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10 Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate in 2024


February 13, 2024


Darcy Dario


Ways to Improve Your Learning Retention Rate

While forgetting things we read, hear, or think about is unavoidable, trainers should look for ways to help their learners remember information longer. Here, you’ll find some ways to improve your courses’ learning retention rates and the overall learning experience of your students. 

What is learning retention?

Learning retention is the ability of a person, especially a learner, to store information effectively for long-term use. Knowledge only becomes truly useful and effective when it stays in long-term memory. And there are several ways for information to stay in long-term memory---from learning strategies to training tools. It may also be dependent on the social, personal, mental, and physical factors of the learner.

So, if you're asking how to retain information effectively for your teams, you've come to the right place. To help you and your teams improve workplace learning, here are some of our recommended learning retention strategies:

1. Use Microlearning

As people’s attention spans get shorter because of busy schedules and different priorities, it’s getting harder for learners to store new information in their long-term memory. People also tend to forget more easily when they don’t apply their new knowledge to practice. That’s why doing long lectures is an ineffective way to teach and train others. Some will get bored, some won’t have time to dedicate hours to studying, and some would rather just do something else. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Use Microlearning

Microlearning enhances online-learning by breaking up long-form content into smaller chunks and delivering them in shorter bursts. This has become one of the more effective approaches to help improve learning reinforcement rates. After all, it’s so much easier to retain knowledge by completing a five-minute module each day than it is to complete a two-hour webinar in one sitting. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Use Microlearning with SC Training (formerly EdApp)

You can apply microlearning with the help of microlearning tools like SC Training (formerly EdApp). With their ready-made templates, your learners can interact with highly-targeted lessons that they can finish in under five minutes. There’s no need to fight with short attention spans or conflicting schedules. You will definitely improve the learning retention rate of your learners when lessons can be as short yet informative as possible. 

Check out free microlearning courses on SC Training (formerly EdApp), like HSE online courses, email marketing courses, IT courses, DEI courses, and more.

Join SC Training (formerly EdApp) for free and experience microlearning today! 

2. Use a Variety of Interactive Content

When you’re planning your online courses, consider using a variety of content. There are different learning-styles and preferences, and some learners go for either videos, audio, or text. Make your courses or programs more memorable by mixing things up with different types of learning formats, resources, and materials. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Use a Variety of Interactive Content

SC Training (formerly EdApp) offers image, video, and external link hosting, as well as the option to let learners submit and give comments as contributions to the lesson. Their content template slides encourage touch and interaction through clicking to expand lists, sliding a comparison bar, scratching to reveal content, and more. Mix and match content formats and have your learners engage with their learning to improve learning retention rates. 

3. Add Gamification Elements

With courses being developed for mobile learning and smartphones, it’s no surprise that some modules today now include elements that feel like a mini-game or activity. When learning doesn’t feel like learning, it becomes highly effective. The mental barriers of your learners are lowered when they’re engaging in game-like learning activities. This increases the likelihood of knowledge being embedded in long-term memory and motivates learners to actively engage with content.

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Add Gamification Elements

You can quickly and effectively gamify your employee training with SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s game template slides. Transform your knowledge, questions, and answers into known game formats like Jeopardy and The Elevator Game in just minutes. Improve learner motivation even more by using the gamified learning platform’s badges and banners feature and reward learners as a form of direct recognition for course completion and high performance. 

4. Take Advantage of Novelty

People have a natural preference for new and unexpected things. Similarly, learners want to discover new information and not be taught something they already know. But it’s not just the novelty in the information that learners are wanting. Sometimes they want a new learning environment, new learning, and teaching methods, or a new format. Take advantage of new things, big or small, to make your program easily memorable and feel new and unexpected. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Take Advantage of Loyalty

While online training isn’t considered to be novel in the learning and development industry, it might be something new and different for your learners. There are many online training benefits for organizations and trainers such as cost-efficiency, flexibility, and practicality. And by presenting your courses in mobile, interactive, and visually appealing formats, you’re sparking an interest in your learners to continue with their courses and fostering active learning. 

5. Involve your Learners with Discussions

There are some teaching and learning methods and other learning strategies that are more effective than others, such as demonstrations or group discussions. By using these more effective methods, you can achieve longer-term learning retention rates. Having your learners discuss the lesson with each other and share ideas, opinions, and insights is a great way to get them to retain any new information they’ve learned. When collaborative learning is received and shared in this way, there’s a higher chance of your learners remembering what they learned in the long term. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Involve your Learners with Discussions

Let your learners share both known and unknown information with SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s in-lesson Discussion feature. Here, information is presented in a forum-like style where they can upload text, images, and videos to add to the discussion learning experience. Encourage social learning and get your learners to memorize, apply, and practice their knowledge by sharing their ideas with others. 

6. Blend your Learning

There are so many different ways to approach learning, so why stick to just one? Offer various kinds of training and increase learning retention rate and comprehension, or have a mix of lectures, demonstrations, practices, audio-visual content, and readings. Your learners will start to understand the material in greater depth and retain it better after going through it several times and in different forms. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Blend your Learning

SC Training (formerly EdApp) lets your learners take their courses at their own pace and on preferred devices. While it is a mobile-first app, SC Training (formerly EdApp) supports a user-friendly, cross-platform desktop experience. So, you can have them read the learning material on their phones and then let them attend a webinar on their computers – all on the same corporate training platform. You don’t need multiple software to do blended-learning when you can do it all on their award-winning platform. 

7. Give out Assessments

It’s important that your learners know how to retrieve and remember the information they need in their heads. The more they’re made to remember the information, the more likely they are to retain it. Including assessments in your program is an effective way to achieve this. You can create formative assessments and regularly test your learners throughout the course, or do summative assessments and only test them at the end. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Give Out Assessments

Quizzes are a traditional and common assessment used in learning programs. With certain software like SC Training (formerly EdApp), you can verify digital learning and easily build quizzes and deliver them within minutes. Rapid Refresh is SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s built-in spreadsheet-based quiz maker that lets you easily identify knowledge gaps and reinforce new information. In this learning management system, you can also automate the delivery of questions to learners during training or after any learning intervention – you decide the schedule. 

8. Repeat and Review Lessons

Repetition is the key when it comes to retention. It might sound tedious, but repeating new knowledge or tasks allows information to stay in long-term memory. This doesn’t mean doing the same thing over and over again. Instead, repetition can be in the form of refresher lessons or simulations. Improving the learning retention rate of your learners is within reach when you combine knowledge and skills this way. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Repeat and Review Lessons

There are spaced repetition websites that apply the concept of distributed practice to embed information into long-term memory. Luckily, SC Training (formerly EdApp) has a built-in spaced repetition tool as well, which they call Brain Boost (by request only). Compile key concepts that your learners are having trouble understanding and repeat them until they’ve been locked into their long-term memory. You just need to pick which course or lesson needs to be repeated, and the app will do the rest of the hard work for you. 

9. Use Analytics 

With analytics, you can visually see which parts your learners are having difficulty with. Identify knowledge gaps and struggle points, and from there, determine ways you can make these sections more manageable. If it’s obvious that your learners are struggling to retain information from certain parts, then you should take actionable steps to improve your program. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Use Analytics

SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s analytics suite lets you track every training interaction and see how learners are progressing through courses. Also, you can get the data you need when you need it with their custom performance and engagement reports. Take command with their admin experience to deliver a modern mobile learning experience and track data on easily usable dashboards. 

10. Explain the Benefits of your Course

Unless learners know what they’re getting out of the course, they won’t be motivated to learn and retain the information. Explain to them how they will benefit from this course in order to pique their interest and willingness to learn. The more interested and willing they are, the more likely they are to retain the information. 

Ways to Improve your Learning Retention Rate - Explain the Benefits of your Course

Pinpoint the possible takeaways of your course and ask yourself if your learners will be able to accomplish a goal or use the information they’ve learned after completing the course. Once you’ve done that, convince your learners with this information. Let them know the practical benefits and applications of this course so that they can stay motivated to learn. If you can’t identify the key takeaways of your course, then you need to reevaluate.  

Check this list of goal setting training courses if you wish to improve your goal setting process and gain some tips on how you can achieve them.


Darcy Dario

Darcy is a learning expert at SC Training (formerly EdApp), a mobile-based training platform that helps businesses bring their training solutions to the next level with democratized learning. She has a background in content writing and specializes in eLearning and global communications. When she’s not writing SEO-optimized content, she’s trying to finish her video game backlog.

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