Got 90 minutes? Get learning!

Corinna Ruhl

“Who’s got the time for a full day of training?” is a common question from both leaders and their staff. While The Performance Group continues to deliver dynamic and interactive full-day workshops, we have been developing innovative ways to deliver similarly transformative learning experiences in segments. Breaking training into 90-minute learning segments has the following benefits:

  • Increases accessibility – Most people can get away for a planned and productive 90 minutes to learn and network with their peers.
  • Optimizes attention – 90 minutes is the natural length of our attention span before we need a physical break.
  • Promotes practice – Participants can put their skills and knowledge to work between segments.
  • Maximizes retention – Beginning with a quick review of the previous segment ensures retention of key concepts over time.

Learning with peers in a classroom setting is ideal, but the above benefits are the same for learners who are spread out geographically and using virtual collaboration tools. Contact us to learn more about how segmented learning can work for your organization!

An Interview with Amanda Murphy from the Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund 

The Performance Group facilitated five 90-minute “Knowledge Expert as Trainer” sessions for ATRF in November and December 2015. Amanda Murphy, Human Resources Manager at ATRF, administered the program and also participated as a learner. 

Why did ATRF choose segmented learning? 

“Like everyone else, we are really busy. We have a lot on our plates. Smaller chunks of learning would be less overwhelming for participants and it was easier for us to get our schedules aligned.” 

What was the biggest advantage of segmented learning? 

“The segments started at 9 a.m., so people were going in focused, not distracted by what’s happening at work. Because the learning segments only took up a small portion of the day, participants weren’t worrying, ‘I know I’ve got 30 emails piling up right now…’ Participants knew the learning schedule ahead of time and were able to plan accordingly.” 

What happened between sessions? 

“Participants knew there was a final project on the last day, and they were invested. They put significant thought into it and were really taking it seriously, even discussing their projects in the lunchroom.”  

What feedback did you receive? 

“Participants approached me directly to provide feedback. In the hallways, they would say, 'That was really awesome!' and 'I really enjoyed the session!' Some participants were initially concerned that the training would involve a lot of theory, but The Performance Group made sure the information stayed at a level that was practical and relevant to day-to-day work. Participants appreciated the comfortable and confidential learning environment. They felt that their insights were heard and they made valuable contributions.” 

What changes did you see as a result of the training? 

“A big change was that team leads started having bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with their team members. There have been huge relationship building benefits.” 

Would you recommend segmented learning to other organizations? 

“100%! We definitely got our money’s worth out of the training.” 

What advice would you give other organizations considering segmented learning? 

“Having small groups is key. Success had a lot to do with engagement. There was a lot of back and forth between participants. We got everyone’s insights.”