Experts in learning transfer suggest we ask ourselves “What does this remind me of?” and “Why does it remind me of it?” when we are learning something new. When learning new material you may be doing this already but are you encouraging your trainees to do this?
One of the best ways to get trainees to remember the information you need them to remember is to ask these two questions:
1 – What does this remind me of?
2 – Why does it remind me of it?
For example, if you are presenting a training class on silica awareness and ask trainees what it reminds them of, what do you think they could say as an answer?
Next, if you asked them why it reminds them of that, what would they say?
In the case of silica, the hazard and the controls are very much the same as asbestos. If a trainee has been working safely around asbestos, they will have an easier time working safely with silica. By asking them to think about the reasons why something is similar, you are helping them to put the new information into their long term memory.
What is the next training class you are going to deliver? Where can you use these two questions? What will you be trying to learn new yourself? Remember to stop and reflect on these two questions and you will do a lot for you and for your trainees’ ability to later remember and use the information.