Forgetting Curve – Ebbinghaus
The ‘Forgetting Curve” theory is not a myth, it is a genuine phenomena discovered by Hermann Ebbinghaus over 100 years ago.
Ebbinghaus was able to prove that the brain literally forgot the vast majority of what it was taught and did so shockingly quickly!
So if you are running a training course at work and wonder how come delegates appear to have forgotten what you trained then the previous day. It’s not their fault, it’s the forgetting curve in action!
You can see from the curve plotted below just how severe is the rate of forgetting. 50% of what you train is forgotten within 30 minutes! Probably well before the delegate even gets home!
The answer doesn’t lay in berating the delegates or denial. The little test you gave at the end of the training session does not constitute proof of learning rather it serves to prove the delegates short-term memory is functioning.
Try running the same test 2 days after the course and see what results you get. Through no fault of your training, the knowledge retention will be extremely poor.
Professor Dunlosky of Kent State University, USA, https://www.kent.edu/psychology/profile/john-dunlosky wrote a ground-breaking article on the optimum revision/learning techniques.
What he concluded in a nutshell was that if you want to learn something you need to start ‘revising’ straight away and continue to do so over a protracted period of time using spaced-learning, self testing and repetition.
We have provided an abridged version of Dunlosky’s work in our hugely popular White paper – Brain Glue.http://elephantsdontforget.com/how-it-works/