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5 Reasons Staff Learning is Improved by Spaced Repetition


May 14, 2019



spaced repetition for staff learning

Revising over the same crammed information for hours isn’t anyone’s cup of tea. Say what you will, but we’re all thinking it. This is when spaced repetition comes in to save the day.

During the 24 hours in your day, we’re sure you would like to get around to doing more than just training. But how can you do this whilst still retaining the same amount of new knowledge, you may ask. Well, let us tell you that it is, in fact, possible with spaced repetition. Spaced repetition is designed to get the most learning out of a short period of time. We out line five reasons why staff learning is improved by spaced repetition below.

1. Cue Microlearning

One of the limitations of traditional learning techniques, such as rote memorisation, is that content is generally in long formats, meaning it’s slow to digest.  To speed up learning information must be in bite-sized chunks to be processed and retained quicker. Microlearning is designed to be a solution to the problem of human’s short-term memory only being able to hold up to five pieces of new information at a time.  Spaced repetition, used with microlearning principles breaks down information into these bite sized pieces.

2. Enhances Memory Strength 1: Storage Strength

Information stays stored and is deemed important by the brain once the information has been properly acquired. The way to increase your storage strength lies in the necessity to repeat recall in spaced intervals. Note: storage strength does not fade over time when it has been reinforced with spaced repetition.

3. Enhances Memory Strength 2: Retrieval Strength

Retrieval strength needs regular maintenance to access the memory. When you ‘forget,’ it is due to an accessibility problem, where the memory is still existent in storage, however you cannot retrieve it. Note: retrieval strength does fade over time. This is why the use of spaced repetition in conjunction with a learning plan that is monitored for engagement and completion is essential.

4. Maximises Learning Improvement

Carey, in his book, ‘How We Learn,’ introduces the ‘Forget to Learn’ theory, in which the first principle is, “Some breakdown must occur for us to strengthen learning when we revisit the material. Without a little forgetting, you get no benefit from further study.” Essentially, it is what allows learning to build, like an exercised muscle. The is built into the core algorithm that drives spaced repetition. It expects a certain amount of knowledge lose in between the periods that information is shown to learners.

5. Makes Learning More Efficient

Learning in intervals and spaced repetition, allows you to have short, concentrated periods of learning, followed by time away from knowledge. So, spending less time learning but retaining the same amount of new knowledge. This means that you are able to do more than make a warm spot of where you once were sitting.


What’s the best mobile platform for spaced repetition?

If all of the above resonates and you’ve got to train a large group or workforce in the latest practices and policies of your organisation, get in touch at enquiries@edapp.com. You can also try SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.



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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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