Bite-sized learning, the modern learner, reinforcement, performance support and shrinking attention spans were key themes this week at the Learning Solutions conference in Orlando, Florida. The sessions were well attended by eager learning experts. But even with this high interest, as I looked around during the 60-minute sessions, many attendees were:
- Taking notes
- Checking and answering email
- Googling the topic / speaker for additional info
- Engaging with social media
- Playing games
We are all modern learners—we know how this works. We are impatient, distracted, overwhelmed and we can do a heck of a lot with our mobile devices in 60 minutes. In fact, sitting still, staring at a PowerPoint may be the only thing that we CAN’T do during a one-hour period!
The Learning Solutions conference brings together the brightest minds around teaching and learning. The outputs are incredible and the message is clear: The time is now for the transformation of learning. Organizations are hungry to adapt to this change and the conversation is nothing if not passionate:
- Adjust training to meet the needs of the modern learner – we are overwhelmed, impatient, distracted and we are always connected. Keep sessions short, fun, personalized to individual needs/roles and make them accessible anywhere and anytime.
- Bite-sized is the right size! Small bursts of learning served up over time is far more effective than an hour’s worth of training served up at a single point in time.
- Learning and reinforcement is a critical partnership – without reinforcement, learners lose up to 70% of what they learned within 24 hours. Reinforcing learning with spaced interval repetition, following a training session, can bring learning up to a 90% retention rate.
We are ready and hungry for the transformation. Based on the themes, knowledge and passion expressed during the conference this week it is clear that the demand by the modern learner for a new approach to learning is very close to being realized in a very exciting, transformational way. We may yet see the “transformation of learning” that so many have been speaking of.
Written by Jennifer Buchanan