4 Ways to Use Microlearning to Improve Knowledge Retention

By March 18, 2020 No Comments
Microlearning for knowledge retention

Investing in people’s learning and development is an increasingly essential part of leading companies strategy and growth. To get the most out of investments in training programs, organizations must align learning practices to their business strategy. Those learning practices must focus on improving and reinforcing employees’ knowledge to drive improvement for them and the business. But, unfortunately, too many learning programs focus too much time on time-consuming, generic LMS courses that are ineffective at knowledge retention. This method means people quickly forget what they’ve learned. The Forgetting Curve, a familiar concept since its introduction in the late 19th century by German psychologist, Hermann Ebbinghaus, is as relevant today as it was centuries ago.

If training investments are going to truly drive business performance and deliver a return on investment, corporate learning demands transformation. Traditional learning measures will show when someone completed a course and the score or grade, they received. But they don’t reveal whether a learner retained what they need from the learning experience and can recall and apply their newfound knowledge and skills in the workplace.

L&D professionals are under pressure to deliver learning experiences that are engaging and prove impact on proficiency and performance. That’s where a continuous learning method like microlearning comes into play for a more personalized and repetitive learning experience that increases long-term retention. Microlearning is an engaging approach that contributes to the learners experience and knowledge retention.

4 Scientifically Proven Methods

Here are four scientifically proven methods to reinforce employee training programs, change employee behavior, get visibility into performance readiness of your organization, and quantify learning ROI:

1) Spaced Learning and Repetition

Learning something once isn’t enough. It’s not how the human brain operates. People need a constant reminder of knowledge over time for it to be retained. The answer to this is spaced repetition because it delivers learning in the way our brains work (i.e., the spacing effect). Spaced testing helps activate the recollection of new information that can be easily applied into behavior change in the workplace. And repetition ensures that information is stored in the learners’ long-term memory even after a training program ends.

2) Create Scenario-Based Microlearning Challenges

Scenario-based learning makes training a more active experience by placing people in real job situations, challenging them to use new knowledge and see how they would react and apply it before doing it on the job. These scenarios have to be challenging and must be the most important concepts related to the learners job and the business which will drive engagement to help retain the knowledge for a longer duration of time.

3) Provide Immediate Feedback

Microlearning gives immediate feedback to the learner. When they receive real-time feedback on their strengths and weaknesses pertaining to their knowledge and skills, it gives them an opportunity to immediately receive a micro explanation of the Q&A challenges they answered. The goal here is to avoid getting that question wrong again. This reflective learning moment fosters long-term retention.

4) Incorporate Game Mechanics to Boost Engagement, Motivation and Interest

A learner stays motivated and engaged throughout a learning experience by incorporating peer leaderboards and game mechanics. Competition in learning should be organized through individual or group competition. When learners are motivated by simple and direct competition with their peers, leaderboards lead to competitiveness, whether it’s driven by a desire to win or simply to prove their own competencies. Where learners are more motivated by working as a group, competing as a team in a learning experience influences positive social pressures to keep learners engaged throughout the training program.

A competent L&D leader needs to transform their approach to training by building a learning strategy that aligns with their business strategy and by identifying and enabling the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of employees needed to perform on the job. They can achieve this by adopting microlearning to communicate key information to employees to ensure that it’s retained overtime. This is where the scientific methodology of learning is a must, especially including the spacing and testing effect known to beat the forgetting curve.

If you’re ready to maximize the knowledge retention of your training programs, click here for more information about Qstream or request a demo to see how microlearning can align with your business strategy.

If you’re looking for pre-qualified L&D talent to help build your next microlearning program, TTA has the experienced on-demand professionals to make your training project successful.


About Qstream
Qstream works by pushing short, easy to comprehend, contextual learning content through a mobile microlearning application that engages learners. Applying scenario-based Q&A challenges builds critical thinking skills by delivering and reinforcing information in the way the brain learns for long term retention through repetition, spacing, and testing. This scientifically proven learning method results in:

  • Increase knowledge retention by up to 170%
  • Improve job proficiency 17% on average
  • Achieve a 93% average engagement rate