Reinforcement vs. Reminder Services: What's the Difference?
"How are training reinforcement programs different from reminder services?" If we had a nickel for every time we've been asked that question...
Well, the answer is that there are very important distinctions between these two strategies -- beginning with the technology used for measuring results, and ending with the results achieved.
How Reminder Services Work
If your training has been integrated into one of the major learning management system (LMS) providers, you probably have access to some type of reminder service as part of your package.
Administrators and stakeholders have access to a basic dashboard and can see who is actively checking their reminders, how many reminders they have viewed, and where they are in the post-training reminder process.
Reminder services are typically viewed as an additional tool used to help increase the knowledge learned during training. There are many different methods on how this is achieved:
- Email reminders
- Text messages
- LMS-based reminders
- eLearning software
Reminder messages can contain or link to small snippets of training material used to help refresh the learner’s memory, increasing their knowledge retention. Messages can be sent on a reoccurring schedule, however, that timeline is not set up using the same methodology as training reinforcement programs like ours.
Basically, the training materials are simply cut up into small bite-size pieces and placed along a timeline without personalization for self-reflection or retention.
However, with reminder services, keeping participants engaged is difficult. Without customized courses and different training modules -- with different objectives -- the reminders are based on a general training and on size fits all. The participant does not take the responsibility for a program or for measurable end results based on goals.
How Training Reinforcement Works
Training reinforcement is a solution that uses your current training material, learning objectives, and reinforcement goals to reinforce important skills and knowledge learned during a training event or course.
Your current content is used to create a goal-based reinforcement program (or story) filled with learning modules designed to achieve different reinforcement goals.
Each module has a specific objective for knowledge reinforcement, skill development and behavior change. The messages within each module are created to empower the participant to achieve those goals. This is much more then remembering training content. Remembering is just a small part of really applying that training to day-to-day job functions.
Reinforcement messages also aren’t your training material broken into smaller pieces, but rather, they’re created specifically for the reinforcement program at hand. Each message is expertly crafted and placed as a module within your reinforcement program, helping to guide your learners through a ‘story’ that increases their knowledge and creates measurable behavior change.
Timing & Results Measurement
Timing also plays a critical role in what type of reinforcement message is sent to your learners. For example, a self reflection question get the best response on Thursday between 3 pm and 5 pm. To accurately measure knowledge retention, skill development, and ultimately, behavior change, we have learned that the best time to do that is during busy moments.
Training reinforcement programs generally come with analytics, allowing you to review your learners’ answers and compare the results for different departments, regions or job functions. You can also measure progress by using Repeating Survey Questions. When creating a Reinforcement Program, the questions that are crafted are very important. They allows you to see cause and effect.
Analytics allow you to dive deeper into your reinforcement program, reviewing survey questions and creating actionable intelligence.
Actionable intelligence is reinforcement data turned into business intelligence that can then be used to make decisions for your organization and/or it’s training program.