The ultimate goal of any online course is the create memorable content.

How do you make an impact with your online course?

First and foremost you should always following a proven instructional design method so that you have a roadmap to follow as you plan out the content. This will ensure that you create smart objectives and utilize some leading content creation methodology.

In addition to these methods there are also other ways you can use to help learners recall your key learning points. Consider the following three strategies for your own courses:

Using Music

This tip may be hard to pull off for some courses depending on the content, but for video heavy course it is perfect.

Why music? Music has been shown to help memory retention. With regular exposure to music and sound patterns learners are better primed to store the associated content into their long-term memory

Spaced Repetition

While each lesson will have a primary objective, your course is likely to have a main objective as well. This objective should be reiterated at various points in your courses across all of the lessons.

The more your learners are exposed to the main points (over and over again) then the more likely they will recall this information well after the course is complete.

Leverage Mnemonics

Mnemonic techniques have been around for a very long time but rarely do I see them utilized in an e-learning context, which is odd given that it is a great way to teach and learn.

Mnemonics refers to strategies like chunking, image association, acronyms, etc.

Keep these in mind as you structure your content. This is a perfect strategy when creating handouts and quick-reference guides for learners to download and print.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter


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Do you have a citation for the claim about music improving retention? I’ve seen research showing the exact opposite. In Clark and Mayer’s “eLearning and the Science of Instruction,” they say music distracts from narration and results in lower retention. This may be a difference in the context of different research or how the experiments were conducted. I’m curious to compare the conditions and data.

Hi Christy-

I’ve seen studies relating to both. I found this article on how music enhances learning through neuroplasticity interesting.

Hi Justin,

I am planning to create a WordPress website for language learning and wonder if there’s any tools or plugins that carry the spaced repetition function for vocabulary memorization like this one ( I have looked all over and could not find anything as close.

Thank you!

Avatar Eric

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