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Learning retention benefits

October 29, 2018

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This is the third in a 5-part blog series on learning retention. The first blog established the importance of learning retention to Learning & Development professionals, learning participants, and their managers. The second blog explained how learning retention through email combats forgetting and encourages application of new knowledge and skills in the workplace. This blog will cover the benefits of a good learning retention program. This blog series is not intended to be a product endorsement, but this article does refer to the software service we use, which is the BoosterLearn platform offered by BizLibrary.

Humentum offers learning retention to participants of several of our most popular workshops. Using BizLibrary’s BoosterLearn platform, we can automate the delivery of hundreds of learning moments to workshop participants each week. As discussed in previous blogs, we apply evidence-based principles to support learning and application of new knowledge and skills in the workplace.  That’s the main benefit, and we will explore our approach a bit more here. But there are two other important benefits to our learning retention program: data and extended learner engagement.

To support retention of tangible learning points through quiz-type questions, we start with a list of learning objectives from the learning event. You can also think of learning objectives as the capabilities participants should gain during the learning event. These typically come directly from the description or materials. But we don’t stop there—for each learning objective, we also identify the critical application.  These are action statements based on the application of the capability in the workplace. And next we write outcome statements based on key results of successful application of the capability. Finally, we identify the broad goal that will be achieved through successful application of all learning objectives.  This broad program or organizational goal will be the same for all learning objectives from the event.

Learning objectives (i.e., Capabilities) Critical Applications Key Results

 

Program or Organization Goals
These are capabilities participants should gain during the learning event; they typically come directly from the description or materials of the learning event These are action statements based on application of the capability in the workplace These are outcome statements based on successful application of the capability This is a broad goal that will be achieved through successful application of all learning objectives.  Thus, it is the same for all learning objectives.
For example: Ability to identify appropriate new funding opportunities For example:  Develop list of potential funders based on strategic goals For example: Greater likelihood of proposal development leading to funding For example: Funding that supports sustainability and results against strategy

 

After completing this process, we not only have a list of learning objectives, but also an understanding of the successful application of new capabilities and key results that can be achieved, along with a broad goal that’s a result of all new capabilities being applied and achieving results. Questions delivered through the learning retention program are generally written around the capabilities (i.e., learning objectives) and critical applications of those capabilities since they are the most tangible aspects to reinforce through quiz-type questions.

The key results are generally incorporated into feedback provided to participants after they answer the question.  A final question that asks participants to share what they have or will apply from the learning event in the workplace is framed as a question about working toward the broad goal.

Bringing this back to the topic of this article, the benefits of the learning retention process involve not only strengthened knowledge but also increased likelihood that participants will apply new knowledge and skills, understand the results that can be achieved, and reflect and document progress toward a broad goal.

Another key benefit to Humentum thanks to the BoosterLearn platform we utilize is the data that we collect. We live in a world where ‘clicks’ lead to data and data leads to insight; and that is the case with our learning retention program. Participants click on the answer they think is correct. As a result, we know which learning points from the event stuck with them and which didn’t. By tracking and studying these trends, we can identify learning points that require additional support in the classroom or through the learning retention program. We can also demonstrate when the learning gains have occurred.

The benefits of the learning retention process involve not only strengthened knowledge but also increase likelihood that participants will apply new knowledge and skills, understand the results that can be achieved, and reflect and document progress toward a broad goal.

 

And we collect success stories approximately two months after the completion of a learning event by asking participants to share how they’ve applied new knowledge or skills from the workshop to the workplace to achieve goals.

Finally, we see this learning retention program as a clear demonstration of our commitment to results. By extending learner engagement, we build relationships with participants who come to view Humemtum as a trusted partner in the performance improvement journey.

To summarize the key points in this blog:

  • Learning retention can strengthen knowledge and skills and support application of knowledge and skills, while encouraging the achievement of results and program or organizational goals
  • Learning retention programs can also deliver important data to inform changes to learning events and document successful learning and performance outcomes
  • Learning retention extends engagement with the learner, demonstrating a commitment beyond the delivery of a training

Intrigued by the concept of learning retention? The final blog in this series “Leveraging the learning retention approach” includes an opportunity to sign up for a learning retention program on the topic of learning retention. The program will be delivered to you by email and will include fun, quiz-type questions that reinforce the concepts discussed in the blog and help you consider ways to use or adapt the concepts and approach in your work.