In Part Eight of this series, we discussed assessing learner performance to gauge the effectiveness of your training. However, learning doesn’t stop after the assessments are complete. You need to enhance retention of training material to ensure your learners are able to transfer their new knowledge to the job.

The assessment phase gives you a picture of learner progress, and if you follow the steps leading up the assessment, you should see many learners do well. For those learners who didn’t perform well, circle back and provide additional guidance and feedback.

Learners who performed well on the assessment still need repeated practice, however. Repeated practice with specific and consistent coaching is the most effective way to ensure learners retain information. Post-assessment practice should allow learners to personalize the information to their role. This helps them cement their newfound knowledge in long term memory, and makes it easier for them to apply it to the job.

For example, a lesson on organizational confidentiality can include general questions about specific types of information a person should or should not disclose. At this stage, learners would identify documents or processes that they use daily in their role which would be subject to confidentiality agreements.

practice exercises help learner retention

Remember, spacing content over time and calling back to previously learned information are important steps for improving learner retention. Follow-up tests and refresher training can help learners remember the details. And once learners become experts on the job, they can then coach other employees.

Ultimately, learning never stops. Processes and procedures are always evolving, and products are always changing, too. No matter which business sector you are in, your team will always need some form of training. The best results are achieved with course authoring that utilizes a proven framework for instruction. Use all nine of these steps in your instructional design, and you will see improvement in your training program.