Microlearning

Microlearning Success Mantra: A Good Platform and a 6-STEP Implementation

microlearning

To launch your microlearning initiatives successfully and confidently, you need to get two things right:

  1. a rock-solid microlearning platform based on proven learning theories, robust analytics, and smart AI, and
  2. keenly following the 6-step microlearning implementation process.

Let’s delve deeper into these two winning factors. 

A Good Microlearning Platform: a True Enabler

To put it simply- It’s one that complements your overall training initiative and alleviates your pain points in delivering a sustainable Training ROI.

A good microlearning platform should work for you. It must make your work easier be it content creation, making lessons, launching them, or measuring learners’ progress.

A good microlearning platform is one that enables you in achieving 4 training purposes viz.

  1. enabling you in Supplementing your current training efforts,
  2. helping you in Reinforcing critical work-related learning content,
  3. supporting you in Augmenting current learning materials, and to boost employee confidence in performing work-related tasks, and
  4. making Remediation of poor performance and behaviors effortless!

Fundamentally, a good microlearning battles forgetfulness and memory decay of work-related knowledge and skills (Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting curve). Concepts like spaced repetition and retrieval practice (testing, questions to strengthen memory) are embedded deeply in a robust microlearning platform.

How a Good Microlearning Platform Works

A good microlearning platform is one that’s fast. It must give you the advantage of rapid development, minutes-a-session and quick-to-market advantage. Developing a microlearning lesson must get easier for you with features like a built-in authoring content and automatically assigned lessons to learners depending on their learning-levels, learning-needs and learning-goals.

A sturdy microlearning platform makes learning fun. It must allow your learners engage with lessons, and not be boring. You should be able to integrate gamification, videos, podcasts, infographics etc. with ease in your microlearning platform. While interacting with the platform motivating features like earning points, badges and leaderboards increases the fun element in learning.

An adaptive microlearning platform is one that’s effective in using cutting edge AI technology, data analytics, and proven learning principles. A platform backed by powerful analytics capabilities helps you monitor and measure individual learning performance. A good platform is further enabled by an adaptive learning algorithm that makes supporting the learner so much more meaningful and relevant. A robust platform will also give you multiple learning methods/options to effectively engage learners such as challenges, goal assignments, learning quests and certifications.

A dependable microlearning platform is one that gives you powerful dashboards and measurement systems to track learners’ performance, knowledge-growth and learning progress. This makes measuring Training ROI possible!

Important elements of tracking learner engagement involves knowing a learner’s usage, access, and platform utilization. For instance, it should give you:

  1. competency status at each learning level for each topic,
  2. topic-wise knowledge gaps,
  3. learner-wise assessment history,
  4. a learner’s self-confidence on answers submitted,
  5. time taken to answer each question, and
  6. active learner feedback on each question.

Microlearning: Success-Critical Basics

Let’s quickly refresh the basics before moving on to the 6 steps of implementation!

You must view microlearning lesson as a short, focused burst of information that takes no more than 10 minutes to complete. It can be a video, infographic, a game in gamification format, a podcast, an infographic element, etc. It should also have a dependable testing mechanism (to promote retrieval practice) to measure learning progress.

Each burst should focus on one to three Key Learning Points (KLPs) relevant to the learner. Lesser the KLPs, the better!

Each lesson must prompt a learner to take action or think critically.

For a microlearning snippet to be effective, it needs to be repeated at spaced intervals (spaced repetition). The intervals can vary based on the difficulty of the material and the learner’s level of knowledge. Each repetition should build upon the previous one, presenting the information in different contexts and focusing on higher levels of learning as the learner’s understanding grows.

This approach to microlearning is bound to reverse the forgetting curve and enhance knowledge retention.

Microlearning = short, KLP focused, relevant & repeated in different contexts

To quote Kurek (2015)- Utilizing the spaced repetition of micro-learning based on key learning points (KLPs) is a highly effective approach for combating the forgetting curve.

6-Steps to Successfully Implement a Microlearning Snippet

  1. Develop your microlearning map and Key Learning Points (KLPs).
  2. Design your microlearning snippet from the KLPs using the provided guidelines, with an initial focus on building basic awareness in your learners.
  3. Set up a schedule for the first round of spaced repetitions.
  4. Monitor the progress and proficiency of your learners using analytics capabilities of the platform.
  5. Create additional microlearning lessons that progress to higher levels of learning that transition as follows: Awareness → Explanatory→ Practitioner→ Mastery levels (Bloom’s taxonomy simplified).
  6. Repeat the process until your learners have achieved a level that satisfies your learning objectives.

Here’s a table that explains it furtheri.e. what to do, and how to go about.

Focus on the considerations here. Considerations tell you the ‘how’ of the implementation process.

StepWhatConsiderations
OneDevelop your KLPs.Distil your content into points that explicitly state the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and/or behavior the learner must exhibit.
TwoCreate the microlearning snippet based on your microlearning map, and with a production mindset.Create concise, relevant microlearning content that emphasizes key points, highlights importance, and prompts action.
ThreeUse spaced repetition: Set up a schedule of reinforcement.The schedule of reinforcement should match the complexity of the content and the learning level you want your employees to obtain.
FourMonitor progress.Monitor the progress and proficiency of your learners.
FiveCreate additional microlearning lessons as required.Create additional microlearning snippets that concentrate on higher levels of learning as needed i.e. Awareness à Explanatory à Practitioner à Mastery (Progression from basic awareness to mastery)
SixRepeat and continue as needed.Repeat the process until your learners have achieved a level that satisfies your learning objective for your learner depending on each one’s expected level of skill, knowledge or proficiency.

As you can see, the 6-step process is akin to the ADDIE instructional design model where you:

  • Analyse and plan your KLPs, microlearning map and learning goals of each lesson based on your learning needs. 
  • Design the specifics like the format, tests and the spaced repetition schedule.  
  • Develop or create your microlearning snippet as planned. 
  • Implement or launch your snippet besides monitoring your learners’ progress. 
  • Evaluate what to do next based on the analytics data of your learners’ learning progress.

To conclude, implementing the 6-steps microlearning process becomes so much easier with a robust, tech-enabled and feature-rich microlearning platform!

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