How I’m combatting the forgetting curve this summer

kelly-sikkema-mZ5D2T5rVG4-unsplash-for Bob Price article

When I talk to Learning and Development professionals, it’s interesting to find I am not the only one who has to regularly challenge the psychobabble surrounding learning – styles, left brain/right brains, etc and hopefully putting this nonsense to bed.

However, the one piece of learning theory which does have scientific support is one we often forget, the work done by Ebbinghaus on the forgetting curve.

To this end I have recently developed and delivered equality and diversity shorts to my organisation. These are designed to help people remember the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act and to look at how these manifest themselves in day to day life.

These were developed using Adapt, aimed at being 4 to 6 minutes long, and cover a different characteristic over a nine month period. They have included:

  • LGBTQIA+ what do these mean – Sexuality
  • What is Non Binary? – Transgender
  • The festivals of December #itsnotjustchristmas – Religion and Belief
  • The Italians in Wales – Race

The last one aimed to look at race from a different aspect having curated a lot of learning on different African and Caribbean communities over the past few years. It is very localised, but answers the age-old question, why does an Italian run the café in Pontpandy in Fireman Sam?

The modules were added to everyone’s recommended (not mandatory) learning on our LMS and we had about 40% of the organisation complete them.

It is of no surprise therefore that my L&D agenda for the summer will be creating shorts for other categories. Our HR team have asked me to help develop Health and Safety shorts as well as some key HR fundamentals. In addition, our Housing Team have asked for the development of housing content which we subscribe to through Learning Nexus, creating a housing academy for staff entering the sector who have no background in this area.

So Ebbinghaus seems to be alive and well, at least in this small corner of Wales.

Bob Price
United Welsh Housing Association