Bite-sized learning: Make your training content digestible
In an age of ever-shrinking attention spans and disengagement, it can be hard to know how to effectively train employees in a way that really sticks.
So, what’s the secret to maintaining workplace focus and engagement during employee training? The answer: bitesize learning.
What is bite-sized learning?
In its simplest form, bite-sized learning is breaking down large blocks of content into manageable and digestible chunks.
Employee engagement and enablement is vital in driving productivity, retention, profitability, and overall wellbeing. Unless you want a distracted workforce, the usual all-day training sessions are a no-go.
With bite-sized training, learning becomes less intense and enables your learners to dip in and out of training at a pace that suits them best. It’s great for busy schedules.
Training little and often makes content stick, which is what bite-sized learning is all about.
Bite-sized training is backed by research too. According to learning architect Ray Jimenez, by creating micro-courses learning developers can reduce development costs by 50% and increase the speed of development by 300%.
Why is bite-sized learning effective for employee training?
What sounds more effective: quicker bursts of highly focused training or long, drawn-out, unproductive sessions? With bite-sized training, your employees start to absorb content more easily, anytime, anywhere.
The post-pandemic world now sees the majority of people hybrid working. Changes in shift patterns and company organizations have always changed the way people engage with corporate training. The immediate accessibility of bite-sized learning encourages learners to use any spare time to train, making them more productive.
Bite-sized learning acknowledges the challenges the modern-day employee faces. By leaving scheduling to employees, you’re offering them autonomy to decide when they train.
This makes training more manageable, while minimizing interruptions and increasing productivity.
Why is bite-sized training important for employers?
If your organization is in the habit of training everyone in all-day, classroom-based settings, this might feel like a serious change. But don’t rule it out. The statistics speak for themselves.
According to research from Software Advice, 58% of employees would be more likely to use their company’s training tools if they were broken up into smaller and more practical chunks. Not only is it easier for you to maintain but you’ll also constantly win the competition for your employees’ attention. And you can relax in the knowledge that they’re still learning, whilst completing the job at hand.
What are the benefits of bite-sized learning?
Once you’ve got bite-sized learning nailed down, it can lead to all sorts of benefits.
You might be familiar with the concept of Hermann Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve. According to research, within one hour of learning, people forget an average of 50% of newly acquired knowledge. Remarkably, this reaches 70% after 24 hours and 90% within a week. This is because your brain is being overloaded with information.
Bite-sized learning can help combat this. Building more compact training modules with concise information will reinforce learning and help close the knowledge gap.
Think about your organization’s annual spend on resource intensive training. Online bite-sized learning will cut it down drastically. Take away the hassle of hiring event spaces, training instructors and materials.
For example, insurance company Hiscox reduced 60 hours of classroom-based training time to just three hours. To do this, the insurer harnessed elearning principles to build the world’s first underwriter simulator, allowing them to deliver scalable training to its employees.
The demand for mobile learning
As tech is advancing and people are becoming busier, the demand for mobile learning is growing every single day. Your employees need something portable that they can access anywhere, anytime.
According to Lynda.com (now a part of LinkedIn Learning), mobile learners complete training courses 45% faster than their desktop equivalents.
What are the limitations of bite-sized learning?
Okay, there are some limitations. But they don’t outweigh the benefits.
Although the online aspect of bite-sized training is incredibly convenient, it does limit human interaction. This can be troublesome sometimes, especially in scenarios that benefit from group conversation.
A study by the University of Washington based on how active learning increases student performance shows that human interaction and active learning can positively affect learner success. Research concluded that students taught by traditional lecturing are 55% more likely to fail than students in courses with active learning.
As we’ve seen with those who work from home, the absence of human interaction can lead to isolation, resulting in reduced motivation and a lack of self-discipline.
That said, microlearning can benefit remote workers as much as those in the office. Your employees won’t be required to commute into work for unattractive training sessions. They can train at the most convenient opportunity, whilst still meeting their responsibilities.
With this in mind, you may want to consider how you manage remote learners to make sure everyone’s getting the best from your bite-sized learning.
Bite-sized learning examples
There’s something out there for every organization, including yours. Take a look at these examples to find which fits best for you.
With podcasts, learners can listen to industry specialists leaders.
An easily accessible platform with rewind and re-listen features, a podcast can be reviewed as many times as needed. Your employees have the ability to listen on the go, whenever and wherever suits them.
Similar to podcasts, videos are playable on devices, like mobile and tablet, so they can be accessed anytime, and anywhere. They’re also a great way of reviewing content.
According to Google, 86% of U.S. viewers say they use Youtube to learn new things. Over the past three years, we’ve seen short form video content skyrocket in popularity with the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube.
This form of microlearning might be the right fit for your company to achieve optimal engagement levels. Marketing software company Wistia reported that two minutes is the ideal length for a video. Any longer-form content has the potential for exponential decay to kick in.
This method is also beneficial for learners who absorb more information visually. Featuring tasks, assessments and quizzes will encourage recall. In fact, Ardent Learning found that videos can boost long-term memory retention by 83% – a win-win for everyone involved.
Actively including learners in their training will help them to stay engaged and focused on their training. Examples include on-screen assessments at the end of video content which require employees to recall what they’ve seen, developing understanding and retention.
Simulations and gaming with leaderboards can see engagement levels soar to even higher levels. When learning feels more fun and less like a chore, it becomes a lot more enjoyable.
Why is game-based bite-sized learning even more effective?
The demand for mobile game-based learning is constantly growing in industries across the board. The needs of employees are continuously shifting towards this sort of training. And here’s why – it’s all about realism, impact, repetition and motivation.
Gamified simulation training offers a solution to engaging and empowering your workforce. Whether your workforce is at home or in the office, game-based training increases the motivation to repeat modules. It’s fun too. Offering leaderboards and rewards encourage interaction, whilst enhancing productivity and retention. It also boosts employee enablement too.
How can I get started with bite-sized learning?
If you’re wanting to incorporate bite-sized learning into your organization but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered:
1. Make your bite-sized learning mobile-friendly
Research by technology giant Apple shows that iPhone users check their phones around six to seven times an hour.
Whether they choose to learn on the morning commute or from the sofa at home, training becomes a positive experience that doesn’t distract from job responsibilities.
2. Make it easy to get started…
If your company’s bite-sized learning content is hard to use or access, you’ve already lost learners at the first hurdle.
It’s all about convenience. Choosing the right tools from the get-go that follow a simple format will keep your employees motivated and engaged with the format.
3. Keep it short. Keep it relevant
At its very core, bite-sized learning is about creating training that’s attainable and manageable (ideal timing is around 3-5 minutes). The more condensed and relevant the information, the more you’ll maximize the chance of retention.
But don’t be fooled. Just because you’ve cut content right down, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality. Make sure it’s still suited to your learners.
4. Cover one topic at a time
This goes hand in hand with easy accessibility and relevance. By making sure content covers exact learning objectives, it will encourage your learners to stick at their learning.
You may decide to start using ‘spaced repetition’ or ‘spaced learning’ to help with this. Spaced repetition is designed to combat the forgetting curve – learners review and refresh what they’ve learnt on a regular basis. The more you review, the higher the percentage of information retained will be.
5. Use videos, AR or VR to enhance the learning experience
The more interactive, the better. A study by Ardent Learning found that including a video component with an assessment at the end can boost retention effectiveness by 10%.
If you haven’t already introduced AR, VR or video training into your organization, you might be missing out on some L&D gems. And don’t be fooled that VR and AR is purely a young person’s game.
You may even find your employees are ready to deep dive into the growing metaverse.
6. Make learning a daily habit
It’ll take up to two months (or 66 days) to form a habit, but motivating your learners to include bite-sized training as part of their daily routine will not only benefit them, but the company as a whole. You’ll save time, money and resources, all while boosting knowledge and productivity.
7. Encourage repetition
We’ve mentioned the forgetting curve and how detrimental it can be to retention. Offering all information in one place with the option to review and recall means your learners can always go back and reabsorb content.
From improving employee productivity, to saving your organization resources, bite-sized learning is the key to steering your company away from the problems the modern workplace faces.
Through immersive, game-based training experiences, Attensi can help your company attain the success it deserves.