Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Improve elearning retention, keep it short

The next time you're thinking about adding more text to your learning materials, you may want to stop and think again.

While you think you may be adding pages and pages full of valuable learning materials, adding more information can actually hurt learning retention, according to a study on Efficiency in Learning in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

The study compared three lessons on the same weather process. Each lesson used the same illustrations, but varied in the number of words - 50, 100 and 600.

Students scored higher on the lesson with the fewest words.

Though the study may have not been conducted last week (it's actually more than a decade old), its findings are still relevant today, especially when it comes to elearning.

When you're writing for the web or creating new elearning materials, remember that people want clear, concise, simple instruction.

Web readers have a short attention span who like text to be short, scannable and broken up into small bites they can digest quickly. Eye-tracking studies show that online readers skip over large blocks of text and shorter paragraphs perform better.

On the Internet, readers hunt for facts, asses online material quickly and move on if there is nothing worth sticking around for.

Keep your online training programs short and to the point. This may mean having to break a long lesson into a few shorter sessions, but you’ll keep your trainees’ attention and they’ll retain more information.

Take the advice from a recent Copyblogger post: "Nobody wants to speculate how to start a lawnmower. All they want to do is cut the grass."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i dont see the point

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