Making learning stick – 6 top tips from google and its partners


If you attend training sessions, or play some part in creating them, then this post maybe helpful.  It’s based on a “Think with google article” on this subject that I came across recently.

If you want a fuller picture of what the article says please do read it and watch its youtube clip.  If you’re in a hurry then what follows is my summary of the article’s 6 top tips on making learning stick – before, during and after a training / development activity.


1. Build a personal connection with the training you’re about to attend by answering these questions:

  • what can I research on the background to the training’s topic?
  • why is it important for me to learn about this topic now?
  • how will this help me with my personal and work goals?
  • what questions do I have about applying this learning to my work?

If as a participant you are about to go on some training and you can’t answer these questions then maybe the training isn’t for you.

If you’re somebody creating training then check whether your pre-course materials allow participants to answer these questions.


2. Engage with an open mind – e.g. don’t go thinking you know most of the answers but go with an attitude of listening for learning points from others.

3. Ask questions and share feedback.

4. Take notes – maybe referencing them back to your answers to the questions in 1. above.


5. Write down real life scenarios, opinion polls or just quick knowledge checks  – ‘bursts’ – that will help you check that the insights you gained from the training have stuck.  These – ‘bursts’ – should take 5 to 30 seconds to complete.  They are something you should schedule several of into a series of ‘boost’ sessions in the weeks following the training – preferably with others from the course.

Training creators might want to consider providing such materials to help participants retain the knowledge they gain from training.

Google’s retail training is built on this ‘burst’ and ‘boost’ model to to develop quick, concise, information-rich training ‘bursts’ which follow in the weeks after training.  These ‘boost’ interactions are designed to maximize retention and application of learning and so help keep the knowledge from the training active, relevant, and useful.

6. Spread what you’ve learnt from the training with others in your team, in an open manner,  authentic to how you’ve learnt and applying the insights you gained from it yourself.



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