You can follow a one-day training, but don’t expect the knowledge to be retained for more than a couple of days!

No matter how much we want to: you can’t expect your employees to retain knowledge for months without offerin them a suitable form of training. However, this still happens quite a lot. Organizations are sending staff to trainings a couple of days per year and are surprised when staff lapse back to old behavior.

We all agree that training is important. More knowledge leads to more confidence in the workplace, which will make it easier to make choices. It is important for companies that employees are up-to-date with new developments and that they develop more insight into complex workprocesses.

Most training methods are still focussed on a full day, during which the focus is on learning new, or getting better acquinted with known techniques. A facilitator will work with the team, by providing a presentation or interactive workshop. During these days much knowledge is acquired. Luckily these trainings are getting more effective and fun to participate in. However there is not much focus on the improvement of retaining knowledge.

Research by Herman Ebbinghaus, conducted in 1885, shows that 50% – 80% of knowledge is lost within the first day after the training. After a week the percentage of knowledge lost is: 70%. Only 2% of knowledge is retained in the month after the training. This effect is called the “curve of forgetting”. In this article you will read more on this effect.

For the real enthousiasts: E. O. Finkenbinder has published an interesting research paper in 1918. It’s called: The Curve of Forgetting.

MicroGames are, more than traditional training methods, compliant with the ideas and solutions provided in research. It is important that employees train in an effective, active way and also that the acquired knowledge is retained for more than a month.

Effective and durable trainings are dependent on knowlegde retention, in other words; how much of the acquired knowlegde does the student remember in time? There are 5 important factors that influence the retention of knowledge in a positive way:

  1. Offer the teaching materials in clear and focussed learning goals;
    To retain knowledge properly, the teaching materials must be offered in bitesized pieces. These chunks of information are trained step by step. Dividing up knowlegde will ensure that it is clear which competences are being trained and when knowledge is stored in the memory.

  2. Offer learning goals in short learning interventions;
    Our concentration can’t be maintained for longer than 15 minutes. After about 20 minutes your attentionspan is minimal and you will barely absorb any more information. Train with short interventions and take a break inbetween.

  3. Disperse the offer of learning interventions over multiple dayes/weeks;
    15 Minutes a day is better than one hour a week. Knowlegde is retained longer when training intervals are spread out over several days. Activating knowledge a day later ensures that knowledge from the working memory is transferred to the short term memory, there it will be retained longer. An additional benefit of this method is that the workingpressure is lowered to an acceptable level.

  4. Make sure learning interventions are repeated regularly;
    Knowledge must be reactivated as long as it takes to be recorded into the longterm memory. This will in most cases happen during daily routines and activities. However, not all theorie is used on a daily basis and therefore it is sensible to repeat learning interventions regularly.
  5. Provide employees with clear feedback on progress;
    Insight in progress helps students to measure how much they have advanced. This builds confidence and motivates students to take the next step in the training. With the correct feedback the area’s in which mistakes are made will become apparent, as well as how the students can improve themselves.  

We have been developing MicroGames for some years now and we are measuring a growing percentage of retained knowlegde in our target audiences. Experience teaches us that the tools are working, on the condition that they are deployed in the correct manner. Luckily more and more organizations realize that knowledge cannot be transferred and remembered in just one day. Multiple smaller interventions on a daily basis will have a stronger effect.

It isn’t necessary to train harder, as long as you are training smarter. 

Do you choose a traditional full or half day training or do you choose MicroTraining?

Microtraining is comprised from short, powerful (serious) games called MicroGames. These games cover one educational goal and/or message in 15 minutes. MicroGames are focussed on the core problem and will motivate players to consider possible solutions more detailed.

Maximum time load, minimal profits or rather the reverse?

The profits of traditional training are usually less than expected. At the end of the day a large portion of the newly acquired knowledge has been forgotten. You have probably ascertained the same. Research shows that when your employees arrive at the workplace the next day, 70% of the acquired knowledge has evaporated. In addition your staff is unable to work for an entire day. We are able to show that it is much more effective and easier to train for 15 minutes every day. Why?

  • Through repetition and routine the acquired knowledge will stick;
  • Concentration is much higher during a 15 minute training;
  • The strain on your organization is much lower.


Dynamic and on-demand learning

Knowledge and information are directly accessible through our phones. In this world the need for continuous learning is growing. Employees and members of your team cannot escape being actively involved in learning processes or changes within the organization.

Unfortunately traditional workshops usualy have a large impact on organizations. Not only costs should be considered, but also the time your staff is unable to perform their usual activities. We think this is a waste, especially when MicroGames take only 15 minutes and can be done when the student has time for it.

The MicroTraining principle rests on two important pillars

Short, dedicated sessions that are focussed on one educational goal per session.

The most effective timeframe for one session is 15 minutes. When 15 minutes have past the student’s attention fades. In addition there is a strong focus on one educational goal, which keeps the presented information unambiguous. It is simpler to teach three tasks in three sessions, than it is to teach three tasks in one session.

A blended learningprocess in which texts, videos and games alternate and supplement each other.

The WhiteBox portal and the supporting framework are developed to facillitate this. The student reads a text, watches a video about the text, reads another portion of text, plays a mission of one of the games and is confronted with many images during this process. This way a wider target audience is reached (everybody has a different learning style).

An important starting point when we design our games, is that they must be fun to play. When your staff is having fun during the experience, they will engage in (friendly) competition with others. This is exactly what we want to acchieve. Our games are oftentimes so much fun that they are played beyond working hours.

The more games are played, the better the knowledge sticks.

On a daily basis your staff makes decisions that are vital to your organization. Frequently these decisions are made instinctively. Did you know that your employees make better decisions when they have solved a comparable dilemma before?

By creating a safe environment to train important scenarios, you can prepare your staff for these important decisions. This enables them to make more efficient choises and deliver better quality.  Effectively this means a higher return on investment for your organization.

Just looking at educational materials has little to no effect. Sustainable knowledge and insight is acquired by actively working with information. You can tell someone to study, but you can’t force them to learn.

Insight developes by actively solving scenarios. This is the added value of MicroGames by InThere. Your employees are confronted with situations that will present themselves during the daily routine. While playing the games, the best way to deal with the situation will become apparent. There are plenty of chances to experiment and make choices you normally would be hesitant to make, all designed to investigate which decisions lead to the best results.

Deploying MicroGames will stimulate and challenge your staff on an individual and communal level, to (actively) search for answers, instead of getting them (passively) presented.

This is the reason serious gaming works so well.