An ILT Framework Perfect for eLearning Design

ILT framework for elearning

The 30-10-1 ILT Framework

30-10-1 is a formula for creating instruction in 10 minute blocks. The theory is borrowed from John Medina’s book Brain Rules. To keep the attention of a room full of adult learners you’ve only got about 10 minutes before you’ve lost them. Within each 10 minute segment is another pattern more similar to standard instructional design models. You should start each 10 min segment with something interesting, shocking, or otherwise thought provoking. This is where knowing your audience is valuable.

You could also use Monroe’s Motivated Sequence as a guide. Start with a shocking statement or question followed by an emotional story. Then tie that story to the new information, and make connections to assumed prior knowledge. And close with a solution or satisfying outcome. Or you can use the time to answer questions. And let the Q&A signal the transition to the next topic. You get the idea. This is where your creativity is valued, and some of your legacy ISD skills may be useful.

With interactivity being so important, you most likely have some activities that take longer than 10 minutes. That’s fine. If you need to take 3 10 minute segments to have your audience complete a task, then do it. Remember this is only a framework.

Working within constraints drives progress. The purpose of the framework is to speed up your process. This is especially helpful when working with inexperienced instructors, or subject matter experts. Just looking at the framework is sometimes enough to encourage a re-write, and break down existing presentations into smaller chunks.

Why 30 blocks?

Remember that this is just a guideline to help you think through the amount of time you have available in a 1-day ILT event running from 8am-5pm. You may choose to start your event at 9pm or end at 4pm or even 3pm. Using this template is a quick way to visualize how much time is remains as you make adjustments.

The template takes into account the time required for lunch, morning break, and afternoon break. It also accounts for the important introduction section.

In today’s environment of social media/networks it’s especially important to build relationships within classroom events. Much of the power of ILT events comes from simply being around other people. Your course should encourage connections and networking so they can all continue their learning together once the event if over.

Why 10 minutes?

Dr. John Medina explains it best:

“We don’t know why the 10 minute rule exists… but it does. You have to find a way to get someone’s attention and keep it for 10 minutes, and then do something to buy yourself another 10 minutes.”

I’ve had a hard time finding anyone that will argue this point. But arguing the point isn’t important. Like this entire document, the 10 minute rule is less of a rule and more of a guideline. Can you do 5 minute chunks? Sure. You might even be good enough to run with one topic for 12-15 minutes. But this basic rule of thumb stands firmly as a warning to those of us who enjoy talking. Once you’ve past the 8 minute mark you better be wrapping it up and preparing to re-engage your audience because you’re just about to lose them.

Why 1 Day?

You have 30 10 minute blocks to fill in just one day! That’s a lot of content for your learners. Your learners already have a slim chance of remembering it all. And we know that utilizing spaced repetition to exercise recall greatly increases an attendee’s chance of remembering the content over the long term. But my guess is that most companies have nothing in place to support spaced repetition. Therefore, one day of training is already pushing the limits of memory.

But there are business priorities to consider. In many cases, especially where travel is involved, you have no choice but to schedule multiple days, back to back. And that’s okay. The important thing to remember is that keeping your learners engaged should be your main focus. You can use the template for as many days as you need.

Sample 30-10-1 Template

Time Content Slide(s) #
8:00 AM Course Introduction
8:05 AM Personal Introductions
8:15 AM 1
8:25 AM 2
8:35 AM 3
8:45 AM 4
9:00 AM Topic 1: Introduction
9:15 AM 5
9:25 AM 6
9:35 AM 7
9:45 AM AM Break
10:00 AM Topic 2: Introduction
10:15 AM 8
10:25 AM 9
10:35 AM 10
10:45 AM 11
11:00 AM Topic 3: Introduction
11:15 AM 12
11:25 AM 13
11:35 AM 14
11:45 AM 15
12:00 PM Lunch
12:15 PM Lunch
12:25 PM Lunch
12:35 PM Lunch
12:45 PM Review
1:00 PM Topic 4: Introduction
1:15 AM 16
1:25 AM 17
1:35 AM 18
1:45 AM 19
2:00 PM Topic 5: Introduction
2:15 AM 20
2:25 AM 21
2:35 AM 22
2:45 AM PM Break
3:00 PM Topic 6: Introduction
3:15 AM 23
3:25 AM 24
3:35 AM 25
3:45 AM 26
4:00 PM Topic 7: Introduction
4:15 AM 27
4:25 AM 28
4:35 AM 29
4:45 AM 30
5:00 PM End

Using ILT for eLearning Design and Development

The most valuable part of the 30-10-1 Framework rests in being created with future training development in mind. Starting your design process by producing an ILT event is a great way to provide business value during your design/development process. Creating 10min chunks of content for the classroom pre-designs your content for transformation to other technology driven formats.

Utilizing the 30-10-1 framework for an ILT course is part of an iterative design process considering all future iterations of this course. But since ILT is highly desired, and easily produced, use it to deliver business value quickly and test the learning content with an audience of learners.

Each 10 minute segment that you create is the starting point for future media content production. After you’ve delivered your ILT a few times you will begin to see which 10 minute segments are gaining the most interest, and which are falling flat. Popular segments can then be turned into videos, or other media formats. Less popular segments can be revised and tried again.