Teamwork meeting concept.

Without reviews, employees gradually lose skills and knowledge they gain at trainings. A mobile app can become an ideal tool for spontaneous but frequent brush-up sessions.

By Tatsiana Lebedzeva

According to the American Society for Training and Development, around 90% of the knowledge learned at trainings is lost after all sessions are completed. Therefore, corporate investments and employees’ efforts result in only 10% of new skills and information acquired. This can be explained with the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve: at every new session an employee gets 100% of new knowledge, but with every day the memory about that information deteriorates, if not refreshed. In case employees don’t put their knowledge to use right away, in a month there will be only 3% of it left.

A mobile app with review exercises can help employees to regularly follow up training sessions and live up to their company expectations by mastering the knowledge offered to them.



Reviewing makes perfect

For employees to gain value from trainings, companies should encourage regular reviewing and practice. The University of Waterloo, Canada, states that reviewing information for 10 minutes on the day after the knowledge was gained can restore it nearly to the original 100%. A weekly brush-up session won’t refresh all the knowledge learnt during the preceding week back to its intact 100%, but will still help to easily get about 80% of it back. Any type of reviewing is basically a better time and effort investment than learning everything from scratch in one sitting.

m-Learning goes m-Reviewing

As soon as corporate learning portals took the place of ‘physical’ workshops and tutors, mobile learning (or m-Learning) entered the professional training stage and immediately proved to be even more effective. Towards Maturity Benchmark Studies show that companies with mobile learning apps report more benefits in terms of personnel management and business development than those with other types of training systems.

However, even if your organization treasures its workshops led by a professional tutor or has a robust e-Learning portal, turning to mobile app developers to create a mobile app with the purpose of enabling training review is still a good idea. Review is extremely convenient when done on a mobile device of all other means. Since a smartphone is always accessible to an employee, a brush-up session can be initiated at any available moment, anywhere – in a queue or while commuting.

m-Reviewing: How it works

Brush-up sessions work best when designed as simple flashcard quizzes, based on the ‘spaced repetition’ learning principle. The evidence for that are the benefits that a mobile app developed with this approach can present:

1)    Easy adoption

Flashcards are about simple tasks: an employee either has to connect two cards to complete the idea or choose the right answer. Questions too should be simple, requiring a 1-2 word answer only, and the quiz session itself should be relatively short, 10-15 questions maximum.

If met, all these conditions will help a mobile app feel more like a game for killing time. An employee will want to open it, on a whim and without the feeling of obligation or mental preparation. And this is exactly what you need to make an app effective, since the main objective is to encourage employees to review the learned material as regular and often as possible. Still, people aren’t that easy to tame. That’s why a notification to perform a missed brush-up session can appear in the status bar as well.

2)    Driving out of mistakes

By tracking mistakes made by an employee during past brush-up sessions, an m-reviewing app will remember the incorrectly answered cards and ask to answer them again before proceeding to another session. There can even be a special session only with the cards that were once answered incorrectly. With a drop-by-drop repetition like this, a mobile app will help to drive out incorrect knowledge and settle with only the right one in mind.

3)    A more engaged review

When marking the answer as incorrect and putting the card in the queue for better reviewing, a mobile app can immediately show an employee the correct answer. Another option, it can hide the answer and show the link to the relevant lesson in the corporate m-Learning block or on the corporate learning portal, as well as point to a certain presentation and invite employees to search for the answer on their own. By going back to the entire training session to find the right answer, employees will inadvertently look through the whole material and refresh it all.

Mobile apps can be a great tool for creating a habit of regularly brushing-up on training materials and thus deriving a real value out of the efforts spent on corporate learning by both employees and the organization. Short and simple sessions, offering to connect two parts of an answer or complete a 10-question quiz, can get almost as addictive as Flappy Bird. Yet, the former definitely offer a lot more benefits.

Tatiana Lebedzeva is a Business Analyst at @ScienceSoft, a software development and consulting company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. With 3+ years of the prior experience as a Human Resource Manager, today Tatiana applies her practical knowledge in the areas of staff performance, HR administration, and HR software to come up with the concepts of custom solutions that can assist companies in HR activities with a focus on achieving their strategic goals. @ScienceSoft.