Using Decreasing Attention Spans to your Advantage

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We have been constantly bombarded with data-driven reports and survey-results that mark the sharp dip in learner attention-spans. These reports also highlight the reduced attention span among learners in the corporate world. The influx of smartphones and the tendency to immediately ‘Google’ and find answers has created two problems. One – memory capacity of learners is reducing and two – the dwindling attention spans. Still not convinced? Can you recall your spouse’s or parents’ phone number? Or do you still rely on your phone ‘contacts list’ to dial the number? That’s a quick reality check to showcase our growing reliance on ‘smart devices’ that’s actually making us a bit dumb.

The biggest challenge that L&D Managers have to tackle in training staff is to deliver engaging eLearning content that shows measurable results in improving the productivity or performance of staff. In this blog post, we will look at some solutions that will help learning leaders make the corporate eLearning content interesting and impactful.

corporate eLearning

Here’s how you can overcome decreasing attention spans in learners in corporate eLearning

Video Nuggets

Research studies state that in the next couple of years, 80% of traffic on the Internet will be dedicated to just videos. This shows the kind of impact they have in terms of the growing consumption of videos and the ever-increasing demand for quality videos.  Would it not be wonderful to tap into the power of videos to drive your employee-learning? Invest in creating video nuggets that are brief – 3 to 5 minutes in duration that can be viewed easily on mobile phones.

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Micro Learning and Mobile Learning

Micro Learning that can be delivered on the smart-phone is not just restricted to videos. You can create customized apps that offer learning, SMS-alerts that send one key learning in each SMS, and small quizzes to assess learning. With smartphones being marked as the number one cause for attention deficit and delay in learning; use them to your advantage by moving a portion of employee learning to the smartphone itself.

Game-Based Learning

When you combine games into the eLearning content; it automatically improves the attention-levels. People love challenges and puzzles that they can solve; this is why mobile games are so popular.

How do we make corporate learning more engaging and interesting?

We can make corporate learning engaging and interesting by incorporating games within the learning framework with suitable rewards that motivate learners to complete the learning programs.

Social Learning and Personal Learning Networks

Do you ever wonder why Facebook and Instagram are so popular? They feed the innate desire of all humans to be ‘liked’ to get that feeling of ‘fame’, which Facebook and Instagram offer as instant gratification through ‘likes’, ‘shares’, and ‘comments’. Why should corporate eLearning be confined to boring presentations and self-paced learning that just integrates template instructional videos? Add the social quotient to learning by allowing learners within a group to challenge themselves to complete modules and assessments. Integrate digital badges that learners can win and flaunt on their social profiles.

IBM Leads the Way

IBM the global tech-giant has a pre-defined set of rules called IBM Social Computing Guidelines, which puts the onus on its employees for self-regulatory posting of content. With a dedicated internal wiki, personal learning network, and collaboration platform for all employees, IBM continues to innovate and foster internal learning.  IBM had a successful social & collaborative platform called Beehive (Social Blue), which ran till 2011. IBM’s intranet for its employees now integrates all features within it. Additionally, IBM now offers customized intranet and social learning solutions for other organizations. An excellent example of how a business evolves, by taking an internal product, fine-tuning it, and offering it to others for a good price.

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We are at an interesting phase of technology advancements in the learning industry. With AI and VR making their presence felt in customized eLearning solutions, the focus will be on re-imagining traditional corporate learning and personalizing it to each learner’s needs. As organizations seek to boost employee morale and retain the best talent by offering them value-added learning services; it is important for L&D practitioners to think outside the box.

As a L&D practitioner or an eLearning specialist, how do you think you can hold the attention of your learners? Please share your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.


One comment

  1. Our immense ability is to think.
    This is increasingly becoming a hypothesis.
    System check should be in regular interval to assess one’s growing distraction. So, one could take appropriate steps to come back to basics.

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