I stumbled on an article on e-learning that really articulated how e-learning can be effective in the workplace today. In “Workplace E-learning That Sticks,” Stephen Meyer, CEO of the Rapid Learning Institute, points out the ugly truth of a majority of e-learning: “Almost no one watches it.” Meyer writes that studies show two-thirds of users never even log in. As I’ve written before, most e-learning isn’t well designed or engaging. The answer? According to Meyer, “rapid learning” is where it’s at. “Rapid learning, or bite-size learning, is soft-skills e-learning for the modern Web-enabled, search-engine obsessed, YouTube addicted workforce.” Meyer outlines three basics for an effective e-learning program:
- Make e-learning modules short and sweet. Meyer recommends short bursts of learning delivered in under 10 minutes. “Even the busiest learners can find time to engage in a module that promises to be quick and focuses on developing a single valuable skill.”
- Make e-learning modules short and sweet. Yes, I’m repeating the first point because in addition to time constraints, learners also have cognitive limits. “When learners engage in 60-minute e-learning modules, they’re overwhelmed. They can’t effectively process all the information. So they never learn most of it and forget a good portion of the rest.” When learning is broken down into simple concepts, learners can absorb it and remember it.
- Technology has changed the way our brains function—we access information in seconds and quickly lose interest and move on to the next chunk of information—so e-learning should follow suit. “Rapid learning is designed to meet the modern brain on its own terms. Quick and engaging, the modules are effective for trainees who want their learning on-demand and on the go.