Traditional learning is often structured so that it requires participants to spend hours at a time on classes and readings. Finding the time can be a challenge for busy library staff. To address this challenge, the upcoming Infopeople initiative, Building an Effective Learning Culture, will incorporate a “bite-sized learning” (also called microlearning) approach.
Bite-sized content consists of short learning nuggets (maybe 3 to 7 minutes long) designed to meet a specific learning outcome. To better explain the hows and whys of this innovative approach, I talked to Infopeople instructors Stephanie Gerding and Crystal Schimpf and also to Infopeople Training Manager Lisa Barnhart to learn more about their thoughts and feelings about bite-sized learning.
Why is Infopeople using this approach for the new initiative?
“Bite-sized learning has seen a surge of popularity for the modern learner who is many times overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. Packaging learning in smaller pieces allows us to not only process ideas and concepts quickly, but also create a customized learning experience as we use our own unique perspective to connect these smaller “building blocks” into more foundational concepts,” explains Training Manager/Instructional Designer Lisa Barnhart.
How does bite-sized learning address what we know about how adults learn?
“Educational psychologists have developed learning principles, which support the fact that learning occurs most effectively when instruction is doled out in small segments. There should be time in between to process and practice, with links made between new ideas and previous learning or experience, and learners should be actively engaged with the material and with each other. BELC combines all of these elements into a fun experience that will change your library culture!” shares Stephanie Gerding, Library Consultant, Infopeople Instructor and author of The Accidental Technology Trainer.
What are the benefits to bite-sized learning?
Crystal Schimpf, Library Consultant and Infopeople Instructor explains, “As a learner, I really like bite-sized content because I can take in new ideas one piece at a time. Some days I might have a lot of time and can cover several pieces, but other days I might only cover one piece of content.
As an instructor, I like designing bite-sized content because it forces me to really focus on key concepts, one at a time. It helps keep me on track and on point.
Bite-sized content is great for libraries because it can be difficult for library staff to find time to attend longer trainings. Bite-sized content gives staff a chance to learn piece by piece, and to integrate new ideas into daily routine.”
If your team is interested in building a stronger learning culture at your library, but you’re not sure how to find the time to focus on it, consider applying (hurry – deadline approaching soon) to participate in the upcoming initiative. The bite-sized content will make it easy to fit learning in to your busy schedules.
More information and a link to the application can be found at http://www.infopeople.org/belc.