Reply To: Attention Span and Online Learning Experiences

Kimberly Libby

The average attention span in an online environment is only 2-3 minutes! In order to accommodate short attention spans, I will need to separate my information into smaller pieces that can be “consumed” and completed in shorter amounts of time. This will be more effective if I also lighten the cognitive load for students by activating prior knowledge, using pictures, and emphasizing keywords.

Attention is cyclical – after a period of engagement, it will naturally start to diffuse. I can help manage learners’ attention by varying the way information is presented (for example, alternating between low, medium, and high engagement activities). This could mean switching between slide presentations, videos, mini-quizzes, responses/reflections, etc. and using strategies like humor and movement.

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