How to deal with the forgetting curve through Performance Support?

Aug 25, 2019




“The forgetting curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time,according to Wikipedia. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it.” That’s down to the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve.

Forgetting is one of the biggest challenge of the training community World Wide later alone in South Africa. Investing time and money in course creation and training is ineffective if your learners aren’t absorbing what they learn and applying it to their work.

Employees tend to forget most of the content gained in a formal training session (classroom or online) after a few days. Research by Ebbinghaus (1850-1909), a German psychologist who conducted experiments on the human memory suggests that learners forget nearly half of newly acquired knowledge in a matter of days and weeks. This is validated by the forgetting curve theory propounded by him.

Employees need resources to reinforce what was taught in formal training sessions. This is why performance support is important. It gives learners help at the moment of need, when they are executing a task or performing their job. It provides them the targeted information they need to get it done. It connects learners to the learning, when and where they need it. In other words, subsequent to training, when employees are back on the job, performance support acts as an extension of the formal training.

Performance support gives learners help at the moment of need, when they are executing a task or performing their job. It provides them targeted information and needs to have the right content and has to be delivered in the right format to be effective.

However, it is important to note that

PSTs are not a replacement for formal training. They complement formal training and can be used to make formal trainings more interesting and meaningful by helping the learners to not just acquire knowledge but apply it on the job. Some of the gains that PSTs provide are:

  1. Increase in productivity.
  2. Increase in quality.
  3. Decrease in errors.
  4. Improved turn-around time for a task.
  5. Better service (on account of quicker resolution).

Adding Performance Support to your formal training will not only enhance the impact of the formal training but more significantly enable learners to apply the learning on the job and deal with most training challenges most organisation face the “forgetting curve”.

Post by AdminSol

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