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Content Chunking for Effective E-learning

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Content Chunking for Effective E-learning

Text-heavy eLearning courses are not very effective because the cognitive load on the learner is high. So, it is important to divide the content into “digestible” chunks to facilitate effective learning.

What is content chunking?

To enable faster reading and better comprehension, the e-learning course content is split into small chunks or pieces. It is one of the techniques that helps the learner recall efficiently. This method or technique is called as content chunking.

In eLearning, content chunking is the key to presenting content in the form of crisp sentences and bulleted or numbered lists. Instructional Designers need to break long strings of information into bite-sized absorbable pieces as they help learners to focus on one concept pertaining to a topic at one time.

How to chunk the content?

Content chunking is needed when you have heavy content related one topic and needs to be shown in one screen. In such cases, we have to divide the content into ‘Need to know’ and ‘Nice to know’ information.

‘Need to know’ information is essential for the learners to achieve the learning objectives and ‘Nice to know’ information will help them deepen their understanding of the concept. As you can see in the below screen shots, ‘need to know’ points can be shown on the screen and ‘nice to know’ information can be given in the form of examples.

How to chunk the content?

How to chunk the content?

Levels of Chunking

Chunking is done at two levels- at the course level and screen level.

Chunking at course level is determining the content hierarchy of an elearning course. We need to determine how modules, lessons and topics will be organized into a logical and progressive order.

Chunking at course level

It is recommended that each screen must explain one ‘learning point or unit’. So, chunking lessons into screens based on one key point that can’t be broken any further is called chunking at screen level. If the learning points are very small, you can explain more than one learning point in a screen, but try to limit to 3-5 ‘learning points’ per screen. Make sure you don’t explain more than five ‘learning points’ in one screen. The screenshots below show us how to chunk the on-screen content based on the key point.

chunking at screen level

chunking at screen level

Factors influencing chunking

Content chunking should be done considering factors like audio and visual strategies used, content type, screen size etc. to explain facts and principles, chunk the content as little as possible without changing the meaning.

So, consider the all the factors and chunk the content for effective eLearning courses. For more blogs on eLearning design and development, please visit

View eBook on Best Practices for Content Chunking to Create Cogent E-learning Courses


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