Recent studies have shown that retrieval (a process of accessing certain information in your brain) is critical for robust, durable, long-term learning. Every time a memory is retrieved, that memory becomes better available for access in the future. Not surprisingly, practicing memory retrieval produces more knowledge retention than other effective techniques. From these findings, we understand that the retrieval process has a central role in learning. What’s interesting is that the benefits of repeated retrieval are not isolated to a particular type of learning, and instead appear with a variety of mediums, learning settings and situations including eLearning, online simulations and blended learning programs. Here’s another great fact: retrieval improves learning for a variety of learners ranging from preschoolers to senior citizen.
Now that we know that retrieval practice is such an important learning approach, we should start encouraging the learners to engage in retrieval to improve their learning in many different settings and situations. Up until now, retrieval was not regarded an important part of the learning process, and unfortunately, we were not encouraging our learners to engage in retrieval as often as we should have. Every eLearning designer should take into consideration the benefits of memory retrieval. Make sure that you provide quizzes, knowledge checks, and assessments with every learning product you develop. This simple step has an enormous potential to greatly improve the training outcomes for your learning population.