By: Michael Croft
I’m sure many of us can relate to taking a course or training and thinking it could have been condensed or made leaner, while still providing the knowledge or skills we seek. Beyond removing “white noise,” perhaps the delivery methods and timing of the information could have been improved. As our attention spans get shorter and our task lists get longer, filtering out what we need when we need it is not a nicety, it’s a necessity. This is especially true for executive education and professional development.
Enter hyper-bursts. In the spirit of this article, a hyper-burst is a condensed term for hyper-specialization and learning bursts. Hyper-specialization is defined as dividing labor into ever smaller tasks performed by ever more specialized workers. For education, this concept provides interesting value propositions. It allows teaching methods and content to be unbundled and recombined to support more specialized and personalized training. It also improves the participant experience by delivering learning in focused bite-size chunks, or bursts.
Learning bursts are typically described as mini-courses or modules with condensed materials, short quizzes and contained discussions relevant to a focused topic. A group of bursts can make up a day or two of training or even a short course. The keys to a successful burst include the focus of the topic, the right compression of material and participant-aligned delivery methods.
Hyper bursts deconstruct training programs into bite-size chunks, or in Volute terms, tools. Learning tools are digital products, each one providing a specialized teaching or content delivery method, contributed by a worldwide community of thought leaders. These tools are essentially the embodiment of specialized tasks from thought leaders in their respective fields. By amassing unique tools – by way of a global ecosystem– providers of executive education and professional development can scale custom learning quickly and with efficient control.
When thinking about program delivery in terms of hyper-bursts, we must also consider engagement. As the name suggests, hyper-bursts should be engaging, interactive and fun. A collaborative economy of specialized and gamified learning tools provides efficient and innovative ways to construct and deliver such programs.
Michael Croft is founder and CEO of Volute, a global initiative and new collaborative economy for education.