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Pete Simpson

Managing Director

Amphigean

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

time.

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

long.

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

the day.

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.

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