Nano-learning: The Next Major Advancement in Training

05.25.2016 Articles

Written By Anthony Gerstner, Training Manager at BDSmktg

Technology is ever evolving, with each successive generation bringing more to our fingertips than ever before. By and large, the majority of our technology is designed to make things more efficient. Put another way, we just want to “get to the point.” DVRs allow us to skip the commercials to get back to our program, cell phones allow us to make a phone call from wherever we are, and the Internet makes finding information faster than at any point in history.

As human beings, we yearn to cut out all the fluff so we can get to what matters. As such, training continues to evolve to cut out as much extraneous detail as possible so the learners can simply get to the point and hear what it is they need to.

Thus, nano-learning (i.e. microlearning) has come to the forefront of training departments within many organizations. We’ve learned it takes a lot to keep the attention of your training participants. Oftentimes, they become overwhelmed quickly, and can’t process what it is that they are supposed to be learning when they are sitting and simply being hammered over and over again with new pieces of information.

Nano-learning helps us cut out all the noise and just focus on what matters. The learning is meant to be quick, sometimes as little as a minute and never over 15 minutes. You take content that was originally all bunched together and break it out into separate “quick-hit” courses. Learners are able to access this content on their own and take it at their own pace, never being overwhelmed or worn down.

This style also forces the instructional designer to focus just on what matters, cutting out the “fluff” in a training course, so that the content can fit into the limited time format. Now, the learners get their wish and the content simply jumps straight to the point and they learn exactly what is necessary for them to learn.

BDS is currently going through a complete overhaul of all of our course content to adapt to the ever-changing tastes of our audience. All of our new online courses are designed for nano-learning, and all older content is being re-imagined so that all of our employees can view the content in their own time. They’ll also know they’ll never have to spend more than 15 minutes on any course on their screen.

“The nano-learning strategy is a seamless parallel to our employee’s needs for just-in-time information, allowing them to learn a specific area, when they need it,” says Scot Maurath, BDS’ Learning Design Director.

With nano-learning, participation, retention, and satisfaction in training is all improved. We expect to have our employees even more engaged with our learning courses, and executing more effectively as a result of this nano-learning initiative, thus bringing new value to all of our clients.