5 Key Principles to Effectively Reinforce Microlearning Content

microlearning content

One of the biggest pain areas faced by training managers (that also adversely affects training ROI) is the workforce forgetting what’s learned during training. Which is why reinforcing training inputs becomes a necessity.

Reinforcing what employees had learned during training can be done in a fast, fun, and effective way through a good microlearning strategy using a robust microlearning platform. This also provides a sustainable and high training ROI.

We’ll discuss the 5 principles of reinforcing microlearning content in this blog. But before that, a few basics.

The Prerequisites: Spaced Repetition and a Robust Microlearning Platform

spaced repetition

The concepts of ‘spaced repetition’ and ‘retrieval practice’ are used to reinforce learning content. With microlearning, you can churn out short lessons to reinforce content that’s tailor-made for each learner. This means the individual learning goals of each learner are met based on their unique learning needs. This customized learning makes microlearning truly adaptive!

A robust microlearning platform intelligently adapts to a learner’s proficiency levels, learning styles, preferences, and pace. Learners love it when training inputs are short, relevant, engaging, and timely!

Backed by a powerful analytics suite, the microlearning platform monitors a learner’s interactions with the content, using inbuilt algorithms to cater to individual learning needs. That’s how a microlearning platform helps you churn out just the right content at the right frequency. ‘Spaced repetition’ (reinforcing/reviewing) and ‘retrieval practice’ (tests/quizzes/assessments) help reinforce the content just before it is forgotten by the learner. This kind of timely reiteration positively impacts retention, and helps build long-term memory.

Integrating microlearning into your training programs helps you supplement, reinforce, augment, and remediate your training efforts.

Now that we’ve reviewed the importance of spaced repetition and retrieval practice, let’s go into the 5 principles of reinforcing content.

The 5 Principles of Reinforcing Content

  1. Identify Key Learning Points (KLPs).
  2. Keep the lessons short.
  3. Deliver content that’s relevant.
  4. Remind your learners of the importance of content.
  5. Prompt an action or thought.

Principle 1. Identify Key Learning Points (KLPs)

key learning points

The Key Learning Points (KLPs) explicitly state the knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes the learner must demonstrate after the training. KLPs serve as the building blocks of knowledge. For instance, the code of conduct of a business may include a statement on ‘conflict of interest’ that may look like this:  

  • Avoid conflicts of interest at the workplace. A conflict of interest occurs when your personal interests – family, friendships, financial, or social factors – may compromise your judgment, integrity, and decisions/actions at the workplace.

  • You must declare it to your superiors or HR team should you encounter a conflict of interest. Such instances often happen while selecting suppliers, hiring people, and in various arbitration or decision-making scenarios where monetary or other personal gains are involved.

  • When in doubt, read the examples mentioned in the ‘conflict of interest’ section of the company’s code of conduct policy. It gives you a clear perspective of most of the ethical situations or dilemmas you might come across. These examples enable you to understand the right and wrong aspects of ‘conflict of interest’, and guide you on how to respond to issues concerning bribery, data protection, confidential information, and social media, among other things.

Based on the above text, we can derive the following 3 KLPs:

  1. Conflicts of interest arise when an employee’s personal interests clash with the company’s interests, compromising his/her judgment, integrity, and decisions.
  2. Such situations must be avoided. When faced with a potential conflict of interest, the employee must bring it out into the open, and seek guidance from supervisors or HR.
  3. Employees need to go through the ‘conflict of interest’ section of the Code of Conduct for better understanding through examples and scenarios.

You must learn to extract the KLPs from source documents. AI tools like Chat GPT and other tools such as Bard, and Grammarly can be used to extract vital information from a large document.

Remember to review the extracted KLPs. Get your KLP content checked, edited, and approved by a subject matter expert (SME) before using it in the microlearning content. A good microlearning platform will give you the option to extract KLPs with their AI assisted algorithms. This makes your job easier and the content more powerful!

Build supporting content around your KLPs by asking a simple question:

Do I have the right content (information, knowledge, skills, examples, etc.) to support my KLP?

Principle 2. Keep the Lessons Short

Information in working memory needs to be limited. So, include only 1-3 KLPs in each microlearning session, and ensure each session does not go beyond 10 minutes.

Remember that:

  • Microlearning is meant to break down information into smaller, digestible pieces.
  • The learning must be reinforced over time, helping learners retain and apply knowledge.

Principle 3. Deliver Content that is Relevant

Your content must directly support the KLP. The content must be relevant to the learner’s job, reflecting real-life scenarios that he or she may encounter at work. When faced with a similar situation in real life, the learner must be able to confidently apply the learning to deliver expected results.

Lessons that are not relevant to the learner’s job tasks are a waste of time and money. You certainly don’t want that!

Principle 4. Remind Your Learners of the Importance of Content

Informing and reminding learners about the importance of a KLP provides them the context and motivation to learn. This builds interest and makes them engage with your microlearning lessons, resulting in enhanced retention of learning.

Emphasizing the significance of a KLP helps:

  • Align individual learning objectives with the organizational goals
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning resulting in a genuine learning organisation

This gets you better training outcomes, improved performance, and the desired behavioral change of your workforce.

Principle 5. Prompt an Action or Thought

Combating the forgetting curve means more than just repeating information/knowledge. Unless the learner applies the information/knowledge in the workplace, it remains meaningless.

When the learner applies the learning, the information gets embedded in his or her long-term memory. This solidification of memory is what you must aim at.

To prompt action/thought, provide your learners with opportunities to apply the information in ways that are relevant to their job roles. You can do this through microlearning that offers gamification, tests/quizzes, questions, and many other variants of assessments. The power of ‘retrieval practice’ helps learners strengthen their memory and become more confident.

To conclude, the 5 principles of reinforcing content will help your learners strengthen recall, gain mastery, and improve their performance, resulting in a sustainable and high training ROI – the ultimate goal of every training manager!

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