By Shelley A. Gable
To remember the name of someone you’ve just met, repeat the name as soon as possible in conversation. Most of us have heard this tip before, but why does it work?
It may interest you to know that this same concept can apply to what you’ve learned from an online course. Let’s take a look at why this is true and how you can make it work for you in conjunction with online learning.
Why Discussing It Helps You Remember It
Whether you’re repeating someone’s name in hopes of remembering it later or chatting about what you’ve just learned in an online insurance continuing education course, discussing new knowledge is an effective way to help you anchor the information in your memory. Below are a few of the reasons why this works.
Repetition. This is common sense. The more you’re exposed to something, the more likely you are to remember it.
Application of new knowledge in context. When you have a conversation about something you’ve just learned, you’ll likely present it in a way that makes sense to you. This in and of itself can help you recall that information later. Additionally, the person you’re conversing with may prompt you to think about that information from a different angle, which is likely to deepen your understanding of the topic (thus making it easier to recall later). And if you’re relating the information to your work or something personally relevant, even better.
Reinforcement of the information through another modality. Many learning researchers suggest that we learn through three modalities: visual (learning through seeing), auditory (learning through hearing and/or speaking), and tactile (learning through doing). Reinforcing new information through multiple modalities increases the likelihood of remembering it. Therefore, you can reinforce newly learned knowledge in this way by conversing verbally about something you read or conversing in writing (perhaps in an online discussion) about something you heard.
Making This Work for You with Online Learning
While completing training online, identify information that you want to remember later. Maybe it’s a sales model from an online insurance sales training course. Maybe some interesting facts from an online continuing education course for real estate appraisers. Or something surprising from online training on securities. You’ll likely benefit most from identifying information that will impact you on the job or that you expect to be tested on later.
Regardless of what kind of information it is, your next step is to find a way to discuss it with others. Consider initiating a verbal discussion with a colleague in the office or a contact at a networking event. Alternatively, you may be able to solicit a broad array of perspectives by facilitating an online discussion. For example, you might tweet a question to your followers on Twitter or start a new discussion thread through a relevant LinkedIn group.
So how do you get the conversation going? Try stating the information you’ve learned, then asking for someone else’s perspective on it. For example, you might ask how it has affected the other person’s work or interaction with clients.
Considering how connected our world is today, there is a plethora of ways to engage others in a conversation. Whether you favor online social media or a face-to-face interaction, take advantage of this strategy as a way to reinforce what you’ve learned through online training courses.
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Shelley A. Gable is an instructional designer and freelance writer. She has developed training for functions such as financial services, call centers, and engineering education. Shelley has written articles on topics related to training and management for print and online publications. Visit Shelley’s website at http://www.shelleygable.webs.com.