5 Strategies to overcome the forgetting curve

The Forgetting curve


How often have you attended an online course and immediately recalled every bit of knowledge you learned? Almost certainly never. The Ebbinghaus forgetting curve is responsible for this.

The forgetting curve of Ebbinghaus describes how rapidly we forget information over time if we make no effort to remember it. This is an evident difficulty for learning and development experts. 

It is not worth spending your money and time on training if your employees are not able to remember what they have learned.

To overcome this obstacle, you must first comprehend what the forgetting curve is and, more significantly, what effective strategies you may employ to overpower it.

What is the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, and how does it work?

You’re probably more familiar with the forgetting curve than you realize, as its impacts can be seen in everyday life as well as in eLearning.

Consider the following scenario: you’re at a networking event, and a potential customer hands you their contact information, which you jot down on a piece of paper. Would you recall the phone number an hour later if you misplaced that piece of paper? Most likely not.

Let’s define the forgetting curve in eLearning before attempting to overcome it.

The forgetting curve is a mathematical formula created in 1885 by Hermann Ebbinghaus. The graph showed how quickly information is forgotten if we don’t remember it.

Unless the information is intentionally examined, learners will lose their recollection of gained knowledge in a matter of days or weeks. Some studies show that humans lose about half of new information within an hour of learning it. In 24 hours, this increases to an average of 70%.

The Forgetting Curve

The rate at which a person forgets, on the other hand, is determined by several elements, including memory strength, the importance of the content, and physiological conditions such as stress. The good news is that you may utilize various techniques in your classes to help your students overcome the forgetting curve.

#Spaced learning

To comprehend what is learned thoroughly, we should consider two crucial components. The first is time. The application of repetition is the other.

Spaced learning makes it possible and this is why it is considered one of the most effective ways for overcoming the learning curve. Learners can overcome the forgetting curve by using spaced learning to manage what knowledge is kept. Consequently, organizations gain from spaced learning because it promotes long-term skill retention and higher production.

So, what is spaced learning, exactly? Well, it’s a teaching style in which students are offered content to learn in a timed session, with a short break once they’ve finished. Because the learner studies the information and returns to review it frequently to maintain the knowledge, spaced learning improves memory retention.

The learners also get exposure retrieving the material they’ve acquired in various formats, such as solving puzzles, taking tests, and so on. This helps to combat the forgetting curve by reinforcing what has been learned.

Thus Spaced learning can quickly meet your eLearning demands. The gap might occur within a single course module or by scheduling modules and courses several hours, days, or weeks apart. Learners are more likely to acquire material if presented in bite-sized bits and shown frequently in new, innovative ways, such as blended learning.

#Make it easily accessible

If you want your training content to adhere, making access to courses convenient for your learners is necessary. They should be able to finish their training at any time of day, regardless of where they are. This is where mobile learning, comes into play. 

It is easier for your learners to learn and remember information if your LMS is mobile responsive. Suppose individuals can access their courses wherever and whenever they choose, such as on the bus to work or while waiting for a customer or a lunch meeting. In that case, they’ll have a lot better chance of recalling and updating their information.

#Keep it engaging

Engaging courses not only boost completion rates but also help students remember what they’ve learned. Keep the forgetting curve in mind when you plan out your course content. However, how do you go about doing so?

Go the extra mile and have your learners actively participate in the course. Indulge some content by using videos, images, and webinars. Try Gamification to boost learners’ engagement also beat the forgetting curve…

Read our relevant blog on Project Based Learning: Benefits, Examples, and Best Practices – Kloudlearn Blog

#Create a learning culture

If you develop a learning culture inside your company, learners are more likely to prioritize training and retain relevant knowledge. Learning is always happening. Whether in the form of formal learning which is offered through an LMS or informal learning through knowledge sharing over the water cooler.

Motivate learners to provide comments after completing a course and utilize this knowledge to improve your material and foster a healthy learning environment. Constantly encourage knowledge sharing within your organization, whether it’s through training days, workshops, or a thorough onboarding process. Your learners will be more likely to participate in training and retain relevant knowledge if they understand that regular learning and reiteration are part of your organization’s everyday routine.

#Make it relevant

We don’t mean using pop culture references when we say relevant; we mean relevant to their profession. They’re more likely to accept and recall training if they can see how it will make their job easier or save them time. The more relevant the information is to their daily duties, the more valuable the learning experience becomes.

Now that you have five actionable strategies for combating the forgetting curve. All you need is a robust learning management system to put them into practice. In addition to providing blended learning, spaced learning, mLearning, and Gamification, your LMS should enable you to carry out creative repetition through numerous mediums.


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