Forget Me Not Blog Posts

6 min read

Little and Often - Consistent Chunking

By James Stack on Nov 10, 2020 7:00:45 AM

Learn-Wellbeing-Resilience-forgetmenot-microlearningIn our last blog, we presented three core principles that serve as anchor points for best practice digital learning. One of these anchor points was the idea of ‘little and often’ which is scrutinized more deeply in this post.

The human brain is a wonderful piece of (biological) technology. It is literally designed to quickly let go of millions of bits of data (in the form of images, words, and sounds) it encounters daily while selectively storing only small amounts into memory. Our biological approach, to data management, can easily work against us remembering the things we learn!

When you combine the brain’s preference to quickly jettison data with the demands of modern learners who have only 4.2 minutes a day to learn, the value of ‘little and often’ becomes clearer.

If the brain needs to be ‘prompted’ to store knowledge (achieved through learning) and this prompting needs to fit in with the demands of a modern lifestyle; it makes sense that learning experiences should be little

given that the experiences will be easier to store…

and therefore, will require less prompting…

and the experiences can more easily be squeezed in between other priorities and responsibilities the learner is managing.

But what does ‘little’ look like?

Forget-Me-Not-LearningMicrolearning provides one way of visualising ‘little’ digital experiences. Microlearning uses short, focused interactions targeting an increase in learners’ knowledge and skills across a single topic.

Microlearning fits seamlessly into modern learners ‘bite-sized lives’ – where everyone is multitasking and quickly changing between modes of work, travel and socialising.

As a result, microlearning needs to be ubiquitous… learning needs to happen everywhere (in fact anywhere) and whenever the learner has time.  But it doesn’t mean we flood or inundate learners… it’s about establishing a personalised rhythm (that fits within a negotiated organisational schedule or program).

Little = Chunks

Chunking provides another way of visualising ‘little’ digital learning experiences. Chunking helps us get around the short-term memory challenge which is based on the observations that the average learner can only manage seven pieces of information in short-term memory, at a time.

By chunking complex concepts into a sequence of little ideas. We support the learner to progress over time to the complex concept by adding one little idea to another little idea… and so on. Chunking helps us avoid cognitive overload and helps create new neural patterns which is the basis of learning.

Forget-Me-Not-chunking-daily-learningMicro-learning is a form of ‘digital chunking’… and just like Barbara Oakley says:

“Chunking is the mother of all learning — or at least the fairy godmother!”

And Barbara should know; she does after all co-teach the world's largest online course: “Learning How to Learn”.

The Big Advantage of ‘Little’

Forget-Me-Not_App_Demo-32So, our brain and our digitally dependent lifestyles can take advantage of an approach to learning that chunks knowledge and skills into microlearning experiences that are continuously consumed at a time and place set by the learner.

Consistently engaging with a supply of digital learning chunks establishes a rhythm and learning becomes habitual.

If this all makes sense, then why isn’t everyone adopting a ‘little and often’ strategy?

Why do our designs rely so heavily on intensive training rather than consistent training?

We need to find a way to support continuous, habitual learning using easily accessible stream of chunked digital experiences!

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Since about 2014

forget-me-not_learnersMost research indicates mobile use levels have outstripped time spent on ‘traditional’ computers such as laptop since about 2014. And as part of this trend we have witnessed the rise of mobile ‘apps’.

Interestingly app users tend to adopt a “little and often” approach – users swap quickly from app to app as part of the bite-sized lifestyle.

The mobile phone-app environment tends to encourage consistent (and frequent) engagement over irregular intense engagement.


Bruce-lee-consistency-vs-intensityConsistency vs Intensity

When it comes to comparing consistency and intensity, Bruce Lee has this space covered… check Google out if you don’t believe me!

Simon Sinek emphasises the importance of consistency… he believes if you are interested in outcomes focus on consistency!

Simon believes we like intensity because it is easy to measure!

Pete Huang compares examples and the benefits of intense versus consistent learning regimes.

Of most interest is the learning approach designed by Karen Cheng called “Give It 100”. The "Give it 100" approach proposes and supports the concept of a 100-day challenge. Karen Cheng argues that through consistent application over 100 days you can gradually but confidently improve knowledge, skills and performance in a targeted area. Everyday learners share a 10-second video of their progress, tracking achievements every step of the way.

To support the modern learner build a continuous learning habit we need to:

  1. promote the consistent and frequent use of chunked digital experiences
  2. make chunked experiences accessible via apps
  3. encourage sustained participation by tracking and sharing gradual improvements and mastery!

forget-me-not-memory-app-muscle-coachAPP Learning

We can see examples of how little and often, delivered by an app, changes people through weight-loss programs, fitness programs, the “Give it 100” strategy and even language training programs. So why not leverage this successful formula and drive workplace learning through the roof in your organisation?

It's in your hands… you can remain committed to intensive approaches to learning because they are what people expect and they are easy to measure. Or you can explore the potential benefits of building a continuous learning habit that delivers sustainable improvements over time.

My guess is that if you are still reading this post, you’re committed to the concept of ‘little and often’ and you subscribe to the benefits of a continuous learning habit in the workplace. Low-cost technology is already available in the market to support your exploration of these ideas.

But maybe before you start downloading apps and working out which one provides both value for money and the outcomes your organisation needs… think about building support inside your organisation for a pilot or test & learn strategy that shifts the focus from intensive learning to consistent learning rhythms


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5 min read

Microlearning. The superpower your business needs.

By James Stack on Oct 29, 2020 2:18:06 PM


Right now your training consulting business is Clark Kent. Hard-working, reliable and trustworthy. But what if we told you that with some help, your consultancy could pop into a metaphorical phone booth and emerge as a superhero, or in this case super consultancy. With these training superpowers you could start to change the world, advancing knowledge for the good of us all.

Powers that revolutionise the way employees learn at work.

Would you want to find out more?

Of course you would!

So take our hand and hold on tight. We’re about to take you on a journey that will change the way you think about learning.

Superpower me up

Meet traditional learning

power-up-your-consultancy-with-micro-learningIn every superhero story there has to be a super-villain. And ours is no exception. The villain in our story is traditional learning and it has been around (and doing the same thing) for a very long time.

It takes the form of one size fits all, the leadership program with an upfront diagnostic, some workshops with a sage on stage and then a few follow up action learning or reflective activities. At least the workshop format is better than the alternative. PowerPoint presentations converted into eLearning modules pushed out by the LMS with an expectation that you do it once and somehow, you’ve mastered that skill or knowledge domain.

To make things worse, traditional learning is often extremely linear in its approach and only allows everyone to learn at one pace. That of the slowest.

As a result, it often leaves learners feeling dull and unmotivated.

The result? Information that goes in one ear and comes out the other.

It’s clear the world needs a broader mix of learning options to help people feel confident in their job role and thrive at work.

Who will save the day?

1-5-minutes-a-day-microlearning-forgetmenotRemember the name 


Forget Me Not is a revolutionary mobile-first app that continuously builds knowledge and skills by engaging learners in regular 5-minute learning challenges. These repeat over days and weeks, until the knowledge is mastered.

It’s based on three key principles:

1. Little and often

Regular bites of learning and quizzing enhance knowledge retention.

2. Regular breaks are critical to embed learning 

Overloading or “cramming” the brain doesn’t create knowledge that “sticks.” Regular breaks allow the brain has time to digest and decode key info.

3. Questions are more important than answers

We believe that it is questions that drive people to actively retrieve a piece of knowledge and this results in improved retention and workplace practice.

Microlearning, the source of our superpower

Become a training superhero with micro-learning.Our superpower doesn’t come from the sun or from a radioactive spider. It comes from microlearning, a technique that breaks down job role knowledge into topical, bite-sized chunks that are easier for employees to access (because they learn at their own pace) and better for business.

This allows employees to build their knowledge, skills and confidence in a timely manner that is convenient to their busy lives.

According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, microlearning makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient.

Not only that, but it neatly removes the problem of filling their minds with information that is not relevant.

And, because of its social media type format and emphasis on acquiring knowledge rather than just “googling” it, microlearning also leads to 50% more engagement.

How super is that?

Micro-learning. Super-easy, super-flexible, super-effective.How Forget Me Not can super-power up your training

So now you know what Forget Me Not can do, let’s talk about what it can do for you and your training consultancy.

First up, Forget Me Not is going to help you stand out from your competitors. Just as a musclebound man in blue skin-tight costume, red cloak and external underpants, stands out.

Its power lies in its flexibility. It can be used anywhere and at any time during a learner’s journey. Because of this, it is perfect for building awareness, strengthening lessons learnt and helping to prompt the recall of key job role knowledge.

Forget Me Not can also be used in lots of ways to expand your market reach. It can help improve levels of client satisfaction and enhance learning outcomes delivered by your programs. Plus, it provides a way of digitising your training product, and this can broaden your delivery options and build new revenue streams. So don’t let your training consultancy fall victim to the perils of Traditional Learning. Embrace a new way of micro-learning that:

  • Fits in with the busy time-poor lifestyles of today’s employees.
  • Can be utilised anywhere
  • Allows relevant task-related learning happen on the job
  • Works in sympathy with the brain’s natural way of absorbing information
  • Helps employees build their knowledge, skills and confidence.


Traditional learning has met its match.
The future belongs to a new type of learning hero.


Superpower me up

Power up your consultancy with microlearning, forgetmenot.

I’m committed to helping our clients build the competence and confidence of their teams. To subscribe to this blog send your email below.

3 min read

Build a daily Microlearning habit

By James Stack on Oct 25, 2020 3:48:07 PM

5 minute microlearning habit. Forget Me Not App

Over the last few years, like many in corporate HR, I've been drawn to Josh Bersin's research and insights. He has provided us with a perspective on the modern learner. Designing workplace learning solutions for these modern learners inspires our research and development activity at Obvious Choice.

It got us thinking about a little and often learning strategy to help constantly interrupted employees learn at work.


Why We MUST Call TIME on traditional Training? 

A Bersin by Deloitte study, claims most employees only have 24 minutes a week to focus on their own training and development. That’s just 1% of their working week. Today's time-poor workers no longer have time for traditional training programs. But they must still learn new skills for work. It feels like a suckers choice for us designing learning solutions. It doesn't have to be. If you want to keep employees motivated and engaged your business must find new ways to support a continuous learning habit.

Humans are forgetting machines

Spaced repitiiton. Forget Me Not microlearningTo further compound the problem of traditional training, recent replicated studies of the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, suggest that any information employees do take in is often in one ear and out the other. In you believe in forgetting curve folklore, 50% of any new knowledge is forgotten within an hour of learning it, with this figure rising sharply to 70% within 24 hours if it is not followed up with some sort of spaced repetition.

Clearly, a traditional approach to L&D cannot cut it within these parameters. Businesses can no longer afford to spend money on training that creates waste. What is the point investing time and money in creating training programs, if employees are unlikely to retain the information or more importantly apply it on the job. 

So, is it possible to teach your employees useful and relevant information in a way that fits into the flow of work? Can you start to leverage the science of learning to enhance your practice?



elearning alternatives. ForgetmenotQuestions are a powerful learning tool but …

We have been focusing our energy designing questions mostly for the wrong things with very little pay-off for the individual employee or the business. eLearning quizzes are a measure of rote learning. We need to start using questions as practice retrievals events. Combining practice retrieval events (questions) with the spacing effect leads to learning that sticks, when employees need to apply or remember something or adapt performance to a job situation.

Forget Me Not is a mobile-first app that continuously builds knowledge and skills by engaging employees in regular 5-minute microlearning challenges. These challenges or practice retrieval events repeat over days and weeks until the knowledge is mastered.

It's based on three key principles:

1. Little and often

Regular bites of learning and quizzing enhance knowledge retention.

2. Regular breaks are critical to embed learning 

Overloading or “cramming” the brain doesn’t create knowledge that “sticks.”

3. Questions are more important than answers

Questions drive people to actively retrieve a piece of knowledge and this results in improved retention and workplace practice. 

“It’s like having your very own memory coach.
And it’s all wrapped up in a natural social-media chat experience.”

- David Becker
Chief Learning Officer - Obvious Choice


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6 min read

Microlearning. A timely solution to an age-old problem.

By James Stack on Oct 5, 2020 4:25:02 PM



In October 2019, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety interim report shone a spotlight on some of the practices routinely occurring in Australia’s nursing homes.

The report makes for distressing reading, detailing as it does, elder neglect seemingly unimaginable in an enlightened country like Australia.

These issues are not confined to Australia, with the World Health Organisation reporting that 15.7% of people aged 60 and over were subject to some form of abuse or neglect. Shockingly, 2 out of 3 nursing home respondents reported that they had abused the residents in their care at some stage in the past year.

Whatever the reasons for this systemic abuse, it is clear elder abuse and neglect is a serious public health problem. No doubt, this issue will be more fully detailed when the final royal commission report comes out in 2021.

But we don’t have to wait till then to address one of the major problems so
clearly highlighted in the interim report - staff training.


Micro-learning-How-better-staff-training-leads-to-better-care-sqThe aged care sector suffers from severe difficulties in recruiting, training, and retaining staff.

One of the lead causes for this is pay and conditions. Remuneration is comparable to job roles with repetitive work tasks – even though the delivery of safe, quality, customer centred aged care draws on a much broader range of interpersonal and soft skills.

According to Louise O’Neill, CEO, Aged Care Workforce Industry Council,

“Aged care workers are paid less for working in aged care than if they were doing comparable work in another sector.”

In addition, workloads are extremely heavy and staff sometimes lack key skills and training to help them cope with their job. When someone doesn't have the knowledge or skill to do their job confidently,  consumer issues and incidents are inevitable.

According to the interim report (page 6) some of the common problems that stem from inadequate training include:

  • Improperly administering medications
  • Not changing the residents’ bedsheets or clothes
  • Not checking for bedsores
  • Not knowing how to perform CPR
  • Not treating the residents properly for diseases or infections
  • Not recognising when a resident has an issue or is in distress

Examples such as these clearly indicate how we train aged care workers needs a rethink if we want them to have the knowledge and skills to deliver great quality care. Our approach to staff training needs to be more consistent. We need to replace training intensity (one off training every now and then) with consistency.


Micro-learning-Helping_care_workers-sqUnfortunately, however, aged care is a notoriously time-poor sector, with employees working long and physically demanding shifts. As a result, they are often too tired, both mentally and physically to sit down in front of a computer and complete elearning modules. A little and often approach to learning is a more suitable alternative. 

And that’s where we want to help.

Since 2013, we’ve been examining the efficacy of eLearning and questioning if it has kept pace with the needs of today's workforce.

Research shows that eLearning is increasingly viewed as outmoded and of little relevance to today’s employees, with companies looking to new and innovative technology solutions to train their staff.


Determined to improve the business outcomes from learning, the research team at Obvious Choice started brainstorming new and better ways to help people learn at work.

Forget-Me-Not_App_Demo-32The Result?


Forget Me Not is an app that continuously builds knowledge and skills by engaging employees in regular 5-minute learning challenges. Challenges repeat over days and weeks, until the knowledge is mastered.

“It’s like having your very own memory coach.
And it’s all wrapped up in a natural social-media chat experience.”

- QGirl, your modern learning Superhero!

Forget Me Not is based on three key principles:

1. Little and often

Regular bites of learning and quizzing enhance knowledge retention.

2. Regular breaks are critical to embed learning 

Overloading or “cramming” the brain doesn’t create knowledge that “sticks.”

3. Questions are more important than answers

Questions drive people to actively retrieve a piece of knowledge and this results in improved retention and workplace practice. 

Forget Me Not uses microlearning, a technique that breaks down job role knowledge into topical, bite-sized chunks that is easier for employees and better for business. This is because of the forgetting curve but that’s a blog for another day.

Aged care workers need a variety of learning techniques to build their knowledge, skills and confidence.


Trial it now



Hermann-Ebbinghaus-The-Forgetting-CurveMicrolearning is short form content that only takes between 1 - 5 minutes to consume.

It can exist in any media format including text, graphic, video or audio.

The main differences between microlearning and traditional eLearning are that it takes less time to create, is much easier to digest and focuses on a single concept, like how to spot signs of neglect in an elderly resident.

Turns out, our attention is a finite resource. A bit like time. Forget Me Not only requires a few minutes of focused attention and commitment to building skill and knowledge every day. 

And the app keep things interesting with different scenarios and challenges that maintains curiosity and engagement. 



Let’s say you run an aged care facility and you want to upskill your employees.

You simply sign them up to the Forget Me Not app and they will start receiving questions that reinforce how to deliver safe, quality consumer centered care.

These questions take the form of 5-minute top ups of knowledge every shift they work.

Staff will be able to reinforce key skills like how to communicate effectively with residents, problem solving consumer issues, situational awareness, prioritising work tasks and meaningful engagement.

The questions also help to highlight gaps in your workforce’s knowledge so you can identify individuals who may need additional support, coaching and supervision.

Micro-learning-and-development-in-the-age-care-sector-sqBETTER TRAINED STAFF =

There is no quick-fix or one size solution to the problems highlighted in the Royal Commission’s interim report. But one issue, staff training and competency, can be addressed right now.

The automated delivery of microlearning content ensures staff are able to learn continuously and in a way that works for your business.

By learning new skills and topping up on old ones, aged care workers will be able to better understand and address residents’ needs.

Feeling confident solving problems and issues for residents will help aged care workers feel happier and give their work even more purpose. And when that happens, tasks that were previously routine become heart-warming activities.


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3 min read

3 Hacks to Ensure Digital Learning Bridges Gaps

By James Stack on Aug 24, 2020 12:19:56 PM

FMN-mobile-appDigital learning, those experiences supported by technology connected to the internet, can just as easily add barriers as it can bridge gaps in the learning process.When it comes to digital learning, I think we need to know whether we’re building digital bridges or erecting barriers. Digital learning can easily overwhelm, inundate, and confuse the learner with options, prompts, challenges and an unpredictable torrent of information… some helpful and some not! I am not suggesting that this learning experience is better or worse, but it is decidedly different.

Why digital bridges become unintended barriers?

Digital learning is often more dynamic, visual and self-directed than other types of learning. Digital learners can usually curate learning resources, and sometimes they can even curate the learning process, through designs that take advantage of gamification, open ecosystems and collaboration supported by social media.

All these possibilities create limitless opportunities to design and deliver learning experiences that change lives and improve the performance of people, teams and organisations. However, instead of combining to create a compelling, coherent learning experience all this opportunity can quickly snowball into a chaotic collection of ideas.

Barrier # 1: The “Lost in Internet” Effectwriting-questions-forget-me-not

Based on a study in the International Journal of Mobile Communications and Telematics, it’s clear the nearly infinite amount of information available through the Internet can enhance the learning experience.

It does this by creating freedom for the learner to explore, however the torrent of information can easily cause learners to lose their sense of direction, become disoriented and ultimately demotivated and disengaged. It’s called the “Lost in Internet” effect and to ensure our digital learning bridges gaps then we need to carefully manage this effect in our designs.

Barrier # 2: Balancing Cognitive Load

Digital learners quickly become reliant on the linear presentation of knowledge usually available via technology which reduces the demand on learners to organise new knowledge, to think and reflect. These linear presentations tend to reduce cognitive load however it also tends to make the experience less challenging which erodes engagement and learner curiosity.

Long linear presentations also fail to ‘chunk’ information which allows learners to self-assess and self-direct progress. Cognitive load continues to build if information chunking is ignored during the design process… and learners aren’t given the chance to check, adapt and succeed.

forget-me-not-memory-app-muscle-coach3 hacks to bridge gaps

With these challenges in mind I tend to rely on three simple principles to ensure digital learning bridges gaps instead of building barriers. I look for instructional design thinking and digital platforms that support the use of these principles. I think that there are lots of creative ways to leverage these principles and few thought leaders out there in the market are showing us how! But just what are these principles?


1. Little and often

This principle is all about understanding that consistency is more important than intensity if you are interested in authentic, embedded learning.

Sustained, tightly curated, challenging digital experiences ensure learners don’t become disoriented, demotivated or disengaged.

2. Breaks are critical

In my opinion, this is one of the most underrated design essentials. To organise new knowledge, to think through what it means and to then use what has been learnt takes time.

We need a break… sometimes just a few minutes sometimes a lot longer. This is part of the reason micro-learning is so effective.

3. Questions are more important than answers

This principle is all about knowledge retention and even knowledge application. Both activities rely on retrieval practice.

This is about continually re-connecting with knowledge to combat the forgetting curve and help us improve our cognitive load capacity.


By paying attention to these principles your digital learning experiences will bridge gaps, avoid learners being ‘lost in the Internet’ and strengthen cognitive load capacity of learners.

These three principles drive the effectiveness of micro-learning campaigns, apps using the spacing and testing effect and learning ecosystems that prioritise the use of digital resources over courses. We will be exploring these contemporary approaches to digital learning in future blog posts… so stay tuned.

It’s not that difficult. Your digital experience needs to deliver a sustained series of drip-feed challenges (rather than one intense downpour) designed to encourage reflection and drive learning that builds confidence and leads to mastery!

I’m committed to building and promoting a discussion around these principles and other related ideas. To subscribe to this blog send your email below.