How Does Spaced Repetition Impact Memory?

How Does Spaced Repetition Impact Memory?

The Secret to Impacting Memory

The concept of the Forgetting Curve dates back to 1885, when the German psychologist Ebbinghaus developed his memory retention theory. Ebbinghaus theorized that learners quickly forgot information in the days that follow a training. So how does spaced repetition tie into Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve?

Understanding Spaced Repetition & The Forgetting Curve

Spaced repetition is a learning tactic that utilizes the spacing effect that Ebbinghaus asserted during his study on memory strength.

Here’s a great explanation from Gwern.net: The spacing effect essentially says that if you have a question (“What is the fifth letter in this random sequence you learned?”), and you can only study it, say, 5 times, then your memory of the answer (‘e’) will be strongest if you spread your 5 tries out over a long period of time - days, weeks, and months.

One of the worst things you can do is blow your 5 tries within a day or two. Timing plays a critical role in reinforcement and memory strength. The fact that it really matters at what time of the day the repetition takes place is not common knowledge. We have experienced that a complete repeating storyline is essential for the result.

Organizations can increase the impact of their reinforcement programs by moving beyond the focus on remembering and paying attention to important factors such as repetition and timing.

Spaced Repetition vs. Training Reinforcement

So how is Training Reinforcement different than spaced repetition? Training Reinforcement takes the concept of spaced repetition and adds additional layers, making it a more effective solution for training programs.

Training Reinforcement uses your training content, learning objectives, and expected behavior outcomes to create a goal-based, structured Training Reinforcement program. Spaced repetition can be done manually, but Training Reinforcement allows learners to focus on knowledge and skills retention instead of repetition and timing.

Reinforcement programs use your learning objectives and expected behavior outcomes to create a “story” or timeline of events and messages. Your learning objectives are then spaced out over the course of this story to increase knowledge retention. By utilizing a smart, automated delivery platform, Mindmarker uses spaced repetition to increase knowledge retention and create lasting behavior change.

Download our eBook, Moving Beyond The Forgetting Curve, to learn how to utlize spaced repetition in your reinforcement program.

Moving Beyong The Forgetting Curve Download eBook


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About Mindmarker

Mindmarker addresses a common problem: learners return from a training or eLearning course and quickly forget the information they just learned and revert back to old habits. For training to have the most impact, it has to be reinforced. Read more about us »
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