Snackable Learning – why businesses should adopt this power learning approach 

Friday, 24 July 2020 | Vaughan Reed

Have you ever been to a workshop for a full day of learning only to scratch your head when someone asks you just days later what you learnt? Long term retention of key learning is the biggest challenge organisations face when it comes to using traditional methods of learning and development such as face to face training, online workshops and online learning systems.

Fortunately there is a way to overcome these challenges by combining traditional and modern learning methods to form a 'power learning strategy' to improve the long term retention of key learning.

Snackable Learning  – the power behind the power learning strategy

You may not have heard the term ‘Snackable Learning’, however this is the special ingredient that will help you reach your magic long-term learning formula. Snackable Learning blends the best parts of microlearning (delivering short bursts of snackable content for learners) and nudge learning (positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as ways to influence behaviour) to powerfully combat the natural tendency for people to forget what they have learnt.

The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve highlights the decline of memory retention over time when there is no proactive attempt to consciously review or put into practice what was learnt immediately after training.

The curve implies that a large proportion of information is forgotten within the first few hours of learning, and only 25% of information is retained by the end of the week. In short, humans can't retain all of what they've learnt.

Many organisations are already aware of the issues surrounding the retention of information. As a result they are adapting their training, using methods like the 70:20:10 method, which focuses on experienced based learning.

The weighting of theoretical techniques versus practical techniques used in training depends on the subject matter and the extent to which reasoning (theory) and experience (practical) matters or is possible. Whichever learning method(s) you use within your organisation, there is one common denominator for them to be effective long-term and that is reinforcement. Whether learning is theoretical or practical, there is a clear need to reinforce key messages taught during those phases in the form of regular reminders and repetition.  

Repetition is the ticket to forming habits

Repetition "the mother of all learning" is the cornerstone of learning because it delivers the deep seated retention of information; transitioning the learning from conscious behaviour to subconscious habit. 

Traditional methods of learning provide the context of information, which is an important part of the learning process, but where workshops and online learning fall short, is the ability to deliver the frequency of key messages over time.

Snackable learning presents key messages in a bite-size format, which are easily seen and understood. This information is carefully planned to be delivered at the right intervals that will achieve the kind of spaced repetition required for key messages to be retained over time.

How do you deliver snackable learning?

Most organisations battle with finding ways to deliver key messages so that they reach and engage their entire workforce. From learning and development programmes through to more general communications such as; culture, health and safety, wellbeing and performance insights, it’s all information for the workforce that is critical for businesses to communicate effectively.

At Vibe, we’ve learnt there are 5 fundamentals for delivering effective communications within the workforce. These 5 fundamentals are the cornerstone of our Snackable Learning Framework©.

  1. Vibrant - messaging must be visual & lively, otherwise it won’t engage the audience. Our brains process visual content exponentially faster than text (60,000 times faster in fact!)
  2. Snackable - messages should be no longer than a tweet (140 char) otherwise it won’t be read
  3. Timely – information should be delivered with immediacy and remain up to date, otherwise it will lack relevance
  4. In your face – messages must be actively put in-front of your workforce – don’t expect people to hunt it out, because they won’t
  5. Frequency – You need to present the information with a high level of frequency. The “Rule of 7,” suggests people need to hear a message seven times before they will take action

Read more about our 5 fundamentals for effective communication

A platform designed with a Snackable Learning Framework©

It is extremely difficult to deliver these 5 fundamentals using standard communication methods, such as emails, intranets, noticeboards, posters or even collaboration tools like Teams, Facebook Workplace or Slack.

Just imagine pushing out a message via email or a collaboration tool and then needing to send the same or similar message 7 or 8 times to achieve ‘frequency’. Not only would it be time consuming and infuriate everyone, but the tool would become cluttered an ineffective for its originally designed purpose. 

Vibe's Snackable Learning Framework© delivers programs and messages in a way that cuts through the noise and significantly improves the reach and retention of key learning, which is essential for driving long term change.

Here at Vibe, we have developed a specialist internal communication platform that transforms the way organisations influence people performance through effective communications and learning & development initiatives within the workplace, using these five fundamentals. 

Vibe complements the learning process by delivering the well-timed repetition needed to reinforce take-away messages and actively places these messages in front of the workforce on a daily basis, in a highly visual and engaging format.


Article By Vaughan Reed [LinkedIn]
Vaughan is the Managing Director @ Vibe makes it easy for organisations to communicate business critical information in a way that will inspire today’s workforce.