Should Snack Learning Be Part of Your eLearning Toolkit?

Anthony Gratson SDI News

Recently, Jeff Hoxworth, a partner here at SDI Consulting, released a blog defining the appropriate role that technology could (and should, in many cases) play in supporting the learning experience. In it, he threw out the term “snacking”, which may be unfamiliar to many readers, particularly those new to the learning industry.

This model is simple to understand when we compare it to our eating habits and preferences.

In our ever-changing, fast-paced society, one-to-two hour meal times have (sadly, for some of us..) become a thing of the past, especially during the work-day.  Busy schedules have led to necessitating shorter, lighter meals or snacks throughout the day instead of those longer, heavier meals that may take a while to digest and cause the beloved “food coma”. Likewise, “snack learning”, as opposed to the traditional “full-meal” model, allows users to enjoy snack-sized, quickly digestible portions of information that fit easily into their busy schedules.

Many eLearning courses that follow the traditional “all-at-once” model require a significant amount of time to complete, which can lead to high amounts of frustration, information overload, and procrastination. “Snacking” provides a lighter, less-stressful context in which learners can bite off bits and pieces of the larger course during their break times, long commutes (as a passenger, of course!), airport wait times, etc.

Here at SDI, a large portion of our business is enterprise learning and talent development. We provide instructor-led courses, as well as web-based training, depending on our clients’ unique needs. Traditionally, we’ve provided full length eLearning courses, which typically incur a 30-60 minute seat time to complete. While this “traditional model” is still necessary for many of our clients, “snacking” has the potential to change the face (and reputation) of eLearning.

Not all organizations will benefit from this new application of learning, but it’s certainly worth considering.

Below are a few simple, yet key reasons to consider snack learning for your next eLearning experience.

  • Bite-sized format allows for easily digestible content
  • Flexible presentation of content adapts to even the busiest of schedules
  • Easier to navigate and reference back to specific content
Below are a few reasons to consider snack learning for Learning and Development (L&D) Departments:

  • High-level Instructional Design
  • Faster development time (relative)
  • Decreased use of “flash” style animations and interactions
  • Stream-lined information

In future blog posts, I’ll continue to expand on the benefits of Snack Learning for eLearning and L&D Departments.

The learning industry is always evolving and the need for new concepts and technology will continue to rise. Like any new delivery method, Snack Learning isn’t suitable for all eLearning solutions, but it certainly has its time and place. If you have any questions, please contact me directly or use the contact form provided on the website. As always, don’t forget to check back with us for more information on snack learning as well as many other technology solutions for enterprise learning.

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About The Author

Anthony Gratson

Anthony has helped design and develop custom learning solutions for several top national and global organizations such as Steelcase, Sears, Kellogg, and Wingstop, among others. Anthony brings a holistic approach to any technology solution thrown at him. Be it a solution that needs a technology piece or not, he always strives to push the envelope to deliver a solution that exceeds customer expectations.