Apparently nanolearning is ‘taking over‘ the way students learn.

But what is nanolearning?

This is fast-paced learning.

It’s speedy.

To appeal to users, it’s ‘kwik’ learning.

This is learning that is ‘digested’ in bite-sized and often personalised chunks of low-friction content which is invariably digital and transmitted through engaging mutli-media-rich platforms like TikTok or a punchy YouTube video pill.

It is condensed, engaging and tells you what you need to know. It’s nugget-size content is easily consumed.

This is learning for the cognitively overloaded, time-poor and attention-poor who forget quickly most of what they have learnt.

Content is narrowed down to keep things simple so less is more and big topics are done in small pieces.

Learning in the nano style takes a minute or two tops. It’s short and sweet.

This is snack learning and contrasts sharply with classroom-based lessons with several courses or one big meal.

Nanolearning is described as groundbreaking and the way forward but this is not new.

This is an old concept but packaged in fancy wrapping with the gift-tags of spaced repetition, spacing effect and retrieval practice.

‘Little and often’ short learning spurts is something that has been around for years.

Does it work?

Yes, it can lead to higher levels of comprehension and retention of material because the lessons are short and highly-focused. Attention levels are higher too because the lessons don’t send students to sleep by being too long.

The problem is, most teachers don’t teach in the nano style but drown students in content and subject them to overly-long lessons where learning fatigue is guaranteed.

How many teachers have ever created their own multimedia nano-lessons? Even during pandemic lockdowns lessons were too long.

Hudervonik (2021) suggests schools should perhaps think about creating new positions for nanolearning course specialists who could collaborate with the teachers as content curators to develop a new style of lesson.

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