Nano Learning: A Beginner’s Guide

Nano learning is emerging as a prominent trend within the education, learning and development, and training sectors. It represents a highly effective method of disseminating content in small, easily digestible segments, enhancing learners’ capacity to absorb and retain information.

The fundamental concept might ring a bell – the practice of breaking down learning into smaller components for better assimilation is a cornerstone in various learning models. Similar to bite-size and micro learning models, the nano learning model operates on the principle that smaller increments of information are more manageable and memorable than larger blocks.

The nano learning method has garnered attention recently due to its strategic alignment with the evolving landscape of learners’ attention spans. Positioned as the next stage in the progression of learning models, nano learning is anticipated to enhance learning outcomes while reducing the time required to acquire knowledge, aligning with the well-recognized Pareto principle, where 20% of efforts yield 80% of results.

What is Nano Learning?

Nano learning represents a natural progression from bitesize learning. Similar to other forms of micro-learning, nano learning is not positioned as a substitute for eLearning but rather as a complement to it. While the bitesize model involves breaking down learning into manageable touchpoints, each typically focused on a single learning objective, the nano learning model takes this methodology a step further by condensing it into even smaller touchpoints. When these nano touchpoints are combined, they form a comprehensive picture of learning.

Think of nano learning as a new avenue within connectivism, educating learners through a network of nodes that collectively build knowledge on a specific topic or course. These nodes often correspond to lessons on individual learning objectives, and the network represents the overarching structure created through each node. Nano learning frequently utilizes short videos, posters, infographics, and other media to deliver content in an engaging and efficient manner.

The driving force behind nano learning is the imperative to remain relevant. Swiftly capturing the learner’s attention is crucial, necessitating a departure from lengthy training courses. Even microlearning and bitesized learning are losing appeal among learners due to the increasing demands on time, focus, and effort required to retain information.

What’s the difference between nano learning and bite-size learning?

Nano learning distinguishes itself from bitesize learning through two primary avenues:

  1. Learner attention span focus: Nano learning acknowledges that the average attention span is notably shorter than commonly perceived. To address this, nano learning aims to craft content that imparts the necessary learning objective within ideally less than 2 minutes.
  2. Lesson format approach: Nano learning must also tailor its format to align with this abbreviated attention span. While adhering to a single stream of learning concentrated on one learning outcome at a time, nano learning incorporates explicit calls to action to ensure prompt results.

What is an example of a Nanolearning?

Consider these inconspicuous examples of nano learning in daily life:

On Social Media: Nano learning permeates platforms like TikTok, where content, often under 2 minutes, covers diverse topics. This exemplifies how a single objective can be easily accessible through short videos. TikTok fosters community-based nano learning, allowing users to share knowledge collaboratively in brief videos, enhancing engagement.

At Work: Unbeknownst to many, daily work routines involve nano learning, from office infographics to email reminders. Casual chats with colleagues about projects or weekend plans embody nano learning principles, sparking interest in a single objective.

At Home: Nano learning seamlessly integrates into everyday life, efficiently conveying knowledge. This mirrors advertising strategies on TV, where quick attention-grabbing narratives aim to leave a lasting impression. The same principle applies to product packaging, like cereal boxes or plant milk cartons, using minimal space and time to communicate information effectively.

Ideas To Help You Create Nano-Learning

Incorporate these examples into your educational and training programs:

  • Video Tutorials: Short tutorials swiftly introduce concepts or skills, explaining processes visually. They complement longer materials or serve as nodes in a nano learning network.
  • Podcasting and Audio Lessons: Engage learners with interactive audio for quick explanations and examples. Use shorter formats for nano-bites or longer ones, like podcasts, for bite-sized learning initiatives.
  • Interactive Quizzes: Test knowledge, aid revision, and identify areas for further study. Non-multiple choice quizzes add gamification, encouraging engagement and reinforcing learning.
  • Infographics: Quickly convey complex information visually. Ideal for explaining concepts or providing a brief overview when traditional formats may be challenging.

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