Does Spaced Repetition Actually Work?
To understand what a powerful tool for learning spaced repetition is, we need to first take a closer look at how the brain works. We can often be lulled into the sense that the brain acts like a computer. We imagine knowledge being saved in discreet files and that all we need to work out is how to access them.
This is an oversimplification of how memory in the human brain works. Several different parts of the brain are involved in building memory and then retrieving it. Research highlights that various regions will ‘spark’ when a particular memory is recalled.
In addition to this, we are only able to retain between five and six pieces of information at any one time. That’s why spaced repetition generally focuses on a small number of things to learn in a particular session.
There is plenty of research today that points to the efficacy of spaced repetition and it’s worth taking a closer look at this.
The first important part of learning new things is forgetting. There’s a theorem called the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve that highlights how we tend to forget things over time. Usually demonstrated as a graph this shows that we have almost perfect recall just a few minutes after learning something but this begins to flatten out as time goes on. We can boost the curve again by regularly exposing ourselves to the material that needs to be learned.
Of course, most people understand that they can rarely learn a set of facts in just a few minutes and retain that information for every. The general notion of practice makes perfect is something we’re all familiar with. That’s why we’ll repeat learning a word in a different language.
What most people don’t understand is the timing of practice is also vitally important for efficient retention. Research in this area stretches back around 100 years. Back in 1925, a group of students were asked to learn Athenian Oath. The first group were given the oath only once but read it six times in a row. The second group were given the oath on separate occasions. While the immediate recall was about the same for both groups, after 4 weeks the students who used spaced repetition had significantly better recall.
There is a lot of evidence that the retrieval process of spaced learning is also an important element. You are given a series of facts or questions and answers to learn. You are then given a short test. This is a vital part of the process. Not only does this give the learning system a chance to monitor your responses but it also means that the memory is more deeply ingrained and should improve recall over time.
Spaced repetition allows us to maintain this memory curve and continue to recall certain facts. What’s more, there’s also a benefit in partially forgetting something which makes the period that passes before you relearn something so important. This is called the theory of disuse and what it means is, if we start to relearn something partially forgotten, then that strengthens the memory even more.
It’s one thing to learn different facts but that’s not all that skills training or education in the workplace is all about. Transferring knowledge and using it to explain or perform other tasks is also important. The good news is that the research to date suggests that spaced learning can help facilitate this.
Other research has shown that spaced learning can be utilised in a variety of subject areas including developing language and grammar rules, solving mathematics problems and many other types of learning. There is a range of different uses for it within the business environment whether you run a sales team or want to onboard new employees in a large corporation.
Spaced Repetition App
One of the big things that have changed for businesses that want to create spaced repetition modules for their employees is the role of technology. A spaced repetition app has lots of advantages:
- It allows anyone to access the app, wherever they are in the world. An employee could log onto the learning app while they’re on the train to work, or sitting in a café waiting for an appointment to start. All they need is a long ID and password and they can access your content.
- The app can easily be downloaded onto a smartphone and can be linked to notifications to improve spaced repetition.
- Businesses can build their training provision and tailor it more closely to the needs of employees and the goals of the company itself.
- A spaced repetition app allows you to create different training opportunities for different departments. You can even add on your company onboarding so that new employees turn up on day one fully informed.
- It can also save you money on your training process by providing more effective learning opportunities for staff at all levels. It can, for instance, greatly reduce the time spent on organising in-house teaching sessions.
A spaced repetition app works for businesses of all shapes and sizes and in lots of different sectors. It’s a flexible solution that not only provides a cost-effective solution to training but is measurable which means you can track how employees are progressing.
Providing staff training can be limited for many businesses because they don’t have the budget to invest in this area. The introduction of spaced repetition learning provides a low-cost solution that can help bridge this gap and make a big difference.
Why Choose Wranx
Using Wranx for spaced repetition to ensure employee knowledge and minimize gaps in knowledge can make a big difference to your business. We’ve spent a lot of time developing the cutting-edge learning software as a service solution that businesses are looking for today.
We’ve also worked with various sectors around the world, from small businesses to large corporations, so we understand what a difference spaced repetition learning can make.
Whether you need to improve product knowledge, create a better onboarding system for new employees, improve sales training or health and safety in the workplace, our software is backed by the latest high-tech artificial intelligence.
Perhaps you want to create modules for your marketing team or your HR staff need to learn about a new operating system for the payroll. Theirs is no limit to how spaced repetition can help.
Training staff well means that they can fulfil their roles and operate more productively. Putting staff in charge of their training also means you often get better buy-in and a more knowledgeable workforce.
Businesses can spend a lot of time creating and curating new training materials with all the costs that involves. At Wranx, we don’t just provide the software but our experienced team can help you put together the perfect new modules for your business. That could mean working with existing materials you may have created or bringing something new and innovative to the table.
If you want to improve your in-house learning, click the link below to book a demonstration.