The Two Most Effective Methods for Learning

A study on human learning found that the two most effective methods for learning are (1) Distributive Practice and (2) Practice Testing.

What are they?

Distributive Practice- A learning strategy where practice is broken up in a number of short sessions over a longer period of time.

Practice Testing- A learning strategy that incorporates repeatedly testing on newly learned content and skills.

How to incorporate that into educating your customers?

Shorten Your Content- Break your content down into short, bite-size chunks that a user can consume in small bits over time rather than having exhaustive pieces of content. An example of this is to have help articles that are 500 words vs 8,000 words, or to have a series of 2 to 3-minute videos instead of a 30-minute webinar recording.

Promote Practice- After each bite-sized piece of content direct that customer to try what they just learned. If you have a controlled learning environment, you can test the customer by giving them a controlled scenario to apply what they just learned.

A few examples of companies that are doing it right

Trailhead by Salesforce- Trailhead is the Salesforce self-learning platform for admins and developers. Topics are broken down between developer, admins, and business users and then grouped together into trails. The trails are made up of modules which are made up of short lessons. Each lesson has content follow up with a practice scenario. You can create a free developer account where you complete the practice scenario. After completing the practice scenario, the Trailhead app will verify that you did the task correctly.

Treehouse- I know that Treehouse is a learning platform, but they apply these principles beautifully. Courses are grouped into tracks, and each course comprises of stages and steps. The video content ranges from 3 to 8-minutes. Each step is short enough to be easily digested, and content is followed up a challenge that enables the student to apply what they just learned.

How does your educational content look? Is it geared towards distributive practice and practice testing?

Thanks for reading.