating e-learning and training programs for a variety of industries.

Our experts will help turn your course content into gamified e-learning and help develop the content and the way it’s delivered to increase retention rates.

Contact us to find out more.

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