Do you know that the attention span of an average human is shorter than a goldfish? (Source: Microsoft Canada, 2015). A goldfish can focus for nine seconds; people are down to a mere eight seconds.
So, the million-dollar question is – how do you design learning which caters to such a short attention span and ensure that it is effective as well?
Micro-learning is the way out!
Micro-learning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term-focused activities (Hug, 2005). In the e-learning context, it refers to a learner’s short interaction with learning matter broken down to very small bits of content.
Here are 5 reasons why micro-learning is perfect for today’s mobile-oriented workforce.
- Easy on memory: Learners are routinely overburdened by unfocused, information-heavy content. Micro-learning reduces cognitive load, making it easier for learners to process.
- Low on space: Since micro-learning takes up less digital space, you can avoid digital real estate issues that come with storing and displaying media files – especially on mobile devices.
- More focused: Micro-learning is more focused in scope, making it easier for a learner to tie what they learn directly to specific on-the-job actions.
- Cost-effective: Short content is cheaper and faster to produce and update, so you can continually test and experiment, even on the tightest budgets.
- Learning throughout the day: Micro-learning forces us to consider the small learning moments and opportunities that happen continuously throughout an employee’s day.
If you could think of more reasons, share with me in the comments below!
Millennials constitute a majority of today’s workforce.The US Bureau of Labor statistics estimates that this group already exceed 50% of the total employee pool and will cross 75% by 2030. Raised in an era of ‘instant access’, this generation consumes information primarily in the form of multimedia, and their most preferred method of communication is their mobile device.
Devising learning solutions for this mobile oriented workforce requires a completely different approach i.e. Micro-Learning. INCITE is one such Micro-Learning framework, developed through the author’s work with over 40 large companies helping them create Micro-Learning systems.
Download your FREE copy of INCITE to get a unique and effective perspective on Micro-Learning – http://goo.gl/qxlokL
Designing an e-learning module is a work of art & diligence, precisely the reason why a regular PowerPoint presentation disguised as an exported online file fails to gain the learner’s attention. An easy way to convert a dull power point into a brilliant e-learning module is through the concept of storytelling. Here are 4 powerful tips to master the art:
1. Develop a script: Come up with a story for your content, and create life-like scenarios for it. This way, the learners will easily be able to relate to the content which will keep up their interest and inquisitiveness.
2. Use a conversational tone: Avoid the formal narrative style and opt for a conversational tone instead. It will keep the content simple, engaging and impactful. Case studies have proved that using a conversational tone in your narration increases results by 20%-40%.
3. Pick the right voice: Even a brilliant conversational script’s impact can be diminished by a robotic voice. Do not compromise on a professional narrator. A friendly and conversational voice will definitely add on to the learning experience.
4. Use Multi-media: Once you have the entire setting together, make the package more enticing by using multimedia. Bring out your creative streak and choose your images, videos from the wide range of multimedia options available online. Powtoon is one such tool for creating videos. Inculcating such media into your module is easier than ever as the online sites have a very user friendly interface. Another element that would heighten the experience would be games and quizzes. Try tools like QuoDeck and Articulate Storyline. These allow you to create learning games & simulations easily and quickly.
I guess that should be enough to give you a head start. In case you want to read more about storytelling, I recommend this one – 7 tips to integrate storytelling in your next elearning course
Image Source – Shutterstock
The other day, I found myself sitting across the learning manager of a large pharmaceutical company. He was faced with a daunting task – training his company’s medical reps, and if there’s one thing we all know about medical reps it is that they are always on the move. 2,000 medical reps running around the entire western zone are not a pleasant lot to get together in a room for training.
E-learning had naturally been the top suggestion internally, and our creds were impressive enough for him to ask for my suggestions on the matter. I hesitated for a bit (It was a sitter of a large deal if we just churned out the e-learning they wanted) and then suggested that a possible potent solution for the problem could be mobile learning. What surprised me though was the response I received…
“Well, we are planning to build a robust e-learning course with a specific focus on product knowledge and to host it on our internal LMS. I think it has a mobile interface as well. Won’t that be enough?”
For those of you who think that the solution is viable, do consider the difference between e-learning and mobile learning before any implementation.
- For starters, the purpose of e-learning is to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject, while that of mobile learning (m-learning) is to support an on-going learning process where the learner needs quick access to information, usually on the go.
- M-learning is designed for smartphones and tablets with each screen having not more than 1 idea, while e-learning is designed for consumption on a large screen that has the space for complex and detailed information.
- Lastly, m-learning is designed to be completed in 3 – 10 minute bursts, while e-learning requires the learner to go through each module with an average duration of 20 – 30 minutes.
I explicitly stated these differences to the manager, and not surprisingly, he took the point. Now, convincing his company is another matter, but he seemed up to the task. Whether the deal goes through or not finally, I am inclined to believe that it is better to do it right or not at all. Everybody should know that mobile learning requires expertise and specificity of thought and design. It is not simply e-learning on the mobile. It is not.