3 Simple Reasons Burst Learning Works for Student Training

Posted on 21 April 2016 |

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burst learning training coursesCollege campuses across the country are embracing online learning. Research shows that 34 percent of students have taken at least one course completely online and 74 percent have taken a class with online components.

So then, it makes sense that students would also prefer online training when it comes to learning about sexual violence prevention. In fact, we’ve done some research that confirmed students prefer online bystander intervention training.

But it’s hard to teach students everything they will need to know and have them retain it with just one training course. A better approach is to have them start with a longer, more all encompassing sexual violence prevention course, and THEN supplement it with burst learning courses throughout their college experience.

What Is Burst Learning?

Burst learning courses are ideal for today’s students. These courses are shorter chunks of content that cover a specific topic. If you are wondering why incorporating burst learning courses into your training plan works so well for students, we’ve got some answers for you.

1. Holds Students’ Attention

We have already discussed that students respond well to mobile experiences, and shorter burst learning courses fit right into that because of the convenience and ease factor. Students are busy. They have classes to attend, exams to study for, papers to write and a social life to attend to.

They don’t want to spend additional hours taking extra training courses. But, they will easily spend 10 to 15 minutes watching a video. Why not ask them to spend that short amount of time completing a training course.

Plus, scientists are discovering that shorter might really be better. For example, the popular TED Talks are a grand total of 18 minutes. TED curator Chris Anderson explains the reasoning, “It [18 minutes] is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online.”

2. Covers Additional Topics

These short courses are also a great opportunity to present more information about certain topics that you don’t have time to cover in a longer training course. For example, a burst learning course is ideal for covering spring break safety tips such as:

  • How to travel safety during spring break
  • Ways to help friends in sexual violence situations
  • How to navigate dangerous alcohol situations
  • Tips for partying smart and avoiding excess

Additionally, you can deploy the training in February, which is right before Spring Break for maximum effectiveness instead of providing this information when students first arrive on campus in August.

3. Helps Students Retain Information

Finally, short burst learning courses help students retain the information. Commenting about chunking information into bite size lessons, Christopher Pappas, founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, states, “This gives them the ability to gradually absorb the information and assimilate it into their long-term memory, rather than forgetting key concepts just seconds after they’ve learned them.”

So while you might have covered intimate partner violence in the original training course, students could have forgotten the information presented. If you provide a quick refresher on the signs, how to help a friend and when to seek assistance from the authorities, students will be more likely to remember the information. And this is information that could help save someone’s life.


Of course not everything can be covered thoroughly in such a short amount of time—especially not something as important and serious as sexual violence prevention. But at the same time, incorporating these shorter burst learning courses into your campus’s training plan will reinforce the message and help students retain the information.

To learn more about our burst learning courses, covering everything from Greek life events to healthy studying habits, fill out the form on the right.

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