Teaching Methods and Retention

This explores how different teaching methods affect retention rates.

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Teaching methods are frightenly different in terms of retention and if you cannot remember what you learned the time you spent learning is wasted.

The Learning Pyramid

Method

Retention

Lecture

5%

Passive Learning

Reading

10%

Audio Visual

20%

Demonstration

30%

Discussion Group

50%

Participatory Learning

Practice by Doing

75%

Teach Others

90%

The source of the learning pyramid is Motorola University: Creating Mindware for the 21st Century, Corporate University Xchange May/June 1996, Vol 2 No 3 and NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science, 300 N. Lee Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314.

The first four (lecture, reading, audio visual and demonstration) are passive learning methods. In contrast, the bottom three (discussion group, practice by doing and teach others are participatory (active) learning methods. Arguably, the difference in retention between passive and participatory (active) methods is due to the extent of reflection and deep cognitive processing.

All simulations allow participants to learn through practice by doing but our team learning model extends this to include discussion and allowing team members to teach others. So, compared with lectures working in a small team increases retention eighteen-fold (from 5% to 90%)! I was in Egypt recently and met a man who participated in one of my business simulations in 1986 (twenty-five years ago)and remembered it!!!!


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2002 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall
Most recent update: 15/04/12
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