Director of Learning Solutions Allen Communication Learning Services
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5 Ways Your eLearning Can Address Short Attention Spans

28th Jul 2016
Director of Learning Solutions Allen Communication Learning Services
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It's an exciting time in the world of business. Today, we are able to quickly and easily reach clients around the world, and positions can be filled by the best and the brightest as business owners can browse through hundreds of applicants on sites such as LinkedIn. However, along with all these exciting innovative advancements, there's a problem that's impacting business owners around the world.

A recent study by Microsoft Corporation has revealed that our digital lifestyle has had a negative impact on attention span. Over the past decade, this time has shortened on average from 12 to eight seconds. However, there is an answer in custom eLearning when it comes to training your employees. Here are five ways you can address short attention spans.

1. Divide and Conquer

One of the worst things you can do to someone with a short attention span is to present them with seemingly endless learning material. The key is to divide and conquer. This can be done by simply separating the longer eLearning courses into smaller modules.

For example, if you have a course that lasts for two hours, you can break that up into ten sessions lasting only 12 minutes each. This amount of time is less overwhelming, and you'll be surprised at how much more your employees will take in and remember after each session is over. Also, avoid keeping any one slide up for longer than 20 seconds as this can cause viewers to start focusing on the pictures and not the educational content.

2. Keep It Fun

When incorporating eLearning in your business, it's important to keep the environment fun and encourage interaction. Nobody likes to be talked at in a classroom, especially those with a short attention span. Instead, think of ways you can get everyone actively involved during employee onboarding. Just a few ideas you can consider include:

  • creating games and awarding points to those with correct answers
  • integrating leader boards to encourage competition
  • offering prizes

Attention tends to wander, but it's difficult for that to happen when eLearning participants feel as though they are actively involved in the activities at hand.

3. Hold Off On The Big Picture

We live in a world highly driven by instant gratification. With this being said, it's important to understand the nature of eLearning in the business place. These sessions are conducted in order to address a specific area of concern, and employees are prepared to learn new skills that will help them immediately following the session.

If you find yourself focusing on how the material will help in the long term, you could lose the focus of your participants. Instead, try to focus on how the material will be of direct benefit to them as soon as they get back on the production floor.

4. Highlight Core Concepts

Let's face it. Many of the courses we have taken in our lives were full of clutter, and it seemed you had to read dozens of paragraphs just to grasp a simple concept. As you attempt to keep the attention of your audience, you should keep it simple.

Your eLearning course pages should be kept to-the-point, and pertinent points should also be highlighted to help them stand out. Aside from offering too much information, also keep in mind that an overabundance of pictures and graphs can also have the opposite effect intended when it comes to keeping the students engaged in the material.

5. Take Time for Breaks

Any learner with a short attention span understands the need to take a break from material in order to truly take it in and understand it. That's what makes eLearning a great choice for them to utilize.

eLearning accommodates for people with busy schedules or who may just need to run some personal errands on any given day. They are able to more easily learn at their own pace. Within your eLearning modules, it's worthwhile to integrate various pause points to encourage these types of breaks along the way.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Human beings are innovative creatures, and we have certainly proven that over the past several decades. However, when we allow our own advancements to impact the way we process information in a negative manner, we put ourselves in danger. That's why eLearning has proven so much success.

Through its use, you can encourage your employees to increase their attention spans, and this can allow them to become more productive and improve their overall quality of work. By understanding these five ways eLearning can address short attention spans, you can be on your way to developing a stronger team that can help you keep up with the growing competition.

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