Forgetting Curve

What is The Forgetting Curve?

Understanding The Forgetting Curve

Within days, learners begin to forget the important information they learned during training.

Understanding Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve

Back in 1885, Herman Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist, theorized that new learning is quickly forgotten within days of a course ending.

During his study, Ebbinghaus repeatedly tested his memory of nonsense syllables and plotted the results. This later became what we now refer to as The Forgetting Curve.


The Forgetting Curve

Prevent Forgetting 

After his studies, Ebbinghaus found a few key factors that helped fight the forgetting curve and increase memory strength:

1. How meaningful is the training content to the learner?
Are they truly interested in learning more about the topic?

2. How is the content represented to the learner? 
Is there a variety of intermixed content?

3. What kind of psychological factors come into play?
Is the learner under additional stress?

Increasing Strength of Memory

Ebbinghaus asserted that the optimal timing for the first reinforcement moment is within twenty-four hours of the initial training. Timing plays a critical role in memory retention. 

He then went on to hypothesize two different methods to increase the strength of a learner’s memory: Spaced repetition (reinforcement over a long period of time) and Mnemonic techniques (short phrases, acronyms, or visual aids).

"Overlearning" Training Materials

Ebbinghaus also tested the strength of our memory after "overlearning." He found that if knowledge is practiced more than what is usually required, the Forgetting Curve would successfully become more shallow.

Read more about these hypotheses in our eBook, Moving Beyond The Forgetting Curve, to learn how Mindmarker helps move your learners past remembering and into applying. 

Moving Beyond The Forgetting Curve

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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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