Trends in Learning and Development: Nano Learning

By Freddy Mitchell, Dr. Laura Hume & Kenny Simon

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Nano learning

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: We use nano learning really every day.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Learning in little bitty chunks at point of need.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: If I’m in Excel and don’t know how to use a formula, or forget what process I use to create a new worksheet, I can instantly use an internet search engine or look on YouTube and find that specific point-of-need that I’m look for right then and there.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: And we know from all of the research that it’s best to learn something when you’re actually using it.

Kenny Simon – Client Director: I have a little drone…it’s like one of these little-bitty ones…I just fly it in the house. For example, we can take a 2 hour e-learning, which would probably be pretty painful, and chunk it into 15 minute segments, teaching to key concepts in each of those 15 minute segments, when needed.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: It’s to know where people are going to fail and try to come up with the asset that’s going to fix that.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: The frustration with nano-learning is it’s one of those “build it and they will come” content pieces.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Chief learning officers feel like they’re building these assets, sending them forth into the world, and they have no idea if they’re getting a return on their investment.

Freddy Mitchell – Client Director: It’s probably not tied to a curriculum, probably not tied to a learning development plan - it’s really hard to know if it’s going to be impactful.

Dr. Laura Hume – Director, Learning and Development: Sometimes we have job aids and performance supports - I would group that under nano-learning if it’s thoughtfully and intentionally done. One way to work around that though, is to target the supervisor. So, yes the nano asset may be focused on the employee, but if you train the supervisors to be able to look for those insighting events, and be able to coach their employees “hey, there’s a little video available, I’d like you to watch it” and then be able to do focus groups and back with that supervisor level- it will give you some ammunition that what you’re developing is worthwhile and we’ll also be able to see some trends.

Dr. Laura Hume, Kenny Simon, Freddy Mitchell: Nano? (making hand gestures) I thought that was “live long and prosper”? No, that’s vulcan..? Oy.