The modern trainer faces a growing problem: the audience’s ever shrinking attention span and constantly divided attention.  Let’s face it, as a trainer or teacher, you are unlikely to have the exclusive attention of your audience. You will most likely be dealing with busy, time-pressurized learners who are trying to manage their business affairs during a long training session. As teachers, you are also faced with students that are disengaged and not focused on learning. It is even more difficult in the era of technology and innovative gadgets. The average person switches between gadgets up to 21 times an hour, making it a real challenge to engage distracted learners for any length of time.

It’s easy to see that the learner’s attention is constantly divided and as a trainer you are in competition for their attention. The traditional, continuous training session simply doesn’t fit the modern time pressurized, dual screening and heavily distracted learners.

That’s why if trainers want to engage the modern learner, they should start deploying training in a bite-size capacity using e-learning technology.

What do we mean by bite-size e-learning?

The concept of bite-size learning is simple. Instead of delivering training over a continuous course, you break it into bite-size chunks so learners can easily fit it into a vacant time slot in their busy daily schedules. You can also make sure it’s clearly annotated, indexed and even searchable so that learners can access the specific learning they desire on demand on their mobile device or PC. They can take an eight-hour course over a period of weeks or dip in and out of the course as problems may arise. For example, they may be doing a staff member’s appraisal – and rather than trying to remember what they didn’t pay attention to in a training session a year ago – they can simply load and view a 30-minute, e-learning training module about appraisals.

What’s great about bite-sized e-learning is that it addresses the problem of the modern, distracted learner. It does this by allowing learners to view training in manageable chunks which they can fit around their busy lives, meaning they can have a series of highly focused training bursts with minimal interruption and distraction. Learners can easily schedule these smaller, bite-size learning chunks into available time slots in their busy calendar when they can give their full attention to it.

This is a more effective way of learning in the modern age. Research suggests that distributed/bite-size learning delivered by e-learning can increase information transfer by 17 percent and results in greater understanding, application and retention than a day long equivalent. Cost wise, it can prove to be up to 30 percent cheaper.

It may seem like a major change for many organizations since, companies are accustomed to doing their training all in one-go. For starters, you should slowly implement bite-sized learning by reducing your training episodes from eight-hour long sessions to a three-hour or even just hour-long episodes.

As you can see, bite-size e-learning is without doubt a solution to the current problem of a distracted learner, giving them the chance to learn at a time when they can offer their full attention and when they are in most need of knowledge.

Have you implemented bite-sized learning in your training?