Forgetting Curve

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Apr 082016

Forgetting Curve

Forgetting Curve – Why is this So Important to Understand?





Is our ‘learning’ goal:

I.Initial understanding, or entertainment/motivational?

  1. How to get from point A to Point B
  2. How to do a fairly simple project, one time
  3. How to entertain employees, via a well known comic
  4. How to motivate employees, with a new product launch, via a well known motivational speaker

Or, is our goal:

II.To empower ALL our learners with adaptive, personally  relevant skills, to advance, individual, sustained performance improvement outcomes (AISPIO), with key, individually relevant, critical information?

  1. How to correctly, long term, effectively and efficiently communicate to AISPIO
  2. How to correctly, long term, effectively and efficiently utilize math to AISPIO
  3. How to change long term, individual unproductive behavior, to individual productive behavior to AISPIO

I. Traditional, 20th century, factory based,  ‘teaching’ is event based, and is one size fits all. Think only of a large lecture, a large seminar, elearning that only has a one size fits all word document to read,  possibly a one size fits all video of a lecture attached.

At best, this teaching approach provides superficial, individual, initial understanding, that is soon forgotten, for 20-30% of the participants. Why not 100% of the participants? Because the pacing of the information is only ‘matched’ to a select percentage of the total. For the remainder, its too fast, or too slow, hence compounding the ‘simple’ initial understanding problem. This is absolutely appropriate for the items in I. above, where individual long term retention, resulting in advanced individual performance improvement is not the objective.

II. 21st Century, truly personalized, research based, adaptive learning, in a blended and flipped learning environment requires a paradigm change, from one size fits all teaching, to personalized, relevant learning, professionally reinforced and facilitated over time. Why? Because writing long term memories, that can lead to advanced, individual, sustained performance improvement outcomes, requires more appropriate, relevant, individual reinforcement, over time.

It’s important to understand that the one size fits all teaching approach used in I., will not empower students to achieve the outcomes desired in II. Sure, a few remarkable participants, through sheer, personal will power, dedication, common sense and luck will achieve AISPIO, but it certainly will not be an efficient process for the learner; lots and lots of trail and error.

Now that we understand the basics, why would we think that continuing with traditional one size fits all teaching, for all learning scenarios, would be appropriate?

Results: Districts Schools

Research Available, BUT Not Properly Utilized


Forgetting Curve – Access the Infographic, Here


To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald,; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

forgetting curve