What exactly is Sticky Learning?
Have you ever had a random thought about an experience and just smiled because you knew what it meant to you? Have you ever thought about a joke that applied to a real-life scenario and smiled quietly at yourself? Those were sticky experiences! I know some of those random thoughts were gross as well… ? ok I’m done with the jokes. The most important thing is that those experiences stuck.
Many organisations cannot afford for their employees to forget the knowledge gotten from training resources so the question ‘how can I get my employees to retain all this information?’, like an old joke, comes to mind. The answer is, make it STICKY.
What does sticky learning mean?
Sticky learning refers to creating memorable learning experiences that learners remember even after a training session is over. Creating learning that sticks means activating the brain for long-term retention.
Institutions and organisations alike agree that ‘stickiness’ is something we all want to achieve. Why? Because sticky learning means learners will:
How do I design sticky learning?
Here are a few tips I and the team at Alula learning use.
So there you have it. Previews, sneak peeks, announcements and buzz are good to address pre-training motivation.
Sticky learning builds in the necessary spacing, practice, and reinforcement over time, which adult learners need to build cognition while balancing business needs for effectivity and cost-benefit resources.
This is also a reason why we advise microlearning. Microlearning is a sticky learning delivery method. It can be very powerful because the content is chunked, spaced, and reinforced over time. The brain gets boosted and has a chance to recall and build upon the learnings.
Humans naturally forget more than 70% of what they learned within 24 hours. Transferring only the MOST IMPORTANT information and skills from short to long-term memory is one of the many ways that humans have survived. This means sticky learning needs to reset the brain’s natural forgetting curve after training, to help retain what was learned in long-term memory. You can do this with memory boosts. You can use short quizzes or cognitive ‘nudges’ that strengthen the new connections in the brain, you can also get them to transfer the learning by either teaching a junior colleague or presenting to the larger team.
What you do after training is as important as the training. This is why I always advise blended learning so they can have a feel of the training after the training.
Knowledge bases and forums are useful online tools that organizations can use to support social learning, but you can also do it in person through internal communications, social committee events, or town-hall events.
Many organizations aren’t leveraging the power of social learning. If you have a communications team, intranet, social committee or other groups/interface, use it! Leverage that to support your courses and give learners an opportunity to engage, discuss, and share their insights (and even their dislikes) of a course.
There you have it. If you want to learn more about designing sticky learning, kindly send an email to [email protected] or send me a personal mail to [email protected] to discuss how I can make your learning stickier!