Drip-Feed: the intuitive learning method that will help you improve knowledge retention

SKL-PORTADA Drip-feed course content

How many times have you taken a training course and had all the content dropped into your lap at once, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, and without any grasp on the key concepts? This happens because our brain is not designed to process large amounts of information simultaneously. The sudden influx of training content can overload a student’s ability to think clearly.

If you want to prevent the same thing from happening to your employees, then you’ll need to combine various learning formats and strategies. One of the most effective of these is the drip-feed, which involves delivering training content in small doses spaced out consistently over time. This prevents information overload, and ensures that employees have adequate time to understand and apply what they have learned during their course.

So, are you eager to learn what’s it all about? In this article, we’ll take a close look at what drip-feed is, discover its benefits, and explore how you can integrate it into your L&D strategy.

What is drip-feed and how does it work in training?

Drip-feed learning, also known as drip-feeding, is a training method that consists of delivering content in short, digestible modules or ‘learning pills’.

These pieces of content are distributed to students at regular intervals, usually over a period of several days or weeks. They typically include audiovisual material, exercises and interactive resources, which help to encourage engagement and reinforce learning.

According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), drip-feeding increases the quality of knowledge retention and application: “when someone absorbs new knowledge, their brain forms delicate neural connections. Using spaced learning techniques like drip-feeding allows those connections to strengthen over time.”

5 advantages of drip-feed learning: What makes it such an effective technique?

We’ve already mentioned that drip-feeding allows for better uptake of knowledge. But that’s not all. This technique offers a range of further advantages that will improve the outcome of your training plan:

  • Greater engagement: By breaking down content into easily digestible pills, drip-feed learning keeps students more engaged throughout the whole learning process.
  • Enhanced flexibility: The drip-feed method adapts to the specific needs of students, allowing them to learn at their own pace.
  • Improved knowledge retention: Presenting information in controlled stages allows it to be absorbed and stored in the long-term memory, and then effectively retrieved when necessary.
  • Deeper learning: The drip-feed allows students to reflect on what they’re learning, and apply it to their daily routine, before moving on to the next module in the sequence.
  • Reduced stress: With drip-feeding, learners no longer feel pressured and overwhelmed by having to complete large training modules in a short period of time. Instead, they can tackle the challenge gradually, at their own pace.

The challenges and disadvantages that drip-feeding can pose to your company

Alongside its many advantages, it’s also important to consider some of the potential challenges that drip-feed learning can present. This will allow you to ascertain if it is the right technique to help you develop the talent of your team.

  • It requires some planning: Drip-feed learning does require additional planning and effort when compared to traditional teaching methods. This is because the content needs to be divided into short modules, and the whole process must therefore be carefully designed to optimize the learning that takes place.
  • Not all students appreciate the format: Not everyone enjoys learning gradually with structured spaces. Some students may in fact prefer to take in all the content at once, so they can gain a complete overview of the topic – although this is not always recommended.
  • It requires the implementation of platforms or tools: In order to successfully implement a drip-feed strategy, you need to have the right tools. For example, you’ll need an e-learning platform that allows you to create and organize learning modules, plan and time their release, monitor student progress, provide feedback, and allow users to communicate.
  • It involves a change of mindset: Drip-feed learning demands a change in the mindset of both trainers and students. Trainers must be willing to adapt their teaching methods, while students must be prepared to learn in a different way. Have you ever heard of the growth mindset? By developing a growth mindset, the professionals in your company will be open to innovate in their learning methods.

The difference between drip-feed and on-demand content

Drip-feed and on-demand content are two fairly similar online training methodologies, both in wide use today. However,it’s important not to confuse them, and there are some key differences between the two:

Content structure

  • Drip-feed: Content is broken up into short, self-contained modules. Each focuses on a specific topic, and is designed to be consumed in a short period of time.
  • On-demand content: Content can also be organized into separate modules, but these may not necessarily be short or self-contained. They can be longer, and cover a series of related topics.

Flexibility of learning for the student

  • Drip-feed: The pace of learning is controlled by the trainer, who releases content according to a sequential training schedule. Students can only access each new module once they have completed the previous one 100%.
  • On-demand content: Here, students control the pace of their own learning, since they can freely access any module at any time.

Content Distribution

  • Drip-feed: As we’ve seen, in drip-feeding, content is delivered to students in small doses, at pre-established intervals.
  • Content on demand: Students have access to all training content from the outset. They can choose which learning module they want to study, and when they want to study it.

Clearly understanding your training objectives will help you decide which of these methodologies is best. However, the ideal choice is likely to be a combination of the techniques that work well for your team. This will help you establish continuous, personalized training for your professionals.

Let’s get to work: how to implement drip-feed learning

Now that we know that drip-feed learning is an effective training method that can help improve both knowledge retention and engagement, let’s see how you can implement it in your company. With the right tools and techniques, it can be a success. Take note:

  • Use a microlearning app

It’s estimated that 47% of companies currently plan to implement microlearning in their L&D plans. This method aims to provide continuous training through microcontent.

The objective? Reinforce learning and improve knowledge retention by integrating training into employees’ daily tasks, ensuring that learning stays constant and relevant.

If you’re interested in this method, then we recommend isEazy Engage, the employee app that allows you to create personalized training plans packed with multimedia and interactive micro-content. These pieces of micro-content are short, focused learning units designed to be consumed anytime, anywhere.

  • Offer focused, agile courses

Another option is to offer your employees short courses to help them learn new skills, techniques, and processes quickly and efficiently. Ideally, you can provide a catalog of courses that last between 15 and 20 minutes each and are built to slot into employees’ daily routines.

Sounds good? Then it’s time for you to discover isEazy Skills, the market’s leading catalog of power skills courses. Our Essential Facts courses are practical, agile and 100% accessible, designed from the ground up so that your team can develop new skills quickly and effectively.

In short, drip-feeding is a highly effective training methodology that offers a multitude of benefits to both employees and companies. Take advantage of this technique to transform your team’s learning experience, and help them not only to acquire knowledge easily, but also apply it effectively in their daily working lives.

Ready to get started? Request a demo of isEazy Skills today, discover our complete range of micro-learning courses, and get your team going with continuous training.

Josefina Castelán


Josefina Castelán

Content Marketing Specialist at isEazy

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