Christmas Celebration despite Challenges


2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for most of us, and that includes MoveUp users as well. The vast majority of individuals using our application are microentrepreneurs who live in vulnerable communities. According to the World Bank, for the first time in 20 years, global extreme poverty will rise in 2021. Many of our users are struggling to not fall into extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 a day).

As a result of the pandemic, more than 50% had to close their businesses temporarily, and not all have been able to reopen. Most are struggling to make ends meet this holiday season.

Yet we have heard so many incredible testimonies of hope and change this past month. Despite the many challenges, our app users share how our classes have given them hope, helped them pivot their businesses, and brought joy to their families.

From Depression to Joy

When I called Mariela she was happy to share with me her experience with the app. She started talking about her favorite courses and had her 16-year-old daughter join the conversation. Her daughter, Johanna, also took our courses and passed on what she learned to her mom and 3 younger siblings.

Mariela explained that before downloading the app, she felt complacent about her business. She lacked motivation and didn’t know what to do to increase her sales. When her daughter started taking courses on MoveUp, both of them realized the importance of good hygiene and customer service.  Mariela sells grilled sweet potatoes, which she used to leave on a table outside the house. They frequently had to swat away flies and had few satisfied customers. After taking a couple of lessons, Johanna had an idea: it was likely the flies were driving away customers. To get rid of them the family started keeping the cooked sweet potatoes on top of the oven, which the flies avoided due to the heat.

To encourage people to stop by at the house, Mariela put into practice our lesson on customer service: she had her younger children greet potential customers with a smile as they passed by.  Sales started increasing, and as a byproduct, Mariela’s four children became more interested in the business.

Mavimose with her two daughters

Johanna also took a course on homeschooling. She was already helping her younger siblings with their schoolwork, but the course gave her ideas on how to continue to teach math using beans, corn, and other household objects. She realized how important it is to supplement what her siblings were learning via virtual school with additional learning at home.

Mariela shared, “Before, I felt depressed about my business, but the app has changed my mentality. My children sense my motivation, and they are also motivated and happier.”

We hope your family is also filled with joy and hope this holiday season, and that despite the challenges, you too are motivated for 2021.


Names changed, photo & story used with permission.

To learn more about MoveUp and how we use digital education to empower others, please reach out.



This year has been full of shock and sudden change, mourning, and extreme loss. For many, the new normal will not feel normal at all because a loved one is absent from the kitchen table. Many others are homesick, physically sick, or struggling with their mental health.

Even so, there are always reasons to give thanks. Regardless of our external struggles, we can find inner peace and joy. I’m reminded of that frequently when I hear testimonies from our users about why they are thankful.

Most of our users are economically vulnerable microentrepreneurs. The majority are women, many are Haitian immigrants, and almost all have experienced extreme hardship in their lives. Yet, they use their spare time to take classes on personal finance, customer service, preventive healthcare, and parenting. They understand the importance of pushing forward, learning something new, and keeping their heads up.


This Thanksgiving, I will let you be encouraged by the reasons our users are thankful for MoveUp and our partner Esperanza International:


“The course Business in Times of Crisis helped me realize that all was not lost (in my business) and that when the crisis comes, we can still move towards our goals if we apply these wise practices.”


“I’m grateful for the course Supporting my Child at Home because it not only taught me how to have fun with my kids but also brought me back to my childhood!”


Yenny smiling at the camera

“The application has helped me learn important tactics to grow my business. The course, Coronavirus taught me how to take care of my family. Before I took this course, we were not too concerned about using masks or washing our hands frequently; after taking the course, we all are.  I truly recommend this app to others, it really helps.”

– Yenny, pictured left





“The class on savings helped me so much. My family and I like to eat out a lot, but when we do, we spend up to three times as much as when I cook from home. This course taught me this, and other things I will teach to others, especially that we should only spend what we need to.”


Yulisa holding a certificate

“The application has really helped me, especially in these times. We’ve been struggling with our business, but the app has given me clear and edifying instructions that have helped me implement what I learn. I feel so grateful for the support I have received while taking these courses, and I feel dedicated to keep learning.”

– Yulisa, pictured right




“The course on Female & Male Health was so important to me because it helped me realize how I can protect my body from illness through good hygiene.”

“I’m grateful for the course on Human Rights. This course filled me with strength because I realized my rights and the rights that should be available to all humans.”


With those very encouraging words, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at MoveUp.

La educación es libertad


La educación es un derecho humano fundamental, que establece que todos tenemos el derecho a una educación asequible, accesible, aceptable y adaptable de forma gratuita.

La sociedad y el individuo se benefician si todos tenemos la libertad de ejercer nuestro derecho a la educación. La educación promueve la libertad y la autonomía personal, y genera importantes beneficios para el desarrollo humano, social y económico. Además, permite a la persona salir de la pobreza, por su propio esfuerzo, y se asciende a la libertad. La educación empodera a las personas. También, ayuda a lograr la paz duradera y el desarrollo sostenible, y es un derecho que permite hacer realidad otros derechos. Como un día mencionó el filántropo y político sudafricano Nelson Mandela:

La educación es el arma más poderosa para cambiar el mundo.”

Educar es un regalo, el mejor que podríamos darle a los niños y adolescentes de nuestro país, para que tengan un futuro prometedor, vivan en una sociedad más justa, con igualdad de oportunidades y sin barreras. Así mismo, si apreciamos y agradecemos este regalo de libertad estuviéramos asombrados por el mundo del conocimiento y anheláramos recibir educación y aprender.

Cuando no tenemos acceso a la educación estamos encerrados en una cárcel tanto en lo cognitivo como en lo emocional, nuestro desarrollo como persona y el desarrollo de quienes nos rodean se detiene. Lamentablemente, aún hay millones de personas en el mundo que no tienen la libertad de ejercer su derecho a la educación y se le niega este y otros derechos. 

Otros desafíos a los que se enfrenta el derecho a la educación son: el derecho a una educación inclusiva para niños y adolescentes con alguna condición o necesidad educativa especial, el derecho a una educación de calidad sin importar la clase social y la igualdad de oportunidades para todos. 

En MoveUp, se busca ir eliminando estos desafíos y promover el derecho de cada persona a disfrutar de una educación accesible.



Este artículo es una respuesta a nuestra post del 11 de septiembre 2020, “The Freedom to Learn.”


Autora: Rosanna Estevez – Rosanna es miembro del equipo MoveUp, y escribe contenido de educación continúa y escolar.

Increasing Literacy through MoveUp

Earlier this month we celebrated a victory at MoveUp. We finished the last of 31 lessons in our course, “Aprendiendo a Leer” (Learning How to Read). This course will hopefully be the first of many in our Learning How to Read & Write series.

The series is aimed towards illiterate adults in the Dominican Republic who own a basic smartphone and want to improve their reading and writing skills. This first course has a lesson for each letter in the alphabet, where we teach users how to recognize, pronounce, and write the letter. The course is completely narrated so a user can take lessons on their own, though we recommend a family member, friend, or coworker be present to help when needed. We use photos, games, quizzes, surveys, and more to make the course user friendly and engaging. Users are encouraged to have a notebook next to them while taking lessons so they can practice drawing the letter themselves.

At first, we were hesitant to develop this course. Due to its unique nature and market, it took more than twice as long to produce than other courses. Additionally, we were unsure the course would reach the individuals who needed it most. After careful consideration, Rosanna, our expert in education and learning pedagogy, assured us she could develop a course that was simple, engaging, and achieved its goal of teaching adults how to write the Spanish alphabet. Next, our partner Esperanza International developed a field execution plan to reach a pilot group of their clients to test out the course.

Initially, the adoption of the course was slow. It helped that all course lessons are downloadable, so users downloaded lessons while connected to Esperanza hotspots, then took the lessons whenever most convenient for them. When they connected again to the hotspot or any other internet, their results automatically uploaded. As we released more lessons, enthusiasm for the course grew, and course completion started to rise.

At the beginning of October, we realized the course completion rate for this course was much higher than our other courses. The intrinsic motivation of these users is high, and they are determined to take the lessons and apply their learning. Users who start learning the alphabet are much more likely to finish all the lessons in this course than a typical user taking another course.

One day in September, an Esperanza team member arrived in a community to find a 12-year-old girl using the course to teach her mother and a friend how to write their letters. Later in the month, another Esperanza team member helped a group of users to write their names for the first time! Stories like this show the course is popular and successful in helping students achieve their reading and writing goals!

Woman writing her name

Agneus, a pilot participant, writing her name for the first time.

Our successful pilot of this course confirmed there is a demand to learn how to read and write, and that a digital course can successfully teach the basics. It also emphasized the importance of having a supportive community (like Esperanza International team members, a friend, or a neighbor) to help encourage and guide learners in their journey towards improved literacy.

These conclusions remind us that learning is a lifelong journey, and hopefully, a journey none of us walk alone. I encourage you to take steps forward on your own learning journey and invite a friend to accompany you.






MoveUp provides digital education to underserved people groups, including those who are digitally and alphabetically illiterate. Reach out for more information on how we can help your organization’s beneficiaries grow professionally and personally.


MoveUp at LTX Fest

Last week, MoveUp participated in the all-virtual, 4-day LTX Fest for Latinx professionals in tech. Here, our Program Director, Marlena May Cuesta, shares about the event.  

When I heard about LTX Fest I was thrilled. This was the first year I had heard of the conference, and I was excited it was accessible to MoveUp (it was free and 100% virtual this year; we’re located in the Dominican Republic).

LTX Fest exists to unite and empower Latinx professionals to become local and global leaders in tech. The speaker line-up and agenda were impressive, but what was even more inspiring were the participants themselves. I dedicated 90% of my time to networking, hopping on many meetings with vibrant professionals as passionate as I am about promoting and celebrating diversity in the technology industry.

I was new to Brella, but the online meeting platform was relatively simple to figure out. Brella’s matching system was great. Once I entered my information and information about MoveUp, Brella matched me with participants that shared similar interests. From there, it was simple to solicit meetings and start chatting with other like-minded participants.

Per usual, the solidarity of the Latinx community did not disappoint; almost everyone I reached out to was willing to hop on a 15-minute call to learn about MoveUp. Some were interested in working with us, others provided valuable advice, and many more connected us with potential leads and partners in their network.

The energy and enthusiasm were palpable in most of these meetings. LTX Fest was a safe space to support and challenge each other to strive for greater excellence, representation, and unity.  Thank you to LTX Fest for organizing an excellent event at an opportune moment in 2020 to learn, connect, and unite together.

Finally, gracias to all my new Latinx connections; we look forward to partnering with you!


Missed the conference but want to chat with MoveUp about empowering more of the Latinx population through digital education? Reach out here

Five Reasons Continued Education is Important

Last week, we discussed how education is a lifelong journey. The world we live in demands we continue learning, whether it be new recipes, software for our job, or how to adapt to COVID-19. However, the demands of adult life leave us scrambling to accomplish everything on our to-do list, and continued education is often one of the items that gets left unchecked or forgotten.

To boost our motivation to keep learning, here are five reasons that continued education is important:

(1) Helps us keep up with the world’s changes

The world is changing at a rapid pace. Technology has augmented our connectivity within our communities and throughout the world at large. The rapid development of technology requires we consistently learn new skills, whether it be saving documents on the cloud, video calling loved ones, or setting up a firewall and password protector. To a certain extent, we can learn these skills through trial and error, but a class helps us learn and develop the skills to be able to replicate our actions in future tasks. A great way to learn technology is by using it! Our application at MoveUp teaches users app navigation skills, online commenting, and more while taking classes on business, preventative healthcare, etc.

Additionally, our global community and connection merits learning a new language or studying a different culture to be able to relate appropriately with our global neighbors.

(2) Helps us respond to the changes in our personal lives

Adult education not only helps us to respond to the changing world but also to our own rapidly changing lives. Our professional and personal goals when we were in school were probably much different than they are today. While our past education may have prepared us for those goals, our evolution into who we are today and who we want to become requires continual learning. Perhaps you have changed careers or started a new business. Perhaps you’re a new parent and want to learn parenting skills. Perhaps you’ve picked up a new hobby. Regardless, your past education is probably less relevant for your new reality. Continued adult education helps you learn what matters most now, so you can be successful in your current and future ventures.

(3) Changes up our routine and increase satisfaction

Third, education helps us change our routines. If you have picked up a new hobby, congratulations! It is much easier to fall into a comfortable rhythm and repetitive daily schedule. Learning or doing something new helps shake up our routine.  While this change may be uncomfortable or challenging at first, it eventually results in higher satisfaction and happiness.

(4) Exercises our Minds

Our mind is similar to other muscles in our body. It needs to be exercised in order to develop. Doing the same job-related tasks and spending time with the same people for years does not necessarily exercise our brain. Continued education challenges our way of thinking. It introduces us to new perspectives and challenging topics. It also increases our creativity as we are exposed to different material and concepts. At MoveUp, our innovative content helps entrepreneurs think up new business models and products. Perhaps they’re taking a course on marketing, but it is equally probable they are taking our course on parenting during COVID and inspiration struck for a new product line based off of a concept presented or a photo we used.

(5) Develops Confidence

Finally, continued education helps us develop confidence. The more we learn, the more we can engage with and respond to current events and issues. If we only know about our specific profession, culture or community, we may feel insecure when asked to respond to something outside of those realms. By studying diverse concepts outside of our expertise, we gain a repertoire of perspectives and knowledge that help us respond to new challenges. We expand our friend groups and social sectors. We possess the skills to respond to future changes. This confidence equips us to boldly march into the future and make plans and goals for success.


Continued education is important, regardless of our age, social status, and the number of degrees we currently possess. Education prepares us for the future, increases our satisfaction, exercises our minds, and makes us more confident. Fortunately, today education is available for most of us with a single swipe or a couple of keystrokes. So, what are you waiting for? Start learning something new today and let us know how it goes.


MoveUp provides digital continuing education to those who don’t have access. Interested in learning more about our work? Reach out today!


Interested in reading more data? Here is a fascinating report on Higher Education and its benefits by the Department of Business Innovation & Skills in London.

Education: A Lifelong Journey

In our blog post celebrating freedom, I mentioned an eighth-grade graduate who decided not to attend high school to instead support her family financially. While this girl showed high intellectual capacity and decision-making skills for her age, she most likely lacks important skills to succeed in life.

In the Dominican Republic, only 50 percent of the population graduates from high school. During the same academic school year (2017-2018), approximately 88 percent of Americans graduated from high school (read more here). In the Dominican Republic and in general, students who don’t enter high school or drop out before graduation have higher rates of unemployment, poverty, teenage pregnancy, and participation in criminal activities. (Read more statistics here.)

These statistics are commonly cited arguments for teens to finish school. However, a lack of education also has negative effects on a person’s intellectual capability that can alter the trajectory of his or her life.

Students develop many crucial skills in high school and continuing education, such as values, critical thinking, and career readiness.


The development of soft skills and value-based learning begins in primary school. High school education continues this formative education but using more complex scenarios. Upon middle-school graduation, the student is hopefully equipped with basic knowledge about what values are important to her and what she believes is right and wrong. However, those values have not yet been challenged by complex scenarios. In high school, she would hopefully be introduced to conflicting views and be challenged to a debate, helping her discern inconsistencies in her ideas and those of others.

When people are ill-equipped to discern between right and wrong, they struggle to stand firm to their beliefs when challenged. They may struggle to decide how to vote, how to discipline their children, or, in the case of the entrepreneur, how to develop and enforce their business’s mission, vision, and values.

Critical and Creative Thinking

Critical and creative thinking requires years of practice and evaluation to fully develop. Individuals who lack these skills may lack imagination, creativity, and may be incapable of developing their own strategies to complete a project. They often need to be told, step-by-step, how to complete processes.

At MoveUp, we have seen entrepreneurs who lack critical and creative thinking skills struggle to keep their businesses sustainable long-term.  They’ve sold the exact same product for the last 10 years. As demand decreases, these entrepreneurs struggle to change products, operations, and supply chains. They may have a vague dream for the future success or expansion of their businesses but lack the ability to get themselves there.

Job-Related Skills

Finally, high school and continuing education teach job-related skills necessary in the modern workplace. These skills include note-taking, advanced reading and writing, spatial reasoning, and knowledge of basic geometry and algebra.

While these skills can be learned on the job, it is much easier and less stressful to learn them before you need to use them to be successful in your career.

What if I lack these skills?

Whether you came from a not-so-great high school or simply want to freshen up on what you learned decades ago, you can and should keep developing your professional skills!

At MoveUp, we know these skills are like muscles: you have to use them frequently to keep them strong. If I want to become a better professional writer, I need to dedicate time to read and write frequently. This is why continued education is so important, not just for some professions like teaching and nursing, but for everyone!

The most important first step is simply getting started. Many of our MoveUp users take our courses to grow professionally because they are motivated to provide a better future for their children.  They want to ensure their children receive a better education than they did. Children are inspired to learn when they see how their parents are life-long students.

The education we receive in school and beyond significantly impacts our development as an individual and professional. At MoveUp, we work to help all individuals, regardless of their past education, learn what is necessary to achieve their personal and professional goals. We join with our users to encourage the next generation to get the best possible education they can now but also become life-long learners who consistently are stretching and growing their skills.


To read more specific statistics about the negative effects of not graduating from high school, check out this report in Spanish about the Latin America region.

How Microlearning and Gamification Affect Retention

Our technology partner, EdApp, mentioned in a recent post that COVID-19’s lasting effects are resulting in the highest need for fundamental re-skilling and training in the workplace since WWII. We agree.  Now is an ideal and essential moment to equip our clients and partners as they train their clients and beneficiaries. However, it is never enough to simply provide more education or content. Delivery matters.

As mentioned in another blog post a couple of weeks ago, if your material is excellent but retention is low, your training is not very worthwhile.

Fortunately, education is a constantly evolving industry.  New, innovative ideas and methods can help us make the material fresh and fascinating for our audiences. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of microlearning and gamification.


Microlearning refers to breaking down concepts into manageable, small chunks, and providing positive reinforcement to help users see and celebrate their learning progress. At MoveUp, our microlessons take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete, so users have time to learn a whole concept during a busy day, and can absorb the material easier.


Gamification is when game characteristics are used to teach material. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by distractions, education must be engaging enough to block out all the other noise. Gamification helps do exactly that. Users are more engaged with the material, so retention is higher when compared to traditional learning (such as reading a textbook).

Microlearning & Gamification at MoveUp

At MoveUp, we’ve witnessed firsthand how microlearning and gamification increase our users’ retention, resulting in higher impact. Most of our users are working-aged adults.  Many are entrepreneurs. They work incredibly long hours and have family and community commitments. The fact that users can pull out their phones and finish a lesson in a couple of minutes during lunch break, in public transportation, or after putting their baby down for a nap is incredibly appealing. It removes a huge barrier to traditional education: the need to be physically present for a set number of hours to learn every day.

In these unprecedented times, these short learning sessions often respond directly to a challenge our learner is facing that very same day.  Let’s suppose our learner owns a salon, and she’s opening to receive clients for the first time since COVID-19 started. Perhaps she is terrified about the risk to her family. She opens the app and sees we have a whole course on hygiene, both for her family and her business. She can take lessons as she sets up her salon, simultaneously learning and applying. It is encouraging be able to say that with just 10 minutes of focus, you learned something new that you can apply to your life.

Microlearning allows users to customize their learning experience to be specific to their needs. Gamification is what keeps them coming back for more. In every lesson, we present a concept and then use gamification tactics to reinforce the material. Users play matching games, solve word puzzles, and solve true and false quizzes. They win stars for correct answers, which they can use to enter raffles for prizes. Even the way that we present content is interactive; users scratch pictures to reveal the content underneath, click on parts of an image to explore additional information, expand lists, and share their opinions via comments and videos. Users feel engaged, and look forward to taking classes instead of feeling obligated.

The Impact

Time and again, learners have shared with us that the platform is accessible, engaging, and simple to use.  As aforementioned, your delivery method matters. Using microlearning and gamification we have met our users where they’re at and engaged them. We’ve been able to keep them interested in a lesson on preventative healthcare at midnight, even after a long day.  We’ve made them smile as they win stars, even as their business struggles to survive. We’ve helped them realize they are all lifelong students who can learn effectively outside of a classroom. We’ve equipped them with the tactical education to apply those learnings immediately in their lives.

It may feel easier to continue to use the same tried-and-true educational tactics as always. However, in this world of digital innovation, it is essential we serve our learners using new and effective methods such as microlearning and gamification.  Providing the content is not enough. We must do it in an accessible and engaging way, in the best way to prepare our users for our rapidly changing reality.


The Freedom to Learn

Today is a great moment to give thanks for our freedom as we remember the September 11th attacks of 2001. In the United States, as well as many other countries around the world, freedom is such an innate right that we often take it for granted. Freedom of expression abounds, and in general, access to basic rights and services such as education and healthcare are available. This is still not the case in many countries and communities.


Several years ago, I met an eighth-grade girl, the only female graduating in her class, in a lower-class neighborhood of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). She was proud to be graduating, but unlike the majority of her classmates would not be going to high school in the fall. Her mother owned a small salon that barely made enough to support the basic needs of their family. The 8th grader calculated that the $2 daily bus fare to get to and from high school would be impossible for her family to pay. She proudly declared that she would be applying her education at her mother’s salon, using her math skills to grow the family business until the salon was profitable enough to pay for her high school education.


I have not heard back from the budding entrepreneur, but sincerely hope she was able to achieve her dream and is once again a student.

School desks

Stories like these remind us that while education is a right that should be accessible and available to all, it often is not, resulting in systemic injustice and poverty.  Breaching this gap and ensuring that high-quality education is accessible to everyone must be a priority.


It is a priority for us at MoveUp. We educate entrepreneurs, like the girl’s mother, to be able to grow their businesses and provide a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities.  Our goal is to empower these individuals to change their lives, applying the actionable knowledge they learn to become less vulnerable and more resilient.


We know how education empowers, and have seen first-hand how it can free families from cyclical poverty.  Often all that is required is connecting an individual to a set of culturally relevant lessons on her smartphone, and providing a platform for her to ask questions and receive feedback as she implements what she’s learned. In doing so, individuals are changed, local businesses grow, and more 8th grade girls can continue on to high school.


For us who are free to learn, who have at our fingertips thousands of online classes, community colleges, and training centers nearby, it’s time to say thanks and pay it forward.  Let’s not take our freedom to learn and the myriad of opportunities available to us for granted.  Instead, let’s apply that knowledge and use those opportunities to make a positive change in the world and provide more of these opportunities to those who have none.


Interested in MoveUp and how our education promotes local empowerment? Reach out today!

How to Train Effectively? Increase Retention


After 2 months of planning, where you researched your audience’s needs, built training objectives around them, and primed your audience, you offer an incredible training. A month after the training, you’re conducting post-training visits and see that less than 20% of participants implemented what you taught, and only 30% can remember the two key points from the training! What went wrong?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Even a perfectly planned training does not ensure retention and implementation of training material. We cannot control for all the reasons a participant may or may not remember or implement the lessons. However, we can strategically design our trainings with techniques proven to increase participants’ retention and, subsequently, implementation.

What is Retention?

Retention is the ability to absorb and contain information. Imagine watering a potted plant and watching the soil absorb the water. That’s what we want our participants’ brains to do when we teach new training material. We want them to absorb the information and store it away in their long-term memory, where they can then call upon the information to make future decisions.

However, often during trainings participants only absorb a fraction of the information presented. Even fewer implement what they’ve learned.

High learning retention is an important component of an effective training that results in change. Here are a couple of our favorite tactics to increase participants’ retention:

Control the Amount of Information Presented

You’re watering your potted plant, and you accidentally dump all of the water from your watering can into the plant. Water flows out from the holes in the bottom of the pot, puddling on the floor. You’ve overwatered, and if done repeatedly, your plant may die. The same can happen to our brains.

Be incredibly intentional about the amount of information you give to your training participants. Review our post on learning objectives for more information on how much to teach in a given training.

Pace the Training

Next time you water your houseplant, you carefully give it the correct amount of water, ensuring the dirt has enough time to absorb the water as you pour. Then you leave your plant alone for a day or two, allowing it to slowly absorb the water from the soil and grow before repeating the process. Each plant needs a unique amount of water to grow best. You’d never give your cactus as much water as your basil plant; it would drown.

Our training participants’ brains are similar. Each brain responds best to a specific amount of information, administered at different intervals, to absorb (retain), and then grow (implement). You must know how much your participants can absorb and at what intervals to properly pace a training. Pacing and content absorption should vary depending on environment, education, profession, and personal preferences. An outdoor training on a new farming technique has very different pacing and content delivery than an indoor lecture on the importance of irrigation.


Chunking is when you group information to help you remember it. During a training, information should be chunked, or grouped, so only one key point is discussed at once. At the beginning of the training, identify the different “chunks” and then, as you train, make sure you transition between them. Visual aids can help participants understand how the information is grouped. Use different colors in the presentation to illustrate chunks.

Pacing - Chunking - Association - Repeat & Retrieve - Bring it Home

Here we broke up the topics of this blog post into colored chunks. Each part of our presentation would be in the color corresponding to its chunk.


In our post on priming the audience, we talked about the importance of association pre-training. When training, use association to help the participant’s brain connect and relate to new concepts. I’m sure you all remember the illustration I mentioned earlier in this post about watering plants. Use a similar illustration to introduce a topic and then connect to that illustration throughout the training.  In doing so, you connect an unfamiliar concept with a familiar one, increasing participants’ understanding of both.

Repeat & Retrieve

Although your information should be clearly chunked, as you move through different parts of your training, ask participants to repeat what they learned earlier. For example, Reader, what is the definition of retention? Repeat and retrieve with your participants frequently. More opportunities to interact almost always increases participants’ engagement and ensures everyone has a chance to share.

Bring it Home

Always assign training participants homework. Even if you’re offering a one-day event and are unable to follow-up with participants personally, give participants a couple key action items they can implement on their own. Homework can involve reviewing the material taught, but should always include at least one or two action items participants should complete before the next interaction, be it a follow-up visit, call or subsequent training.  At MoveUp, training participants take a digital class that includes a post-training test to review what they learned.  They also share on a discussion board how they’ve implemented the material in their lives. Make sure participants know about homework at the beginning of the training.  Participants will be more likely to engage and ask questions if they know that later you’ll be checking in on them to see how they’re applying it.

After you’ve paced, chunked, associated, repeated, and retrieved training information, and have given your participants a post-training assignment to complete, your participants will walk away with higher retention from an effective training.

Thank you for joining us on this mini-series on Effective Training! We hope we’ve given you some practical techniques to apply in future trainings and trust that those techniques will result in positive changes for you and your training participants.

MoveUp provides actionable education through digital solutions to under-resourced communities. Contact us if you’d like to learn more or partner with us.