How to Use Spaced Repetition During Training Sessions

Published on 18/10/2019


If you’re putting on a training session for your staff, or you’re allowing your staff to attend an external training session, you’ll want them to get as much out of it as possible. 

Training sessions can be costly for businesses and it’s important to ensure that the information you need to be transmitted is done so in a high quality and effective way. 

Some training sessions are better than others, i.e. a member of staff could attend a costly external training session and not really grasp the subject. If they’re supposed to pass on the knowledge they’ve acquired to other members of staff, that is going to become an issue, which means nobody benefits from the exercise.

A contemporary office environment should be somewhere which is up to date on the latest skills and knowledge, and a place which encourages self-developing and learning. That means utilising training sessions in the best way, and allowing staff to absorb knowledge in a way which means it sticks. 

Have you heard of spaced repetition?

This is a very effective way of ensuring that information is not only retained but also rewires the brain to ensure it is the first piece of information which comes to mind when a specific problem calls for it. 

Check out this video which outlines a little more about spaced repetition and why it is useful. 

The Brain Learns by Repetition

If you can make use of this theory in training sessions, whilst also ensuring that you do all you can to make your training sessions fun and lighthearted, you’ll get the best out of the time and you won’t be ruing a missed opportunity for new knowledge!

Spaced repetition can be used first in the training sessions, perhaps at the round office tables, and then reinforced when employees are back at work. This could be via flashcards which are emailed to staff periodically across the week. By doing this, you’re allowing information to be retained in the brain far more effectively, and reminding them of what they learnt in the original training session. 

Let’s be honest, far too many training sessions turn out to be a failure. They’re poorly organised and aren’t planned in a way which makes memory their aim. The human brain learns by repetition and this is something you need to remember when putting together any type of training session or a meeting which you need staff to remember!

Remember when you were at school and you were learning the alphabet? Can you remember how you learnt it? By singing it over and over in a song probably. Your teacher was asking you to constantly repeat this because by doing so, you commit the information to your long-term memory, via the power of repetition.

Clever, right?

Using Spaced Repetition in a Staff Meeting

Spaced repetition can be used in various different situations, and not only training sessions. For example, perhaps you’re having your regular staff meeting and you need to pass on a piece of information which is pertinent to the work done in the office. This is a piece of information which needs to be remembered and used in the future. 

You can pass this information on in the meeting and then use the methods mentioned in space repetition to help staff retain the information and use it at their office desks.

By doing this, you’re utilising the brain’s repetition requirement, and you’re ensuring that whatever information you need to pass over, is done so effectively. No time wasted, no missed opportunities, and a far more beneficial use of your time!

It’s a good idea to decide whether staff training sessions should be run in-house or externally. It really depends upon the type of information you need to pass over, and which situation would suit it best. By making the best decisions and using spaced repetition to help information be remembered effectively, you really can’t lose!

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