Bite-size attention-grabbing devices & platforms, and increasing millennial

Bite-size or Snackable learning is theflavour of the season in the landscape of learning solutions. The premise isevident – ever decreasing attention span of learners, too many attention-grabbingdevices & platforms, and increasing millennial population in the workforce. While millennials are primarily accused tohave shorter attention spans, the problem is universal.

Research shows that theaverage human attention span has reduced to just 8 seconds (lesser than that ofthe goldfish!). We have a restless generation of learners who are used toinstant gratification and easy access to information. There is alreadyinformation overload and patience with content is over. Given today’s scenario, let’s examine someparadigms that make Bite-sizing the most effective learning strategy. LESS IS MORE It is MINIMALISTIC. Long lectures, workshops or e-learningcourses are passé. Today’s busy learner needs lean content.

 Bite-sized learning facilitates learningthrough a series of logical chunks of content which can be crunched into theirbusy schedules leading to highly focused training bursts with minimalinterruption. Learning in stretches of 3-7 minutes also matches their workingmemory capacity.  FREEDOM OF CHOICE& PACE It is PERSONALIZED. Today’s learner is spoilt for choice and pickyabout what, when and how he/she wants to learn.  With digitization, personalization of contenthas become easier. Bite-sizing caters to this user-driven learning through platformswith a wide buffet of modular offerings which the learner can indulge in browsing,subscribing and consuming at their convenient pace.

LinkedIn learning solutionsand most other learning platforms today provide the learner an advantage of personalizedcontent of their choice. IF CONTENT ISKING, THEN CONTEXT IS GOD It is CUSTOMIZED. Today, learners have access to the sameinformation as trainers. However, with lack of time and distraction, what today’slearner expects is the trainer to curate content, contextualize it to his/herrequirements and present it in a way that facilitates immediate application.  Bite-sizing enables designers to createspecific contextual content which is highly actionable, with lots of examples ina ‘show me how it’s done’ format for a hands-on learning experience. According to theJournal of Applied Psychology, bite-size learning makes transfer of learning17% more efficient as against mass-customization.

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  NOT JUSTQUANTITY, QUALITY MATTERS It is ENGAGING. There was a time when dramatized facilitationin a classroom did the magic. However, today’s facilitator is facing stiffcompetition from interesting gadgets, audio-visual content, social media, artificialintelligence apart from, of course, busy schedules. So, in a real-sense, morethan attention-deficit, attention has been diverted to more interestingchannels of information.  To make learning entertaining, we need toprovide an immersive learning experience irrespective of the length of themodules to capture their full attention.

 Bite-size learning driven by technology is aclear winner in providing a happy, engaging space for learners throughsimulations, gamification and interactive learning modules. It is proven thatsuch micro-learning creates 50% more engagement.  ANYTIME, ANYWHERELEARNING It is CONVENIENT. Bite-size content and mobile learning gohand-in-hand thus making it scalable and convenient. This enables learners toaccess training whenever and wherever they so desire, even outside of workhours. On a lighter note, even managers are now happy as they don’t have to dealwith HR taking their employees away for 2 full days.

Plus, these courses are300% faster to develop and are 50% more cost effective compared to traditionalcourses. Non-traditional avenues for learning areemerging with social learning platforms, Ted Talks, Podcasts etc. beingexamples of modern day bite-size learning.

Recently, Mahindra Finance was innews for using WhatsApp in a creative way to deliver soap-opera style learningfor their distributed sales force.  THE VERDICT:  Bite-size learning may not be an end initself but promises a plethora of benefits. It is quick to develop, drives betterengagement, is economical, scalable, provides customized experience to alearner, is actionable and ensures better retention and transfer of learning. Theverdict is out – 8 out of 10 L&D professionals favour Bite-size learning.

(Boyette, 2012) Bite-size learning is here to stay as theworld moves towards lean, agile and digital ways, be it in advertising, shorterformats in sports, entertainment or learning. Being bite sized is the attitudeand philosophy to deal with shrinking attention of mankind owing to saturationof options and distractions.