Launching a microlearning initiative for the first time can be overwhelming. The last thing you want is to fail!
One of the main reasons microlearning initiatives fail is poor planning and implementation. That happens when you don’t have a proper understanding of what microlearning can and cannot do.
Another reason is the sheer desperation to somehow overcome a pain point with microlearning. Microlearning is not some kind of magic wand that can be used for any and all problems of training!
Many a time, there’s a sudden desire to try out microlearning because it’s the trending thing. Well, microlearning isn’t a fad! The right approach matters!! Treating microlearning as a quick fix to solve all your issues can backfire badly. You should use its enormous potential in the right way, at the right time, and for the right topics.
So, how do you avoid failure when implementing microlearning for the first time?
The answer is to go with a ‘production mindset’, and break down your microlearning approach into a ‘workflow’.
But first, let’s have a look at common microlearning mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistakes to Avoid in Microlearning
Here are some common mistakes that can derail your microlearning efforts:
Going for a microlearning platform/app without fully understanding its strategic purpose and functionality
Failing to embrace an adaptive microlearning approach that’s custom-made for each learner to meet his/ her learning objectives
Failing to consider resistance from stakeholders (especially your workforce) while implementing your microlearning initiative
Not checking the compatibility of the app/platform with users’ devices at work (phones, laptops, tablets, POS, and so on)
Failing to analyze your audience properly (preferred learning styles, tech-savviness)
Not using important microlearning concepts such as spaced repetition, retrieval testing, confidence-based assessments, etc.
Not having clarity over ‘use case’ scenarios, the reasons for using the
microlearning (to supplement, reinforce, augment, or remediate), and microlearning ‘maps’
Not utilizing the engagement features of the tech platform/app – gamification, interactive features, videos, quizzes, etc.
A microlearning initiative falls apart when technology, data, and content are not in sync!
Let’s now get down on planning and implementing a ‘production mindset’.
3 Stages of a Production Mindset Approach
Microlearning needs to be part of your overall learning development process. It must be taken up like a project, requiring the completion of a series of tasks to reach a very specific outcome.
Here’s how a production mindset can help you conceptualize, implement, and evaluate your microlearning initiative.
Stage 1: Pre-Production
Pre-production involves planning to develop and implement a microlearning initiative.
To start with, you must get all the stakeholders together in a kick-off meeting to discuss and finalize a microlearning strategy and initiative in your organisation. You may need to educate and convince your stakeholders about the potential of microlearning, and how it must be integrated with your long-term training goals. Then comes the drilldown where you can discuss specific pain points and clearly define the learning objectives for the desired outcomes.
- Defining the project scope – expectations, budget, timelines, resources, and potential risks
- Mapping learner profiles, the learning environment, technical specifications, tasks, and instructional goals
- Gathering existing learning materials, assessing content, and defining direction
- Listing down the resources (equipment, talent), and planning to acquire them
- Choosing activities in the microlearning that resonate with your organisation
Tip: Try not to spend too much time at this stage. Excessive analysing, planning, and defining causes loss of time and interest!
Stage 2: Production
This stage includes the actual creation and development of the microlearning assets.
Testing the microlearning app/platform, and internet/intranet with the help of IT department
Finalizing the content of the lessons and getting approvals by the appropriate/legal authorities
Designing analytics/metrices to monitor individual learner performance (click- through rates, time-spent on each section, quizzes/games undertaken/played, performance scores, confidence-based assessments, level of mastery attained by each learner, etc.)
Stage 3: Post-Production
Post-production begins when the microlearning assets (lessons) are deployed to the learners. It includes:
- Rolling out the microlearning pilot to a select group of learners
- Promoting the new initiative to get buy-in, build excitement
- Setting up a training and technical helpdesk
- Delivering the finalized microlearning lessons to targeted learners
- Evaluating the microlearning module(s)
To conclude, you must first get to know the basics of microlearning and the concepts and technology around it. You also need to educate and convince all your stakeholders about implementing microlearning in your organization to foster an environment that promotes growth, agility, and higher performance for all.
Going with a production mindset keeps you away from failure. This includes a pre- production stage to plan, a production stage to create and develop, and the post- production stage to implement and evaluate your microlearning initiative.