Unlocking Long-Term Retention: The Power of Spaced Revision in Training

Spaced Revision

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As educators, we strive to ensure that the knowledge we impart to our learners is retained and utilized over the long haul. One powerful technique that can significantly boost long-term retention is spaced revision. By strategically reviewing information at specific intervals, we can help learners embed knowledge deeply into their long-term memory. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of spaced revision and provide a step-by-step guide for implementing it over 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months.

Step 1: Immediately after the lesson: ( 10 minutes to six hours)

Immediately after initial learning, allocate time for a quick review. This reinforces the material in the learners’ minds and strengthens the neural connections. It’s an opportunity to consolidate understanding and address any immediate gaps or questions that may have arisen.

You go back over the content and notes and see what you can Recall. Preferably turn detail notes into key pictures and symbols radiating out from the central theme like a Mind Map with as few words as you need to make any connection.  

Your brain is better at recalling from symbols and flow chart connections that you have thought through and made, rather than reading reams of detail notes again and again. This initial step of immediate Recall and turning your detail notes into key words and symbols will be the longest process but most important. It is now your new notes on the topic.  Aim at one page on a blank landscape piece of paper filled with symbols, key words and connections.

You then add to this Mind Map after each addition lesson on that topic until this Mind Map represents all the information that you have been taught

Step 2: Review after 24 hours

The next time, after the first recall and making of the visual Mind Map, is one day later. Again, the emphasis in on what you can RECALL first, then look back over your visual Mind Map from step one and see if there is anything you may have missed.

Step 3: One week later, after your final lesson on the topic

First see what you can recall and what you can mirror of your Mind Map from step one. Then look at this good copy and see what you may have missed or need to relook at, to be able to recall.

Step 4: Review at 1 Month

After 30 days, revisit the material to reinforce retention. This step is crucial in preventing the “forgetting curve” and solidifying the knowledge in long-term memory. Encourage learners to recall and apply the information, whether through practice exercises, discussions, or practical applications. This active engagement enhances retention and strengthens the connections between concepts.

Step 5: Review at 3 Months

Three months later, conduct another review session. By spacing the intervals between reviews, we leverage the spacing effect, which enhances long-term retention. During this session, encourage learners to recall and reflect upon the previously learned material. Incorporate interactive activities or case studies that require them to apply their knowledge in new contexts. This approach reinforces the information and strengthens the neural pathways.

Step 4: Review at 6 Months

Finally, at the six-month mark, conduct a comprehensive review to solidify the knowledge for long-term recall. This session serves as a capstone, ensuring that learners have retained the information and can apply it effectively. Encourage active participation and discussion, fostering connections between previously learned concepts and real-world scenarios.

Implementing spaced revision offers several advantages:

  • Enhanced Retention: The spaced intervals allow for better consolidation of knowledge, leading to increased retention rates.
  • Long-Term Application: By reinforcing the material over time, learners can retain and apply the knowledge beyond the training period, supporting lifelong learning.
  • Deeper Understanding: Active recall during spaced revision strengthens the connections between concepts, promoting a deeper understanding of the material.
  • Improved Problem-Solving: Reviewing at intervals allows learners to tackle new challenges and solve problems more effectively by drawing upon their stored knowledge.

Spaced revision is a powerful tool for enhancing long-term retention. By strategically reviewing material at intervals at 6hrs, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months, we can ensure that learners retain knowledge and are able to apply it effectively over time. Embrace spaced revision as a fundamental component of your teaching approach and empower learners for lifelong success.

Remember, it’s through consistent and strategic revision that we pave the way for enduring knowledge and skills.

If you’d like more tips and resources to take your training sessions to the next level, I recommend checking out our Master Trainer Series. This professional development series is designed to help trainers develop their skills and create effective training programs. It’s a valuable resource for anyone looking to take their professional development to the next level.

So, what are you waiting for? Start swapping those groups around and see the benefits for yourself. Your participants will thank you for it.

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