Drip-fed edutainment: managing the cognitive load in corporate e-learning

From breakthrough digestive meds to Hail Mary celery juice, there’s a growing concern about over-consumption. And not just when it comes to food.

Information overload is off the charts, thanks to a 24/7 firehose of social media and news, exponentially multiplying online data, and search options that today include artificial intelligence bots like ChatGPT.

This means that when it comes to corporate e-learning, it’s more important than ever to support mentally-taxed professionals in managing their cognitive load.

And that’s in addition to the challenge of engaging them in the first place.

Trickle-down solution

One solution is to drip-feed content, deliberately limiting the release of online instructional materials, allowing learners time to move new knowledge from working to long-term memory. The rise of LMS systems with sophisticated scheduling capabilities demos the popularity of this drip-fed strategy.

Releasing material in a set rhythm also lets learners log feedback on their progress, meaning instructional design can be more granular in adjusting to real learner needs, while also identifying potential barriers to understanding.

However, drip-fed e-learning must do more than simply get the delivery tempo right. It must also engage.

That’s why you need the one-two punch of edutainment – education blended with entertainment.

Drip fed edutainment

Pioneering edutainment

Edutainment education can be traced back to the 17th-century, with father of modern education Comenius’ concept of ‘school as play’. More recently, it’s tied to Walt Disney, who shot his first educational short film, Tommy Tucker’s Tooth in 1922 for the Deneer Dental Institute.

Today, thanks to digital apps and multimedia, edutainment in the classroom is fast becoming the norm in elementary and secondary schools.

By contrast, edutainment for adults is still in its infancy, especially in the corporate context. It’s still considered less than professional to blend learning with play, though with the Gen Z and Millennials in the workplace, the tide is slowly but surely changing.

Talent Hacks wants to speed that timeline up, anchoring learning in fun, curiosity, humor and imagination, while maintaining engagement.

That’s why we took a drip-fed edutainment strategy with our new Smart Course, ‘Dealing With People’. Released over five weeks, each module teaches professionals how to manage their workplace interactions according to their pre-assessed behavioral type. And have a blast.

But when we say edutainment… what do we actually mean? We’ll spill more of the beans, in our next post.