The average worker is now a millennial – and millennials want information fast. There’s a lot of competition for mind share, and our digitised world makes it harder to filter out irrelevant information.
Businesses are increasingly aware of this and have turned to bite-sized learning to educate their time-pressed employees who are used to on demand information. This slightly laissez-faire approach to learning – letting employees learn at their own pace in small, digestible chunks – is beneficial to businesses.
If you’re planning to implement bite-sized learning into your business you’ll need to know the 8 rules of bite-sized learning.
1. Simple, one-thing-at-a-time content
Traditional eLearning courses would run for 30-60 minutes and would fulfil several learning objectives. Bite-sized learning modules are about one learning objective. The idea is to present a single concept that addresses a single learning need. Allow your learners to fully understand and complete one module before moving on to the next. This is proven to improve subject retention and is a much more efficient way of delivering information.
2. Don’t be a bore
Disengaged and bored courses fail before they even start. Don’t assume that a short module will keep your audience interested because it won’t. You still need to be creative with your content and presentation to ensnare the imagination and attention of your learners. Engaging your audience from start to finish will ensure the course yields the desired takeaways. Learners have pointed out they prefer small modules so it’s up to you to create engaging content for their preferred platform.
3. Engaging & accessible design
We’ve just established that your learners are busy people and it’s more than likely they’ll be accessing modules on mobiles or tablets. Make it easier for them to find what they need to with quick load times, user-friendly design and mobile optimised search.
4. Make it personal
Learners work best at their own pace so blocking out time in their diary to take generic courses that may not be entirely relevant is counterproductive. Bite-sized learning allows you to give your learners entirely relevant content that they can access at a time and place of their choosing.
Let learners personalise their learning by allowing users to skip impertinent courses and pick and choose the learning solutions that best suit their requirements.
5. Be succinct
Bite-sized learning is about unadulterated and pertinent information. Nice to know stuff is unnecessary fluff. If it’s not a key takeaway then it’s not relevant and you shouldn’t include it.
This isn’t a traditional learning course so don’t beat around the bush with introductions, descriptions and conclusions. Be direct by getting straight to the how and efficient with your media by replacing how to diagrams with a short video.
6. Demonstrate the use
Your learners do not want to merely be offered information. They want to know what they can do with it. Avoid hollow course objectives by stating clearly how the knowledge in the module can be applied to solve real work problems.
7. Smart groups
It is easier to remember information if it is grouped with other similar or relevant information. If there is no natural connection then it is harder to remember. We’re not wired to absorb information for hours at a time which is why so many clever teachers introduce mnemonic devices.
Repetition is a useful learning tool but only when it’s in a digestible pattern. Milk, cheese, butter, cream, yoghurt is easier to remember than bleach, strawberries, thongs, tyre, bread.
Create your smart groups by defining the single learning outcome you want, tasks required and content that is relevant to those tasks. Group that content into bite-sized chunks.
8. Time to digest
The most effective learning will take place when learners are given ample time to digest new information before moving on to the next course. Ideally you want to allow enough time for your employees to apply their new knowledge or skill in the workplace before they start learning something else.
Short modules don’t mean you can learn more in the same amount of time – it’s about committing knowledge to memory in the most lasting way. Cramming before a test never worked in school and it won’t work now.
Bite-sized learning is about providing educational solutions in an easy to process way that has practical applications for the learner’s job. By introducing bite-sized learning into your company you are educating and improving your workforce in the most effective way for the average millennial employee.