Nano learning, or as it’s sometimes called, “micro learning,” is all the rage. Fun fact from Wiki: Nano is a unit prefix meaning “one billionth,” used in science and electronics for prefixing units of time and length. And, while certainly not new, nano learning is increasingly making its presence known in the online learning community – for good reason. Nano learning delivers short (hence its namesake), scalable, targeted learning opportunities that are both convenient and accessible in 15 minutes or less. An emerging trend in continuing professional education, these bursts of educational content have the potential to close knowledge and skill gaps by covering a single objective in a brief, thoughtful way.

On first glance, nano learning may seem particularly appealing to Millennials (who, according to Pew Research, now comprise the largest generation in the workforce), and this is true to an extent. According to Abila’s own Member Engagement Study, focusing on Millennials and ensuring their engagement from day one creates greater opportunity for sustained growth and a brighter future for your association.

However, one of the greatest things about nano learning is it appeals to a wide range of learners and demographics at any stage of the career lifecycle. Members of all ages enjoy (and require) the flexibility to learn on-the-go in a way that is approachable, scalable, and meaningful. This not only translates into increased member participation in online education programs, but the potential for higher retention rates as topics are pared down and targeted.

Nano learning also presents a particularly interesting opportunity to diversify an organization’s revenue stream. For example, existing content can be trimmed, repackaged, and reused with relatively minimal effort. It could also be included in your member benefits package in the form of a subscription series. The options abound. For example, the videos can also be easily shared across social media networks important to the topic at hand, but also to raise awareness and interest in your organization and its offerings or perhaps as part of a campaign. Nano learning also provides opportunities to reach out and prime learners before an event or bolster or reinforce the learning after an event.

Hard to believe one billionth of anything could carry so much weight.

Step one to using nano learning in your online education programs is finding the right technology to support it. Leading learning management systems, such as Abila Freestone, make it easy to create, manage, and deliver your nano learning.