Current Awareness Strategy Blog

How can nano-learning take your end-user training to the next level?


It’s nearly that time of year again! We are ready to introduce new joiners, trainees and students to their library and information training. Over the past few years, we have seen a revolution in innovative knowledge sharing - remote learning, interactive sessions, virtual reality tours, and creative ways of keeping people engaged. Vable has also been exploring short webinars and looking at ways to inspire learning and development.

Looking for more library induction ideas?

If you need some end-user training inspiration, it is worth looking at what Beth Flerlage and the library and information team are doing at the Middle Temple. They have embraced the “nano” approach to training. Their collection of video sessions is short, sweet, targeted and carefully crafted. In this post, I look at why this training method is so successful and how you can get started. 

Nano-training: The Tik-Tok approach to educating end users

You may already be familiar with microlearning, which delivers compact yet comprehensive training in short bursts. Nano-learning or nano-training takes this concept even further, offering brief sessions lasting between a few seconds and two minutes. This condensed format allows users to acquire new skills quickly, catering to their desire for immediate and easily digestible knowledge.

Think of it as the "BBC Bitesize" approach to training. Multimedia presentations, interactive quizzes, concise notes and appealing infographics capture learners’ attention and facilitate rapid recall and learning. 

This game-changing method involves the creation of short instructional videos that provide bite-sized training opportunities. By breaking down complex topics into digestible nuggets, nano-training improves information retention, facilitates visual learning, and caters to the ever-present demand for “just in time” training.

Practical points to consider

Implementing nano-training within your library requires careful planning and execution. What should you think about if you want to put together these kinds of resources?

What are good topics to focus on?

Start with common queries. Your query management system will be useful in identifying the most common questions. For example, How do I find a book? How do I locate a precedent? How do I find a piece of legislation? How do I set up a Google alert? 

What technology do you need?

Professional editing tools such as Microsoft Editor can help enhance the production value, ensuring a polished end result. However, you could start with free versions of Loom, Zoom, ScreenPal or any other video/screen-sharing service.  Each video should be well-branded, delivering a consistent visual identity that resonates with your library's image. 

Where should you host your videos?

To gather valuable analytics, consider hosting these videos on platforms like YouTube, which offer robust tracking capabilities. However, check with your organisation if you have any doubts about privacy or information security issues. You might be able to host them on your intranet or content management system, according to your firm’s requirements.

How much time will this take?

Training materials take time to put together. These videos can be time-consuming, but practice and refinement will make you more efficient. If you want to create other resources to accompany videos, you need to draft copy, design infographics and create polls and quizzes. Once you have all the material, you can re-use it over the year. Note that legal research materials will need to be updated!

How can you promote these resources?

Once you have all your nano-training in place, you can advertise it to your end users. Use it in your library and information newsletters and get it included on firm circulars. Make it part of the onboarding and training process so that people know this resource is available. Talk about it at every opportunity and encourage other departments to create similar resources. 

Are there any other tech resources you can use to engage your end users?

Do you want to record short specific instructions on a particular application? A service called ScribeHow could help you get people more engaged with your organisational systems. You could use it across the firm, from conflict checking, filing documents or billing processes - anything you want! 

ScribeHow records any processes within a browser and automatically generates a step-by-step guide with screenshots. You can edit the text, clarify workflows and get something together in minutes. You can even open up the ScribeHow instruction guide in the application so there is no going backwards and forwards between tabs.

By embracing the nano-training approach, libraries can elevate their visibility, cater to the multimedia preferences of tech-savvy users, and provide invaluable resources that align with their on-the-go training needs. As library and information professionals, it is our responsibility to adapt and innovate so that we can empower and educate our end users effectively.

Watch a short introductory video about current awareness!  


Subscribe by email