Article Title: Practice Early and Coach the Details Later
Publication: Integrated Learnings: eLearning
Summary: A typical approach to training begins by telling learners everything they ought to know about a topic, followed by practice activities that apply that new knowledge. This article suggests providing learners with practice activities much sooner, and then presenting information as post-activity coaching.
Research on cognitive load tells us that people can only absorb a limited amount of information in a single sitting. So, if an eLearning lesson begins with several pages of new information, learners will likely forget a portion of that. Why would we spend time presenting information that will likely be forgotten? If we limit the amount of information a lesson initially presents, we increase the likelihood that learners will recall it. Prompting them to apply that new information as soon as possible further helps promote long-term recall. And, it helps ensure that we use training time productively.