Does linking simple story to information improve the ability for learners to retain the information?
The aim of this research was to determine if linking stories to information will improve learner retention and is this affected by age, gender, occupation and relevance of the information to the participant.
The research involved 50 candidates. These candidates came from a cross section of the Army workforce and from a variety of age, gender and trade backgrounds.
The research was conducted over multiple sessions. Each candidate attended four sessions. The first session exposed the candidates to a list of 30 random words (Appendix 1) for 10 mins. The candidates where then returned to their workplaces for eight hours then recalled at the end of the day for session two and asked to write down as many words as they remembered.
The next day the candidates returned as a group and where taught a memory technique known as
“Memory Palace”. At this point the group was randomly divided into two groups. The groups where then shown another list of 30 words. Group A was shown random words (Appendix 2), and Group B was shown a list of words relevant to their workplace (Appendix 3). The candidates again returned to their workplace for eight hours and were assessed again at the completion of the day to recall as many words as possible.
Results indicated that the average number of correct words increased after the training, and further evidence was obtained that indicated Group B, whom had the targeted list was able to recall a higher number of words that Group A with a random group of words.
Successful indication that this method is a reliable training tool to increase memory and retention will open opportunities for trainers and facilitators to deliver the technique at the start of the course to aid the students over the course of learning to improve retention of learning for assessment and later skill transference. It is recommended that courses delivered have adjustments made to the training program to enable the delivery of memory training techniques to increase the retention of student learning.
Stories have long been described as a primary mechanism whereby humans classify, store and retrieve information. During training we strive to assist learners to understand concepts and memorise facts and to structure the material in a way that permits ease of recall. Students remember information best when it is organised and meaningful to them. The story technique links images together into a story. This helps to keep events in a logical order and can improve the ability to remember information even if you forget the sequence of images. The proposed research project will determine if linking stories to information will improve learner retention.
Learner retention is important for a variety of reasons. It is often important to remember information for its own sake (such as a birthday or anniversary), but also retrievable information forms a basis for many cognitive processes such as comprehension and the implementation or intellectual skills, creative thinking and physical skill transference.
Successful indication that this method is a reliable training tool to increase memory and retention will open opportunities for trainers and facilitators to deliver the technique at the start of the course to aid the students over the course of learning to improve retention of learning for assessment and later skill transference. We expected that the candidates would be able to recall more of the words after the delivery of information linking a simple story to information. The follow on effect is predicted that candidates trained in this method will be able to apply it to future training courses to enhance their learning and improve their results.
Milne Solutions Pty Ltd
Literature review / Background Information