We live in an era of mobile devices. These devices can be used to provide just-in-time (JIT) training information. Learners are able to access the information in real time, apply it instantly, and it enables them to access byte-sized information at their fingertips, anytime and anywhere.
Byte-sized information can be accessed by the learner at any time during short tea breaks, lunch or during spare time. Due to the shorter duration of training modules that match the adult attention span, which is also limited, the retention, understanding and applicability of the concepts on the job will be higher when compared to the results of longer training sessions. As an instructional designer, instead of delivering training over a continuous course, we can break the content into byte-sized chunks and present it effectively so that learners can easily fit into a free time slot in their busy daily schedules and also for those learners who are always on the move and need quick access to information. So then the question, of course is: what are we going to do about it?
Here are some ID tips for creating byte-sized learning modules.
1. Be Succinct
Nowadays everyone is so busy that nobody has the time to beat around the bush. Gone are the days when companies used lengthy courses, which had duration of 2 to 3 hours. Now, they prefer short modules for creating best learner experiences. For instance, when we are creating a course for medical representatives, it’s important to include only precise information about a particular drug instead of including information about all the drugs in a module. A busy medical representative, who needs to meet a physician, can quickly go through the required module of a particular drug on his mobile phone while travelling to the doctor’s clinic. This type of learning enhances the ability of the medical representative to handle the doctor’s queries effectively and convince the doctor to prescribe his company’s drugs.
2. Use Infographics
The proverb ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ means to convey a message using one picture. The main purpose of an infographic is to represent complex and large amount of information in a clear way so that it is understood at a glance. This is an excellent way to improve retention of information. If it is well-designed, it reduces the cognitive load and makes learning memorable. For example, a medical representative who needs to meet a physician can use his mobile to quickly go through an infographic, which is about how a drug acts on the different parts of the body. He can do this while travelling to the doctor’s clinic. This helps him handle the doctor’s queries effectively.
3. Use Videos
Videos are great tools to facilitate learning and they also help in holding learners’ interest and attention. For instance, when we consider the example of safety training for providing a safe workplace, companies such as in electronics, machinery, or chemical industries need to follow the regulatory guidelines. We can use a short video for the learners to keep them motivated and engaged, as they can get a ‘first-hand feel’ of safety operations; this will also help them do their job efficiently.Safety training to employees using mobile devices at the workplace helps reinforce safety practices at the workplace, thereby reducing the number of accidents.
4. Use Podcasts
Podcasts are nothing but online audio content that can be accessed anytime, anywhere as long as you have access to the Internet. They can be used to motivate sales teams, telecast interviews with new leadership, recognize team efforts, and so on. For example, we can use motivational and inspiring talks from the company CEO for their sales staff to help them sell better. It can be created even for essential information to be accessed by them before meeting with customers. Since it is readily available to them on their mobile devices, they have access to information just when they need it and this helps them sell better.
Thus, byte-sized learning avoids cognitive load, makes your employees feel a sense of accomplishment, and also makes them productive. It also provides effective just-in-time support for better business and learning outcomes. Please do share your thoughts on this matter.