I Find Your Lack of Retention Disturbing: Boost Retention with Pop Culture

Conference Archive

DevLearn 2019 Conference - October 24, 2019

Aly Gillen

eLearning Developer
Hitachi Vantara

Chris Perez

Sr. eLearning Developer
Hitachi Vantara

A struggle many of us face in our work is a lack of retention of concepts and content. Studies show learning experiences that aren’t entertaining, current, or relatable to the audience can have less success with short-term and long-term learning retention and comprehension. The solution: transforming your pedagogy to include pop culture references. This approach gives people a personal relationship with the material being taught, which can lead to increased comprehension and retention.

In this session, you’ll learn why using familiar imagery and references creates a personal relationship between people and your material, and why this relationship increases short- and long-term comprehension. You’ll explore methods of creating that personal relationship by incorporating meaningful pop culture scenarios, references, and Easter eggs. You’ll discover how these methods create a more memorable and relatable experience for your audience, which can lead to higher retention. We don't always use pop culture references in training, but when we do, we'll use eLearning examples in this session. Stay educated, my friends.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Why using relatable references leads to higher learner retention
  • How to thoughtfully use pop culture references to reinforce learning objectives
  • How Easter eggs can be used as learning opportunities
  • Strategies for how to use appropriate pop culture references


Designers, developers  

Technology discussed:

Articulate Storyline, PowerPoint


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