Finding time to train can be tough. Bite-sized learning lets busy employees learn at the point of need.
US businesses spend more than $70 billion annually on employee learning and development, with the average employee receiving close to 60 hours of training per year. And yet, 70% of the material they learn is forgotten within 24 hours, 90% of it within one week.
While this inability to absorb knowledge in large quantities is directly related to our brain’s physiology, we are also processing greater volumes of information at a faster rate. Thanks, in part, to the predominance of mobile devices, some studies show the average human’s concentration has now declined from 12 to about eight seconds.
Finding time for training is particularly challenging for on the move (and frequently overwhelmed) employees, who on average can only devote 1% of their week to learning. Training is squeezed in at their desk, in spare time during the evening or weekend, or on the commute to work. Employees also increasingly want to be able to access “just-in-time” learning at the point of need.
Bite-sized learning, or small focused lessons, first rose in popularity in classrooms across the country, driven in part by elearning. Built on a concept called ‘chunking’ developed by psychologist George Miller back in the 1950’s, bite-sized learning builds on the idea that the human brain is only able to retain between five and nine things in working memory. After that point, information either needs to be converted to long-term memory or forgotten.
Bite-sized learning is well-suited to the busy lives of today’s tech-savvy, highly mobile workers, and is a key component of the kind of modern workplace learning experience they seek out. Using a next-gen learning experience platform, it can be accessed anywhere and at any time, like from a worker’s mobile phone. Workers can tailor their own learning pathways, and they can also progress with learning at their own pace.
Here are just a few of the advantages of implementing on-demand bite-sized in your workplace:
Deliver “just-in-time” knowledge
When learning is available in small, bite-sized chunks, and is easily accessible, via a smartphone, for example, employees can leverage it for just-in-time learning/training/knowledge at the point of need. Contextual learning delivered also boosts an employee’s learning retention, and provides a much higher degree of value and relevancy.
Make learning employee-specific
Every employee approaches their learning with a unique blend of experience, interests, and competencies. Training is rarely a one-size-fits-all model. On-demand bite-sized learning allows workers to personalize their learning to fit their individual requirements. They can quickly assimilate content, or delve as deeply as they wish, and can progress at their own pace—a key value for busy employees.
More learning more economical
While training is necessary, businesses find it expensive to pull revenue-generating staff out of the office for days or weeks of training. Allowing employees to access bite-sized learning on-demand keeps people in the office by allowing them to fit training into those downtime moments at the start or end of the day, or during the evening or on weekends if necessary. By breaking course material down into bite-sized chunks, organizations can also reduce the cost and time it takes to develop course materials.
Keep employees current
Because it is highly accessible and course materials are easy/inexpensive to develop, on-demand bite-sized learning also means employees can stay current with the latest industry trends and regulations, as well as technological advancements. New course material can also be very quickly developed to ensure training evolves in parallel with the pace of business and marketplace change.
Offer engaging, anywhere, anytime learning
These days, employees want to be able to access training whenever and wherever is convenient for them—from their desk, a home office, or the train while headed home. Bite-sized learning, which can be delivered digitally through a mobile-optimized next-gen learning experience platform via short training videos or quizzes, for example, allows them to do that.