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The Importance of Learner Retention in eLearning Development 

Online learning requires a new approach for optimal engagement.

In-person learning has been the primary means of learning, and therefore the craft has had many decades to iron out effective engagement methods for retention. Many of these same principles apply to online learning the approach simply needs to be adjusted.

The Obstacles of Online Learning 

Facilitators may have encountered disengaged audiences, black squares with cameras off, and technology challenges – not to mention social media and news distractions. Companies may have faced diluted branding with facilitators putting their spin on presentations which could decrease consumer awareness and compromise levels of professionalism.  

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An Intentional Approach is Vital to Learner Retention 

Blended learning begins by increasing learner engagement, and turning the forgetting curve into the remembering curve. Studies have shown that learners retain only 20 percent of information when there is no attempt to remember it. However, retention increases when a learner actively recalls the information, especially with ongoing and spaced repetition.  

Simple, Effective Ways to Increase Engagement 

  • Include relevant content that invokes their emotions and gets them thinking. Providing a reflection journal with prompts allows learners to record their thoughts and feelings from questions posed during the training.  
  • Provide topics or questions which learners can engage in discussion groups after the training. Topics can be posted in customized social media groups, on performance or learning management platforms, or scheduled for in-person group activities. 
  • Participating in knowledge sharing. Studies say most learners retain 90 percent of what they teach to others. Implementing knowledge share sessions is a great way to teach others what they have learned. Additionally, assigning sections to participants based on their interests or level of understanding will further increase engagement. 

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