How Video Helps Memory Retrieval

30th October 2018

Like 80% of the population I am now completely reliant on my smartphone. Rather than rely on my memory I simply look to my device.

As learners we are now able to access the information we need, when we need it, where we need it! With mobile learning set to double by the end of 2019 (Ambient Insight Learning Forecast 2014-2019) accessing job aids and performance support could be seen as a viable alternative to learning the skills upfront and having to recall information in the workplace.

However accessing stored knowledge allows us to make quicker, more informed decisions and aids creativity. Therefore in an ideal world the learner would absorb the key information up front, understand how to put this into context and only use supporting materials to check specific details.

Video is a fantastic medium to help the learner absorb this information and form memories that can be recalled at the time of need. As well as engaging the audience and demonstrating technique, videos also offers the following…

The power of emotional connections is well understood by advertising agencies. However it is still often overlooked by learning designers. We learn much better when we create emotional connections and we make connections with other human beings. Video allows us to learn from people and to build trust by ‘looking the person in the eye’.

Short sessions
People can only concentrate for a short period of time so it is much better to learn in short blasts. This makes video a perfect format with most learning videos coming in at 2-5 minutes.

Variable Repetition
The old fashioned teaching technique of repetition has been proven to get results. However to maximise this its best to repeat the info in different ways. For example summarising the main points in a video and having detailed information in text form.

Our brains encode visual memories differently to words, making it easier and quicker to remember visuals. If pictures speak 1000 words then what is video saying?

So to summarise it’s far better to plant the memory to be accessed when needed, rather than rely on getting the information at the time of need. Video enriches the learning experience and aids with memory recall – what’s not to love?