Retaining New Knowledge After Training - the 2x2x2 Method

How videos, infographics, quizzes and other reminders at precise intervals boosts retention.

When we’re developing learning and knowledge experiences with our clients, whether they’re training videos, interview videos or other content productions, we’re always looking for the stickiness that makes the material effective, valuable and memorable. It goes beyond making something cool. What we’re looking for requires research, practice and specialization. It also requires a better methodology.  

One of the approaches we’re most excited about sharing is the 2x2x2 Method. Developed by Professor Art Kohn and based on overcoming the Forgetting Curve (wiki), this approach provides a pathway to recall information learned repetitiously over time.

The method posits that after your primary learning experience (class) is over, learners will better preserve their new knowledge if they are given new opportunities to recall info in 2-day, 2-week and 2-month increments.

How the 2x2x2 training retention method works

When considering learning retention challenges for both skills and behavior-based coursework, the 2x2x2 Method makes a lot of sense. How do we reach our employees after they leave our workshops, zoom meets, or orientations to remind them of the key points AND ensure they remember them?

Those learning boosts can be sent out exactly at the increments that work best, and learning can be tracked in concert with quizzes and puzzles designed to promote solidification in the brain:

  • 2 Days After: Focus on the recognition of the main principles taught with short, bite-sized recall exercises. This is all about creating a baseline for retention through entertaining, interactive delivery and low time commitment. Remember, 5-10 minutes is all your learners need to successfully perform this step.

    • How to increase recognition of learned principles:

      • Multiple choice quiz based on principles learned in class. Results could be shared in virtual learning hubs, or via personal feedback from facilitators.

      • Video/image-based puzzles from the original material - featuring video frame grabs, audio clips or video clips to stimulate memory.

  • 2 Weeks After: Focus on applying the main principles through a deeper dive into situations and experiences that force thought and open-ended choices. This phase encourages how principles can be further applied by revisiting main coursework from a video perspective.

    • How to apply learned principles for greater retention:

      • Narrative video experiences (mini-movies) showing an appropriately handled situation, along with a poorly handled situation. Expert commentary could run over top to help point out specific learning points.

      • Interviews featuring class facilitators, industry experts or peers sharing anecdotes, personal experiences or advice.

      • Infographic series focusing on a single major point, dissecting it further in a clear, concise way.

  • 2 Months After: Focus on identifying examples of main principles with experiential-style learning exercises where judgement and decision-making solidify retention. This final phase is where memory truly starts to solidify by building choice-based experiences that reinforce the teaching with critical path results for each learner.

    • How to identify examples of learned main principles:

      • Virtual recap session – roundtable discussion amongst attendees to discuss how major teaching points have been/are being applied.

      • A/R (augmented reality) Apps can enhance existing material, such as workbooks or web-based quizzes with unique insights/recalls that pop up as a user revisits main points.

      • Mind-mapping/Impact mapping: Drawing out main points through an interactive decision-making exercise with small or large groups.

      • A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style video experience where the same narrative or mini-movie is revised to allow the learner to choose how they would handle the situation. Delivered electronically, the sequences are programmed into a digital web map with several nuanced outcomes.

As always, our goal should be retention and recall. Using this 2x2x2 learning recall method allows you to increase the impact of your training sessions, provide more breathing room for colleagues to recall and implement what they have learned and ultimately deliver more long-term value for your training and messaging efforts.