By: David Hand, VP of DevOps Sales at Orasi Software

Use technology to your advantage and enhance the retention rates of your training sessions.

Classrooms change. Courses change. But the age-old struggle of any learning or development session stays intact. How to retain knowledge gained beyond the training session? And how to apply the concepts taught during training to a real-life scenario?

Students, instructors, and organizations – they all come across this pain point eventually. Conducting a session seems relatively easy. What’s difficult is translating that time into something productive, enduring, and usable – long after the session is over.

The learning void

This is a gap that only worsens with time. Knowledge retention and how to apply it continue to be significant challenges that dilute the effectiveness of training programs. In a LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2020, Learning and Development (L & D) professionals showed that evaluating the effectiveness of learning programs topped the list of areas of their strategic focus.

  • Their strategic priorities are condensed around learning outcomes – with 38% who want to evaluate the impact of learning, 35% who want to improve learning engagement, and many who agreed that course completion may not be the right engagement metric.
  • Almost 36% of L & D professionals struggle with how to increase engagement in learning, 21% are caught up with the challenge of demonstrating the value of learning, and 31% are worried about the challenge of teaching their employees to use technology more effectively.

Imagine the results when a training program aims to teach or strengthen skills in a specific solution or tool. The inability, or difficulty, of retaining knowledge will cost both students and organizations. As time passes, users focus on other projects, it is only natural to forget what was learned during a session. And this forgetting curve issue appears regardless of engagement level, time invested, and depth of detail that a training session entails.

So how to beat this forgetting curve?

Fill the gap

Thankfully, modern tools like hands-on virtual labs can help accomplish this easily. They are driven by cloud and immersive technologies and add convenience as well as time-savings for students and trainers. They also deliver much more than that. Hands-on virtual labs arm both learners and instructors with multiple opportunities to enhance training and increase retention.

They do this through features like,

1. Application-oriented learning so that students can understand the concept in a real-life scenario.

2. High levels of simulation that mimic real-life scenarios, allowing students to try out every tactic and lesson in a hands-on way, with no repercussions from costly errors or mishaps.

3. Collaboration brings students together. This helps them discuss, dive deep into concepts, and understand a new feature, process, or concept with more ease and speed.

4. Affinity between students and instructors through over-the-shoulder views, real-time hand-holding, and immediate clarifications of missteps.

5. Assignments and projects that expose students to real life scenarios.

6. Elasticity and flexibility of the cloud help students set the pace of their learning – this gives them more practice time and confidence, which enhances the learning experience.

7. Fun and immersive features that expand the opportunities of learning by doing – this is done with impressive versatility, personalization, and business context.

The adage still holds true. You remember what you write, and you hardly ever forget what you practice. The complexity of the solution or skill does not matter here. Any kind of learning outcome can be achieved if one has the right set of approaches – supported with intelligent and effective tools. That is why organizations rely on suitable partners that understand this challenge and minimize it. The aim is not to just tick a box. The goal is to teach and train in a way that it stays. Beyond the session. Out in the real world.