Came across an Article on Vista Training's blog that talks about 8 trends in eLearning. Last one in the list is about mini-bites of learning (also called learning chunks by Craig Weiss in his blog) where the author talks about learning which is incremental and can be done through short learning programs. Here is a portion of the article, which paraphrases Craig Weiss's thoughts. (You can access the article here.)
"Mini-bites" of learning: Not all training is focused on teaching a new hire how to perform a task from scratch. Some of it is incremental or remedial in nature. That means a growing demand for short learning programs, packed with just one or two nuggets of knowledge that help workers get a specific task done. Weiss envisions lessons that are five minutes in length at maximum. Formats could include brief videos and one-page documents.
Performance support is one possible use for "mini-bite" training: In the construction and mining industries, an equipment operator could watch a brief video in the cab of his machine prior to performing a task. This would bring the required best-practice knowledge to the top of his mind, increasing the odds that he will perform it at peak efficiency.
Are you too thinking about short learner attention spans? Is five minutes too long for many of your learners?