Focus Magazine - Spring 2013 - (Page 30)
Long after Class
I By Duncan Lennox and Joe Pulichino, Ed.D.
They come, they learn, they forget.
loss at 70% to
three months of
a training event.
And you surely can’t
use what you don’t
Today’s knowledge workers are being asked to
learn more in less time. Yet most training
organizations have not adapted to meet this
reality. They continue to rely on the way they
have always done things, spiced up perhaps by
the use of technology and mobile devices, but
still developing and delivering traditional timecompressed, information over-loaded live
training events. At best, they may add some
online learning modules and performance
support tools to the mix. They make a significant
investment to provide this training – as much as
$25,000 annually for high level sales
professionals – because they assume that what
their learners learn by attending an event or by
flipping through an eLearning course can and
will be recalled and applied when they are back
at their jobs.
Unfortunately, the research shows that these
learners will forget much of what they have
learned. Most studies peg knowledge loss at 70%
to 90% within three months of a training event.
And you surely can’t use what you don’t
remember. Yet, it’s not the quality of the training
that’s the problem. The instructors can be
wonderful; the content rich and well designed.
The problem is that the training method itself
isn’t conducive to the way people actually store
what they’ve learned into long-term memory.
A Breakthrough in Learning
As a professor of surgery at Harvard, Dr. B.
Price Kerfoot faced this problem head on: his
students were forgetting much of what they had
learned in his classes after only a few weeks. This
tendency, first identified as the “forgetting curve”
by Dr. Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885, concerned
Dr. Kerfoot as it didn’t bode well for his students’
results on their final exams, and more
importantly, for their future performance in
Dr. Kerfoot, who also holds a master’s degree
in education, looked into the research and began
thinking about how to apply two well-known
psychological phenomena to this problem;
namely, the spacing effect and the testing effect.
The spacing effect postulates that information
is more easily learned and remembered when it
is presented and repeated a few times, but spaced
over a long time span rather than studied
intensively in a short time span. Basically, it’s like
doing your homework regularly and studying
your notes repeatedly over the course of a whole
semester rather than cramming for the final
exam the night before.
The testing effect refers to the higher
probability of recalling an item over the long
term when a learner is tested in a way that
requires repeated retrieval of the item from
memory. As opposed to concentrated study of an
item, formative testing, as it is sometimes called,
FOCUS | SPRING 2013 | www.spbt.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Focus Magazine - Spring 2013
From the President: Got Business Acumen Training?
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: The Time for Patient-Centric Training
Mastering the Guest Speaker Experience
The Sunshine Act: Partners for Healthy Dialogues
Team-Based Training at Boehringer Ingelheim
The ABCs of ACOs
Healthcare Business Acumen: Remaining Relevant
Remembering Lessons Long after Class
Practical Approaches for Peak Launch Performance
EQ and Leadership
Patient-Centric Sales Models
Virtual How: Social Media Tools
Device Education: A Global Strategy
5 Questions with Maynard Webb
Focus Magazine - Spring 2013