Getting learners to reflect on your custom content is the best way to increase retention of the lesson. You do not want them to just remember what they learned. You want them to be able to do so on a long-term basis. Ultimately, this is the measurement of how successful the elearning course is. The more that it can be applied positively in one’s life, the more we can assume that the course is successful in reaching its goals and objectives.
The best way to make learners remember is by giving them time to reflect on the lesson. When you dwell on something for some time, you get to make more memories of it. If that memory is stored in your long-term memory bank, that will increase retention of the lesson learned.
Of course, the challenge here is finding ways to encourage learners to reflect on the custom content. Here are 5 ways that you can do this.
Online collaboration projects
You can break the online class into groups and assign each a project that will allow them to implement what they just learned. The practical application involves processing of the lesson and that is an effective way to make them remember. And since they are collaborating with other learners, they get to reflect based on different viewpoints.
Another way to make them reflect on the lesson is to ask thought-provoking questions. This question can be posted after the lesson. Encourage the learners to answer it online and challenge the opinion of others. Let them discuss the question amongst themselves. If the answers are starting to slow down, ask another question.
Create a blog that the learners can use to write their thoughts about the custom content. They don’t have to write really long pieces. A 500-word article will do. Since this is published online, the learners will take extra care in what they will write on the blog. You can also open the comment section so fellow learners can comment on what was published.
Summary of the learning experience
This is a direct way to make them reflect on the elearning course in general. Not only will if give you a glimpse of how much they understand, it will also provide you with relevant feedback about the lesson. You will know how the overall experience was for the learner. When they talk about their experience, emotions will naturally get involved. We all know how our emotions play an important role in remembering. In fact, we remember what it felt like and that prompts us to dwell on what happens. Through the summary that the learners will write, it will encourage them to tap into their emotions.
This is another way for learners to implement what they have learned. Make the implementation as practical as possible. Before physical movement happens, the learner is forced to reflect on the content they learned from the course so it can be translated into action. This can be in the form of simulations or games.
You can choose one way to encourage elearners to reflect on the custom content – or you can combine two or more. It is really up to you and the time that you have in the elearning process.
Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut for FreeDigitalPhotos.net