Are You Getting Real, Sustainable Value from Your Training?

We forget 70% of what we have learned within 24 hours unless we use it in some way. This principle of modern learning psychology is illustrated by the figure below which presents what is known as the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve (see Use It or Lose It by Art Kohn (2015)).
forgetting curve border
Despite the general acceptance of this principle, mining companies continue to spend millions of dollars on training programs from which most of the knowledge will be forgotten in a matter of days. The principle applies to self-directed online learning as well as instructor-led classroom or webinar training.

This article highlights ways in which we can significantly improve our return on investment in training and development … for less than $2 per day per person.

Retrieval of information is the most reliable way of reinforcing our retention of knowledge and reducing the rate at which we forget what we have learned. Retrieval has been shown to be more effective at increasing knowledge retention than repetitive training or study.

Research has shown that the brain retains only that information that it deems important. Retrieval is a way of signalling to the brain that a piece of information is useful, and therefore important, and should be encoded and retained.

There are several ways to effect retrieval in the hours, days and weeks after learning.

  • One way is to subject ourselves to random quizzes.
  • Another is to apply the learning in our day-to-day work.
  • A third, but less efficient, way is repetitive study.

In all of the above, we need to be able to return to the original learning material as often as necessary whenever we have forgotten something of significance, either to study afresh, or to research a forgotten item.

EduMine training is founded on the concept of initial training followed by long term access to materials for ongoing research, study and retrieval of information. A user can retake the quizzes, re-study a topic, or use the sophisticated search facilities for knowledge retrieval at any time. EduMine’s large library of courses represents the largest online mining knowledge resource on the Internet.
Application of learning in our day-to-day work is probably the most efficient and effective way of retaining information. However, it requires continuing access to the learning material in order to recapture information that may have been already lost from memory. A feature of EduMine enrollment is that it allows unrestricted access at any time to the large library of online courses on mining topics. EduMine courses are also designed to be accessed at any point and traversed in any direction, i.e. they are designed to be used in a knowledge retrieval context as well as a learning context.

These features give EduMine training unique advantages, in terms of learning effectiveness, over traditional instructor-led training, and even over other online courses with a conventional, linear style of learning and limited access. For details on how these advantages can be applied to your own training contact an EduMine Professional (

Simon Houlding was Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc. He founded Edumine in 2000, and was responsible for this InfoMine division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry until 31 October 2017. He is a professional engineer and author.

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