Transfer Learning to the Long-Term Memory

Transfer Learning to the Long-Term Memory – comes from the Free Guide – ‘Are you frustrated by training that creates short term interest but not long term change?’.

One of the key challenges when it comes to learning is getting the information to transfer to long-term memory. Without this transfer, the learning is simply forgotten.

Transferring the information requires the Learner to ‘encode’ it. Encoding involves the Learner translating the information into a form that can be processed mentally. This is similar to librarians classifying books in order to be able to find them again.
We use a Christmas tree as a metaphor for encoding.

Imagine taking down a box of baubles from the loft. They’re shiny, clinking together and very exciting. This is like the new information we receive when we are learning. The Christmas tree represents existing knowledge of which new learning can be ‘hung upon’. The task of moving the learning from the short-term memory to the long-term memory is similar to finding a place to hang the bauble. Once it is hung, it stops being ‘just’ a shiny bauble and becomes useful because it has a ‘home’. The baubles that are unused and put back in the loft are similar to the information that we liked, but we just couldn’t use because it didn’t fit on our mental Christmas tree.

Low shot of a tall Christmas tree that is decorated

We use a Christmas tree as a metaphor for encoding


In order for the Learner to transfer their learning to long-term memory, they must identify their Individual Learning Objective. This is why we must keep returning to the following question throughout the learning: ‘How would you use this back at the office?’.

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