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The Art of Chunking (or How to Eat a Whale)

Mastering Chunking: Elevate Your eLearning with Allegro Media Design

Discovering the Art of Chunking: One Bite at a Time

You’ll find the answer in old magazines, books, and even a poem. How do you eat a whale? Not whole, of course, but one bite at a time. This ties into one of the most fundamental parts of delivering both high-quality and retainable content; chunking.

The Science Behind Chunking: A Research Insight

Chunking, as it implies, is the process of taking a large piece of content, or a large lesson, and dividing it into more easily digestible portions. In a 2016 study on how chunking helps content processing, researchers found learners were able to better visualize the content’s flow and organization when it was chunked. (Moran, 2016) They not only remembered more information but understood the overall lesson.

Strategies for Effective Chunking in eLearning

Instead of enduring the gauntlet of an hour-long lecture or presentation, or a slide with a word count into the thousands, learners easily preferred courses that were divided up and delivered in chunks. (Marzano & Haystead, 2009) This is because it helped them see how everything came together. What does chunking look like in eLearning? Well, we have strategies you can use in preparing content for your industry.

1. Write Shorter Paragraphs

You don’t need to present a textbook worth of information on each slide. Instead, use text to emphasize the overall message you want the learner to take from that slide.

2. Use Bulleted/Numbered Lists

This significantly helps information become more “digestible” for the learner.

3. Highlight Keywords & Information

If you really want to emphasize something, have it highlighted, bolded, italicized, or underlined to really deliver the message across. When our brains see something highlighted, we understand that it is important and we need to remember this.

4. Divide & Conquer

Again, sometimes it’s better to take one large lesson or course and divide it into multiple smaller lessons or courses. That way you can be more direct with what you want the learner to retain from each lesson.

5. Take a Round-Trip

With chunking, you’re able to begin with more specific objectives or competencies that the learner will master or retain, and finish by highlighting what this again. This will prioritize content processing and improve retention.

Embracing the Wholesome Perspective: Why Chunking Works

There is plenty more I could divulge just on chunking; from tips and tricks to stories and studies. After I studied, learned, and practiced chunking lessons I found my students were able to retain the content much easier, and they better understood how it related to everything and why I was teaching it. So when you prepare for your next eLearning course, ask yourself; How do I eat a whale?

A Gentle Reminder: No Whales Were Harmed in the Making of This Article

While the title of this article is about eating whales, we at Allegro Media Design love and appreciate all animals and wildlife and do not condone any actions which may bring harm to whales. No whales were harmed in the writing of this article, or research that we conducted.

Let's Chunk Together!

Ready to master the art of chunking and transform your eLearning experience? Allegro Media Design is here to guide you. Our innovative solutions drive results, making your training programs more effective and engaging. Don't let the challenges of eLearning overwhelm you—reach out to us today for a consultation. Let's elevate your learning journey together!