Today’s mobile learners have an average attention span of eight seconds. Researchers claim that we have about the same concentration level as a goldfish. No wonder we’re so easily distracted!
However, the decrease in attention span is not the only problem. It’s the amount of information that’s available today that causes our minds to wander. And, it’s also the many technologies that are always at our fingertips.
Right now, I’m running two laptops… Oh, hang on a sec, my mobile phone just pinged that I have a text. Now, where were we? Aww, you should see this cute puppy video on Facebook!
We have infinite sources to capture our attention – and pull our focus away from what is important. So, how do we engage today’s mobile learners? We have to grab their attention with microcontent, microlearning, and by taking advantage of mobile learning and mobile apps.
Here are 7 ways to help capture the attention of distracted, mobile learners:
What is microcontent? It’s exactly what it sounds like – short bits of content. And it’s everywhere! While the idea has been around for a while, the use of mobile devices and social media platforms has taken the idea of microcontent to a whole new level. The wonderful thing about microcontent is that it communicates key messages in a concise form.
The good news is microcontent has created a whole new approach to learning – called microlearning. Gone are the days of all-day PowerPoint training sessions. Microlearning uses small, concentrated moments of learning to help break down content and drive performance and employee development.
That means distracted mobile learners can focus for short bursts of time on a specific topic. Mobile learners are also in control of what and when they’re learning. They can focus on the areas that they’re struggling with and brush up on those specific skills.
Provide Mobile Access
Your employees and sales team are on the go. Microlearning is great for busy employees or those who work in the field and may not even have a desk. By giving your employees access to a mobile learning platform, in the form of a mobile app, your staff and salespeople can access content anytime and anywhere.
The human brain is not wired to maintain focus for hours on end. Learning in stretches of 3-7 minutes matches the working memory capacity and attention spans of humans. Cut to the chase and drop the history, background information, and theories – instead deliver how-to’s and relevant, practical information.
Microlearning encourages repetition. You can repeat information and questions in different modules and formats to help cement comprehension and retention. If you’re struggling with certain content, you can review it as many times as needed to help you retain it.
Engage With Mobile Learners
Research suggests that microcontent delivered by mobile learning can increase information transfer by 17%. Compared to a day-long training session, mobile learning provides a greater comprehension of the material and increases retention of what has been learned.
Mobile learning encompasses a range of teaching techniques, including informative videos, diagrams, infographics, and fun, interactive quizzes that inspire learners. All of the above has been designed to be incredibly user-friendly, and to make it easy for those undergoing training to track their learning. You can imagine how this type of focused mobile learning can minimize interruptions and distractions.
Increase Your Bottom Line
Bite-sized content and mobile learning are viable solutions to help solve the problem of distracted learners. On top of that, mobile learning can reduce the costs of training and save money on instructors, classrooms, and equipment. It’s also easy to update digital information in real-time versus printing costly training materials. And because mobile learning courses can be modular, it’s less time-consuming to roll out new training and educational content.
If you made it all the way to the end of this article, congrats! You have an amazing attention span. And that reminds me, I need to go feed my goldfish.
Built on the simple concept of the flashcard, the CatalystXL mobile app can be up-and-running in as little as 48 hours (yes, really). CatalystXL makes it easy to share, access, and learn any kind of information – all from a smartphone (or any other connected device). Our mission: get knowledge into people’s hands – literally.