The term microlearning quickly became associated with digital training as it perfectly described the short, easily digestible learning modules which make up the majority of LMS content. Since Generation Z, or Zoomers, have entered the workforce with their famously shortened attention spans, a new approach has surfaced – nano learning.
Compared to microlearning’s ten-to-fifteen minute bite-sized training segments, nano learning’s two-minutes-and-less approach can be characterised more as short bursts.
The aim of nano learning is to attract learners’ attention so content can include videos, text messages and infographics. Features include:
- Less content
- Variety of learning modes
Comparison to microlearning
While microlearning modules are normally no longer than fifteen minutes and have a specific learning objective, nano learning modules do not exceed two minutes and only train a single skill within the learning objective.
Close similarities exist, they are both aimed at modern learners, are delivered digitally, and can be a low-cost solution.
Incorporating nano learning into your training
Identify what your staff want. Nano learning is not suited to everyone so find out the type of learning they prefer. Many employees will be happy maintaining a current microlearning approach and have enough of an attention span to effectively digest what is required.
Keep your content as short as possible. Break down your existing content into individual concepts or skills and choose the suited delivery method.
Changing needs and benefits
Organisations need to acknowledge and adapt to the changing needs and characteristics of their workforce. This might require the introduction of different training methods to achieve training objectives.
Many among the younger generation require a different learning style to gain the skills you require. This is why L&D teams are moving in a new direction which encompasses nano learning. The benefits include:
Delivering digital content that matches the consumption preferences of the younger audience.
Requires much less time and budget.
Easily keeps the learner’s attention through very short snippets of highly focused video and dialogue.
As the content is in such small pieces, training can be done alongside employees’ regular work. This makes it very handy for reskilling and upskilling.
As with any approach, there are potential drawbacks. Disadvantages can include:
- No face-to-face interaction, resulting in some learners feeling isolated.
- Staff do not learn as a team, it is a very individual delivery.
- Less practical, more theoretical learning activities.
- Not hands-on.
Nano learning is bound to continue to become more prevalent in corporate training as workforces evolve but can never completely replace other types training. Expect it to become another arrow in the quiver which includes blended learning, microlearning and hands-on, face-to-face practical skills training.