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Improve Memory Retention – 4 techniques


November 6, 2019



Improve Memory Retention

Memory retention is reliable for a learner’s ability to effectively recall information they have been exposed to some time ago. Improving one’s memory can be challenging as memory capacity is often assumed to be nature, rather than nurture.

What is memory retention?

Memory retention is the term used to describe a person's capacity to remember or retain knowledge over time. It is the procedure the brain uses to encode, store, and retrieve knowledge that has previously been acquired or encountered.

Memory can be improved through the employment of various training strategies in organizational and educational settings. One of the most effective ways to achieve optimal memory retention is to implement a microlearnings strategy into your employee training.

In this article, we will outline three techniques to improve memory retention through the adoption of microlearning.

Improve Memory Retention Technique #1 – Focus Your Attention

For effective embedment of information in one’s long-term memory, attention must be focused for maximum absorption. Microlearning allows for this through seperate modules being dedicated to different concepts and topics. This avoids cognitive overload in learners, meaning that ample new knowledge can be absorbed and retained by learners. Spaced repetition is a strategy present in microlearning, whereby information is exposed to learners in scientifically calculated intervals. It means that information that employees find difficult or more complex problems can be reiterated without overloading or boring them with the same information. Microlearning has the ability to break down these difficult concepts into a form which learners can digest and comprehend.

Improve Memory Retention Technique #2 – Visualize Concepts

The visualization of concepts helps embed essential information, enabling learners to recall information easily and some time after initial exposure. Concepts are illustrated the most visually in microlearning modules. Modules are interactive and presented in ready-made templates, meaning that they are responsive and aesthetic. They include video, as well as game-like exercises, known as gamification. Gamification is a strategy employed in microlearning and refers to the integration of gaming elements, like point scores, star bars, leaderboards and real prizing. This instills a lasting sense of motivation in employees to work harder, while increasing memory retention in a lesser time than they would otherwise.

Improve Memory Retention Technique #3 – Structure and Organize

Structuring and organizing information effectively assists in the improvement of cognitive retention. Microlearning modules curate accurate and relevant information which is then presented in the most effective way possible. It is both structured and organized, meaning that employees can access their learning material specifics anytime, anywhere. Given that modules are separate, learners are able to simply select the particular topic they are after, giving them access to all the information they need at the touch of a button. This is known as just-in-time learning which is particularly useful for employees who are on-the-go. This may be retail employees who are constantly on the move on the shop floor and may need a refresh on some information they need to share with a customer. In this instance, they can quickly access the information through the microlearning app.

Improve Memory Retention Technique #4 – Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a tried and tested memory enhancement technique that improves the learning and memory processing of new information. It works by providing information in short bursts, enabling learners to seamlessly understand and retain knowledge for easy recall. SC Training (formerly EdApp) has spaced repetition built in to its authoring tool, through Brain Boost. Brain Boost ensures that knowledge is revised until the learner has a clear understand of all important concepts. Read more about spaced repetition here:




Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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