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Kerry Pascall Using technology to overcome shorter attention spans

In this busy world we live in, we want information and knowledge instantly on whatever device we choose. Have you ever Googled a question, been presented with reams of text, and gotten frustrated that you have to wade through it all to find the answer you seek?

Not only that but our attention spans are getting lower – less than 8 seconds on average. Therefore getting and keeping the attention of your learners is an ongoing consideration for the design of learning content you want to deliver to them.

We have been talking for several years about breaking content down into manageable chunks, and the buzz words ‘bite sized, chunking and mini modules’ have been around for a while. 

To some people this means taking an hours’ worth of content and identifying ways to break it down into four smaller blocks (usually 15 minute mini modules). Granted, this is definitely a way to make the content easier to consume but it doesn’t address wandering attention spans, which may well shut off after just a few minutes.

To help combat this, we at Bray Leino Learning keep in mind the 70:20:10 formula and utilise microlearning within our blended learning solutions. Microlearning can mean many things but usually refers to short snippets or ‘blasts’ of learning (maybe only 1-2 minutes long) which gives the learner the answers they need. We use a blended learning approach because small snippets of information usually need to sit within something bigger to have context and meaning.

For example, you could have a learning session on unconscious bias, which is then broken down into different types of learning components. This means it is blended and enables learners to access the resources in different ways. From there the designer will look at each component to see if this can be further broken down into microlearning – for example a two page document outlining facts and figures on unconscious bias, could be supported by a piece of microlearning – maybe a 30 second quiz with feedback. 

In a nutshell, by using microlearning techniques for your content you should overcome the challenges of those with a short attention span. This will be of huge benefit to not only your learners, but also the organisation.

Overcoming Shorter Attention Spans

And it can be in many different formats, which we will explore in my next blog later this month. In the meantime, if you'd like to chat more about microlearning, get in touch with us today.

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Kerry Pascall, Head of Digital Learning, Bray Leino Learning

In my series of blogs you can expect some tips on implementing eLearning, what to consider when commissioning eLearning, design tips, software and authoring pro’s and con’s, and general advice on everything eLearning!

Copyright © 2017 Bray Leino Learning

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