Learning Morsels and Learning Feasts

Reading ‘Binge Learning’ is Online Education’s Killer App, I thought, “Wow, what a great insight!” Then of course I also thought, “But…”

My biggest use of online learning resources is looking up discrete bits of information for something I need to know. From new recipes to new tax codes, I mostly use the internet in a just-in-time training approach. Many “morsels” of learning. Like Spanish tapas.

Last weekend I needed to repair my lawn mower. By cobbling together several sources of how-to videos, I created my own “short course” on small engine repair. With just a screwdriver and my iPhone, the mower was running within 30 minutes.

Too much of corporate training provides “full meal” courses when what most employees mainly need are nibbles of learning. Bite-sized performance support to look up a seldom used function, a 15-minute video training on a procedural change, or a highlights tour of new product features.

Of course, some employees may need — their job performance require — a deeper knowledge and application of new product features. For them, the full meal is desired. So, back to the idea of “binge learning” with a salesforce gorging themselves on the big and small details.

Because of diverse workforce experiences and knowledge, it is difficult to know which size of training to offer without a needs analysis. Training departments often provide a smorgasbord or buffet approach. Have as much or as little as you need.

The killer app of online learning resembles more of full-range dining experience: well-prepared and finely paired choices matched and ordered up to individual learning needs.