Learning needs to be spaced

Robert Blaga
CEO @ teamlearning.ai


After nearly two years of researching, experimenting, and interviewing L&D experts, we’ve managed to filter out the noise and establish the core principles of effective online learning. To make it to the list, a core principle had to pass the following test:

  1. Is it supported by scientific research?
  2. Is the technology to build the core principle into an online application available?
  3. Can the L&D Manager and their team implement the principle with ease?

This series explores the six principles.

Principle 4: Learning needs to be spaced

We’ve known since 1932 that spaced repetition improves learning.

And we also know that when we want people to learn complex topics, we don’t send them to a 2-day training course.

Can you learn French in two days?

No, you learn it by spreading the effort of learning over a longer period.

But the problem is, as an L&D manager, you don’t have control over when and if people continue to login into their e-learning platform. Sure, you can send them reminders, but do they work?

Learning in the organization needs to be scheduled and we’ve focused a lot on this idea by testing and building a two-part system:

Part one does not allow the instructional designer to add too much content (making obvious the need to space out learning) and part two allows for scheduling multiple learning sessions just like you would schedule a recurring meeting.

Add dates and times, select the content and the participants, and press “Deploy”. Houston blocks people’s calendars on the chosen dates and sends them the invitation together with the login details and the instructions.

As simple as the system is, the impact is formidable: by scheduling interesting, short, collaborative learning challenges over a longer period, people start anticipating with pleasure reconnecting with their colleagues on another problem-solving adventure.

Learning becomes part of the culture, especially if managers get involved.

And this brings us to the next principle: Learning needs to be supported.

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Robert Blaga
Robert Blaga is the CEO & Founder of teamlearning.ai He has worked with companies like Deloitte, PwC, Michelin, and Continental developing and implementing large-scale learning programs for managers and individual contributors.

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