Bite-size or Snackable learning is the
flavour of the season in the landscape of learning solutions. The premise is
evident – ever decreasing attention span of learners, too many attention-grabbing
devices & platforms, and increasing millennial population in the workforce.
While millennials are primarily accused to
have shorter attention spans, the problem is universal. Research shows that the
average human attention span has reduced to just 8 seconds (lesser than that of
the goldfish!). We have a restless generation of learners who are used to
instant gratification and easy access to information. There is already
information overload and patience with content is over.
Given today’s scenario, let’s examine some
paradigms that make Bite-sizing the most effective learning strategy.
LESS IS MORE
It is MINIMALISTIC.
Long lectures, workshops or e-learning
courses are passé. Today’s busy learner needs lean content.
Bite-sized learning facilitates learning
through a series of logical chunks of content which can be crunched into their
busy schedules leading to highly focused training bursts with minimal
interruption. Learning in stretches of 3-7 minutes also matches their working
FREEDOM OF CHOICE
It is PERSONALIZED.
Today’s learner is spoilt for choice and picky
about what, when and how he/she wants to learn.
With digitization, personalization of content
has become easier. Bite-sizing caters to this user-driven learning through platforms
with a wide buffet of modular offerings which the learner can indulge in browsing,
subscribing and consuming at their convenient pace. LinkedIn learning solutions
and most other learning platforms today provide the learner an advantage of personalized
content of their choice.
IF CONTENT IS
KING, THEN CONTEXT IS GOD
It is CUSTOMIZED.
Today, learners have access to the same
information as trainers. However, with lack of time and distraction, what today’s
learner expects is the trainer to curate content, contextualize it to his/her
requirements and present it in a way that facilitates immediate application.
Bite-sizing enables designers to create
specific contextual content which is highly actionable, with lots of examples in
a ‘show me how it’s done’ format for a hands-on learning experience.
According to the
Journal of Applied Psychology, bite-size learning makes transfer of learning
17% more efficient as against mass-customization.
QUANTITY, QUALITY MATTERS
It is ENGAGING.
There was a time when dramatized facilitation
in a classroom did the magic. However, today’s facilitator is facing stiff
competition from interesting gadgets, audio-visual content, social media, artificial
intelligence apart from, of course, busy schedules. So, in a real-sense, more
than attention-deficit, attention has been diverted to more interesting
channels of information.
To make learning entertaining, we need to
provide an immersive learning experience irrespective of the length of the
modules to capture their full attention.
Bite-size learning driven by technology is a
clear winner in providing a happy, engaging space for learners through
simulations, gamification and interactive learning modules. It is proven that
such micro-learning creates 50% more engagement.
It is CONVENIENT.
Bite-size content and mobile learning go
hand-in-hand thus making it scalable and convenient. This enables learners to
access training whenever and wherever they so desire, even outside of work
hours. On a lighter note, even managers are now happy as they don’t have to deal
with HR taking their employees away for 2 full days. Plus, these courses are
300% faster to develop and are 50% more cost effective compared to traditional
Non-traditional avenues for learning are
emerging with social learning platforms, Ted Talks, Podcasts etc. being
examples of modern day bite-size learning. Recently, Mahindra Finance was in
news for using WhatsApp in a creative way to deliver soap-opera style learning
for their distributed sales force.
Bite-size learning may not be an end in
itself but promises a plethora of benefits. It is quick to develop, drives better
engagement, is economical, scalable, provides customized experience to a
learner, is actionable and ensures better retention and transfer of learning. The
verdict is out – 8 out of 10 L&D professionals favour Bite-size learning.
Bite-size learning is here to stay as the
world moves towards lean, agile and digital ways, be it in advertising, shorter
formats in sports, entertainment or learning. Being bite sized is the attitude
and philosophy to deal with shrinking attention of mankind owing to saturation
of options and distractions.