Skills Retention

The key to becoming a Subject Matter Expert

To become a Certified Subject Matter Expert you must develop and retain the skills that you acquired to pass your certification exam. Everyone has acquired knowledge and passed tests to demonstrate the knowledge required to pass an exam. Yet, most of that knowledge is lost in a very short period of time. One can retain the knowledge to pass the test, but then overtime the skills are lost.

The Instructional Design of Boost eLearning IT Certification Training insures that the training participant develops and retains the skills for life. Skills retention is essential for you to be a true subject matter expert. As a subject matter expert you have the highest level of job satisfaction. In addition you provide the highest value to your team. The financial benefit of being a true subject matter expert is real. Your subject matter expertise increases your value to your current and prospective employers which results in an increased compensation package.

Boost eLearning courses are developed to have the highest possible skills retention. Here is a quick review of the elements in the course that dramatically impact skills retention. The Instructional Design has three main elements.

  1. Skills Development
  2. Skills Retention
  3. Skills Application

Our lectures are broken up into short, step by step, easy to watch videos, delivered by professionals with more than ten years of experience. These talented instructors explain the concepts clearly and keep the students interested with unique demonstrations.
After every module we offer a short quiz, that they can take as many times as necessary until they get the right answers. We also offer a test at the end of every course that directly mirrors the official certification test that is offered by Pearson VUE or other independent testing centers. When our students get above a 90% on our test, we GUARANTEE them that they will pass the official certification exam or they will receive a full refund.

Perhaps most importantly, we also make sure the students are involved through hands-on activities. Students can prepare for the exam with flashcards, matching games, speed recall games, audio games, and kinetic games. Test Engine, another tool, helps students get instant feedback on each question. These Interactive elements are key to long term memory retention. For technical subjects, Practice Labs are available to help students apply and master their new skills.

Skills Development: Instructor Led Videos

The Boost eLearning Videos are highly engaging. The instructor’s lecture, provide the opportunity to read, and demonstrate the key elements of the course. The instructors are lively, engaging, and add their own real world experience to the curriculum required to pass the exam.

This is the skills development phase that is common to all high quality video based training. Boost eLearning Instructor led videos have the advantage of an instructor with real world expertise.

Skills Retention:
Boost eLearning Training includes the following elements that enable the training participant to engage with the course and validate their knowledge and become a true subject matter expert.

  1. Section Quizzes – At the end of each section, there is a short quiz to ensure you’ve mastered the material taught before continuing on to the next section. For each question you quickly know if you know the correct answer.
  2. Test Engines or Extend Section Quizzes – Many of the courses have section quizzes that can have over 20 questions. Others have only 3 questions in the section quiz but have a Test Engine that enables the training participant to test for the skills they just acquired. These tests allow the student to take each question over and over until they get the correct answer. This is a critical element of the actual training and insuring the knowledge is embedded in the student’s long term memory.
  3. Flashcards – All of the courses have flash cards. This is a highly effective tool to insure you memorize all the key terms in the course. A psychology study carried out with students at the University of California found that spacing using flashcards is a more effective study technique than cramming before an exam with 90% of participants performing better using this method. Flashcards have the following attributes:
    1. Engage Active Recall
    2. Aids spaced repetition
    3. Activates Metacognitive Faculties
    4. Excellent method of Self-testing
    5. Enhances retention
    6. Improves Comprehension Skills
    7. Allows for Visual Learning
  4. Gamification – All courses included 4 highly effective games. The games insure the learner has a quick accurate understanding of the course content. The games are:
    1. Scatter
    2. Space Race
    3. Learn
    4. Speller

    The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl M. Kapp makes the key point that: “A focus on gamification increases engagement, relevance, and immersion and assists with the transfer of learning to the actual situation”

A study by Gartner lists the following 5 Benefits of Gamification in eLearning

  1. Better learning experience. The learner can experience “fun” during the game and still learn if the level of engagement is high. A good gamification strategy with high levels of engagement will lead to an increase in recall and retention.
  2. Better learning environment. Gamification in eLearning provides an effective, informal learning environment, and helps learners practice real-life situations and challenges in a safe environment. This leads to a more engaged learning experience that facilitates better knowledge retention.
  3. Instant feedback. It provides instant feedback so that learners know what they know or what they should know. This too facilitates better learner engagement and thereby better recall and retention.
  4. Prompting behavioral change. Points, badges, and leaderboards would surely make training awesome. However, gamification is about a lot more than just those surface level benefits. Gamification can drive strong behavioral change especially when combined with the scientific principles of repeated retrieval and spaced repetition.
  5. Impact on bottom-line. On account of all these aspects that touch and impact learners (better learning experience, higher recall and retention, catalyzing behavioral change, and so on), it can create a significant performance gain for the organization.

Skills Application: Practice Labs
A Practice Lab is a pre-configured real hardware environment, hosted in the cloud with accompanying lab guides for fast, convenient access to gain hands on experience.

Practice Labs are a separate product that provide hours of hands on training. For technical courses. Practices Labs provide access to real equipment and provide a sandbox for certification training. Practice support training for certifications for Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, and vmware.

For example, the Microsoft Lab platform is configured to imitate real world configurations by providing sufficient hardware not only to carry out tasks but also test the impact of those changes. From the browser the trainee gains administrative access to the desktop of each server giving them complete control to carry out either their own configurations, or follow the lab guides to configure specific technologies that are required for the relevant Microsoft exams.

Practice Labs provide real world skills application. In the lab the student has the ability to apply all of the elements of the training. The application of the skills insures that the student has completed command of the content. The application also materially impacts long term memory retention.

For technical training Practice Labs are the Industry Gold Standard for skills development.

Summary
In summary, as we have reviewed, Boost eLearning IT Certification Training is designed on a solid foundation of educational and training theory to insure our training participants retain the skills and become true subject matter experts. Being a subject matter expert will lead to an enhanced career both in job satisfaction and in salary opportunities.

It just feels good being the “go to person” on the team because you know your stuff!!

If you have any questions.

The CEO himself, Victor Alhadeff, is more than happy to be of assistance. Just send him an email at victor@boostelearning.com with any questions.

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