Successfully tying your shoe laces; learning the Pledge of Allegiance, memorizing multiplication facts or the periodic table; conjugating irregular verbs in Spanish: what do these things have in common? They were all mastered through repetitive attempts. From a very young age, we began to achieve retention through repetition, and that strategy still applies for mastering new content and new skills in business.
However, when your employees attend a conference, a seminar, or a class, etc., even if they listen carefully, take notes, study the handouts, and relate the material to their personal experiences, they will not be able to recall all of the most critical and relevant points. Neuroscience research and experience indicate that with only one exposure to the material this is the governing reality.
After the in-person training, the next critical component for retention is reinforcement through repetition. Even the most skilled, artful, and memorable trainers will impact an audience's brains with very limited retention in one presentation. True retention comes from repeated exposure and practice of the skills that are taught, and that is why online training makes sense.