Engagement, Interaction, Retention… It’s a cycle!

One of the main goals for teachers in any sphere of education is retention. Training requires valuable resource to increase the chance that learners will retain and utilize the information presented. Without the learning, retention and application, teaching loses its value and does not achieve its purpose.

Retention begins with engagement…

Retention can only be achieved by firstly engaging with the learner. Engaging the learner involves a number of things: clear communication, relevant information, genuineness and so on. Engagement will occur when the individuals before you prioritize your information above the other distractions they have. In a previous blog we discussed 4 Tips for Increasing the Value of Your Presentation, these would be a great start to creating more engagement.

Retention requires interaction…

After an individual is engaged, interaction takes priority for a teacher or trainer. Albert Einstein once said:

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”.

People need experiential learning through interaction to fully retain information. Why?… Because of our yearning for reason. For people to fully comprehend they will need to question, examine and discuss. Providing time for questions, activities and even rhetorical questions all pull in the audience to be part of the presentation and reason with the information.

Turning technological distractions into methods of interaction…

One of the most relevant impediments to holding anyone’s attention nowadays is the smart phone. As smart devices become more commonly used as note taking alternatives to the classic pad and pen, notifications become a teacher’s enemy. How do you deal with this, without reverting to a classroom style of confiscating devices on entry?

Providing concise notes on the subject, accessible on smart devices increases the likelihood that the learner will be focusing on the subject matter rather than their newsfeeds. Online tools such GoSoapBox “keep students engaged and gain real-time insight into student comprehension”. GoSoapBox contains live survey tools and questions with the results available to the teacher or everyone involved. Here are some other online learning tools to aid your training:

  • Kahoot – Kahoot allows to to create fun learning games for better engagement.
  • SurveyMonkey – Arlo integrates with SurveyMonkey to “create, edit and analyse surveys more effectively” within our event management solution.
  • Socrative – Socrative provides a space for quizzes and activities from which the results can enhance the teaching/training method.
  • Moodle – Arlo integrates with Moodle to create a full event and training management with a learning management system/
  • TodaysMeet – Allows students to access the classroom community and interact with fellow learners from anywhere
  • GoToWebinar – Arlo integrates with GoToWebinar to create both public and private events synchronised with Arlo.         

Interaction starts the cycle again…

The good thing about engagement, interaction and retention is that they are a cycle. More engagement, makes interaction possible, more interaction leads to higher retention. As individuals retain more information the usefulness of the presentation increases and thus further engagement ensues.


  1. I agree smartphone are most commonly used alternatives to pen down notes but ultimately turns out to be a mode of distraction in a classroom environment. Being a teacher, I too believed the same but later found that smart devices can be a method for interaction as well. Personally, implementing Sogosurvey online survey tool was the best way to make smartphones interactive in classrooms. This facilitated me to keep students engaged, interact with them and gain real-time insights. It is a real-time survey tool with results available to teachers and everyone involved. I have also been using Kahoot for creating fun learning games. Both tools are a must for teachers.

    • Thanks for your comment, Andrea! Sogosurvey sounds like a great aid! Will definitely pass that one onto our trainers and teachers! Smart phones are definitely an easy and effective way to interact with students!

  2. I liked your article, thank you, I agree with everything you wrote, I worked as a teacher and I can say that interacting with a student through a smartphone is a very good idea, smartphones now occupy a very important role in a person’s life, so the training program in your smartphone is what you need. I think it’s worth dividing such programs into two parts, those that supplement the lesson, for example, ask questions about the topic that was taught in the lesson, or tell additional information on the topic of the lesson, and the second kind of programs, those that give the whole training course, such as, learning some colloquial language, or programming language. Do you agree with me?

    • Hi John, yes that does sound like a valuable idea. No doubt your experience as a teacher will mean you know this area well. Thank you for your contribution.


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