Our team at Learning Upgrade has discovered something unexpected as we analyzed learner data from our deployments with adult refugees and immigrants globally. Over 50% of the time adult learners spend at home completing lessons on their smartphones is between 8 pm and 2 am! This is important data that showcases the flexibility and power of engaging smartphone-based learning. Our adult learners are putting their children to sleep after dinner, and then completing lesson after lesson late into the night!
We use the term “Binge Learning” to describe this behavior. This term is borrowed from “binge watching” where streaming television series episodes start automatically one after the other. The viewer can’t stop watching and wants to continue consuming content.
Why would an adult tired from a day of work and caring for children choose to voluntarily play lessons in a rigorous English and Math learning program? Why would they replace time spent on TikTok, YouTube, and Social Media with academic lessons? We believe there are several factors contributing to this life-changing behavior:
- Bite-Sized Lessons: Lessons take about 10 minutes to complete. Therefore, our learners feel comfortable starting a new one knowing it won’t take long to finish, and will most likely complete the next lesson.
- High Engagement: Lessons are filled with original songs, videos, and interactive games that are different, custom-built, and highly entertaining. This creates a fun factor that keeps people awake and curious about what the next lesson will bring.
- A Clear Path: We show the learner a clear visual course map. Every time they complete a lesson, they know where they are going and how many lessons they have left to finish. Like a series episode list in streaming, this visual map encourages learners to keep moving towards a final goal.
- An Interactive Conversation: Most online programs are built with standard learning engines, so each lesson has the same format as the others and is largely “quiet” outside of playing videos. Learning Upgrade lessons are custom-built from scratch and have custom audio dialog and animation. The program talks to the learner throughout each lesson to give guidance and remediation. This audio-visual conversation also helps learners stay engaged and encourages lesson completion.
The results of binge learning that our team has observed have been remarkable! Where previously on regular desktop computers, learners were averaging 30 minutes per week time-on-task, on smartphones at home the average is 2 hours per week. This equates to a 4X learning rate, which covers a whole year of English or math in just 3 months. Binge learning drives rapid growth so that the refugee and immigrant adults we serve can rapidly meet their life goals of learning English, earning a GED, entering job training or college, and moving up to a higher-level job.