Snack Attack. Beware the
pitfalls of bite-sized learning
The theory of how people learn and the
different styles of learner have remained
unchanged for years. There are many models
presented by well researched educationalists
and theorists, yet they are very similar
An example is SAVI, often used within
Accelerated Learning techniques. This says
that individuals learn by using four senses:
Somatic, Auditory, Visual and Intellectual.
We may display a preference to one or more
methods, but we will use a combination of all
four throughout our learning.
What is interesting is how like-minded
individuals, particularly in the same job role,
display similar learning traits, with all tending
to sway towards one or more learning styles.
This is critically important when creating
content. If the method of learning is not
matched to the dominant learning style of the
individuals, they will not efficiently engage,
and the learning objectives and outcomes will
not be achieved.
What has changed however, is our
preference for the way in which we learn. This
isn't about changing our learning styles,
they're still vitally important, but it is about
changing the way we consume learning.
Today's generation of learners, and those of
decades to come, have grown up in an
increasingly digital environment, driving online
mobility and social networking. Not only that,
our lives seem to have become busier and
more chaotic, with increasing pressure to
complete tasks, including learning, in less
Less is more
Some might even argue that new
technologies, which are designed to simplify
our lives, often exacerbate the situation. And,
the new digital world has reduced our
attention span even further. We all know that if
a video is longer than 2-3 minutes we switch
off, and even this duration is becoming too
Enter the concept of bite-sized learning. There
are many definitions for this, often focussed
on how long it takes someone to complete
the training, and that typically, could be
anything up to ten minutes. Another way of
defining this, is creating 'snackable' content.
That is, people can consume and digest the
content when they have a spare moment in
There aren't many learning providers who
haven't yet adopted bite-sized learning and
it's driving the output of projects when it
comes to Instructional design.