5 Ways to Improve Knowledge Retention With Games and Mobile


The corporate training world has come a long way over the last several years. While unwieldy Powerpoint slides and lengthy webinars are still out there, most organizations know better. The important message that “one and done” is never a sound training strategy is getting through to people, which explains the uptick in interest in learning products designed to improve knowledge retention.

When knowledge retention is the goal, the mobile phone is often the delivery method of choice. It’s not a generational thing: most people are absolutely addicted to their phones and spend lots of time consuming content on these devices. With the launch of our new smartphone app for Knowledge Guru, we are excited to bring the learning science that makes the platform so effective for knowledge retention to learners’ mobile devices.

No matter what tool or technology you use to reinforce knowledge, here are five tips for getting the most out of a mobile delivery method:

1. Use push notifications and email to pull learners in


Your learners are probably busy people and need consistent reminders and encouragement to re-engage with training content. Your app or game could be ten times more interesting than the eLearning courses on your LMS and still not be enough to pull people in without frequent reminders. When possible, give learners the option of either receiving push notifications or email reminders prompting them to answer questions and re-engage with your content.

2. Have learners play in short bursts


Mobile games that are popular with consumers, such as Clash of Clans and FarmVille, are designed to be played in just a few minutes at time. This usage pattern is ideal for increasing knowledge retention: we learn and remember more when training sessions are spaced out into small chunks over time. Games that only require a few minutes of play a time yet encourage repeat play are best for helping learners remember.

3. Use engaging gameplay to motivate and inspire


Whether or not a game is fun is subjective, so it is important to understand the preferences of your target learners. For example, some organizations opt for a custom Knowledge Guru theme so that the setting and characters feel appropriate to their players. It’s also important to keep retention-based games simple: as a general rule, games designed to increase retention should be easy to play so that learners do not spend too much mental energy learning the rules of the game. You’ll be surprised how simple a retention-driven game can be when learners are motivated to increase their knowledge.

4. Incorporate external resources into the game


Sometimes, the goal is not to help learners recall something from memory but rather to help them find and locate the correct information. In these cases, linking to external resources such as PDFs or online tools from within the game itself can be highly useful. If the game is question-and-answer driven, be sure to incorporate mixed media such as images and video to provide a richer learning experience.

5. Use analytics to spot problem areas and adjust


The benefit of using a mobile retention tool is that it is probably not stuck within the walls of your LMS. This means that a wider variety of analytics are available! Use analytics to track what learning objectives and questions learners are struggling with, then send out further reinforcement on the problem areas.

Continue your mobile learning research!

Find out if your training is mobile friendly, or mobile first… and why it matters. Read Is Your Training “Mobile Friendly” or “Mobile First”? on our Bottom-Line Performance blog.