The time for microlearning has come! And that time is now!
Microlearning’s format of bite-sized content is ideal for the fast-paced lifestyle of today’s learners, regardless of industry. These small chunks of instantly accessible lessons are just what the doctor ordered for the present generation of learners.
But while many learning professionals know about microlearning, not everyone is comfortable implementing it.
To implement microlearning with confidence, we need to know what microlearning does, how it benefits learners and organisations, and how to use it effectively.
So, let’s explore just that…
What Microlearning Does
While microlearning is all about breaking down topics into short standalone units (each based on one learning objective) and delivering them in small learning bursts, it’s very important to identify the learning areas where it can be applied. This helps build the required proficiencies and resolve the pain-points of the organization and its workforce.
A microlearning lesson can be tailored to suit individual learner needs, making it a truly adaptive learning format. Knowledge, skills, and behaviors can all be impacted positively with these tiny lessons.
How Microlearning Benefits Learners
Microlearning is built on the 3 pillars of spaced repetition, retrieval practice, and confidence-based assessments. It benefits learners by facilitating learning. Here’s how:
- Each lesson focuses on one learning objective that fits into the larger learning goal.
- These 3 to 7 minute lessons are short, concise, and easy to refer to.
- They can be conveniently accessed by learners on mobile phones or other work-devices (POS machines, laptops, etc.) for anytime, anywhere learning.
- Learning becomes fun with interactive gamification elements such as scores, rewards, levels, badges, leaderboards, etc
- The short assessments and quizzes embedded in the lessons engage the learner, help reinforce learning, and beat the forgetting curve.
Microlearning lessons in the form of videos, animations, gamification, short sims, podcasts, etc. give learners plenty of opportunities to practice. Learners love microlearning for its easy access and just-in-time performance support. It’s a big advantage to be able to retrieve and refer to a specific piece of information at the time of need while performing a job task.
Being an on-demand source of learning, learner engagement is also high with microlearning lessons. The result is a happier workforce that gets small bursts of learning in a fun, informal way!
How Microlearning Benefits an Organization
Microlearning benefits the organization by:
- Helping create a learning culture in the organization.
- Reducing development costs and increasing speed of development.
- Expanding learning adoption by cutting through the clutter and delivering the right workflow spot-on.
- Enabling senior management to manage and evaluate results through the dashboards and measurement tools.
- Facilitating global training in multi-cultural organizations through the creation of culture-specific microlessons and translating them into different languages.
5 Tips to Implementing Microlearning with Ease
These 5 tips will help you get microlearning right the first time, and every time thereafter!
It’s simply about asking the right questions, and doing the right things.
1. Have clear learning objectives
Your microlearning initiatives need to fit into the organization’s overall learning and development goals. Each microlearning lesson should focus on a single learning objective, which may revolve around change of behavior, developing a skill, imparting knowledge, building memory about a process, enhancing decision-making capabilities or on-the-job expertise, and so on.
Before we get to the learning objectives, we must have a clearly defined microlearning strategy. The leadership team needs to be aware of what microlearning is, how it works, why use it, and where it cannot be used.
The biggest mistake one can make is to use microlearning as a substitute to a full-fledged training program. That’s not how it works!
The learning objectives of microlearning need to be aligned to the purpose it serves – to supplement, reinforce, augment, or remediate learning.
Once that is clear, you can deliver high-quality microlearning lessons with clarity and confidence.
2. Analyse learner profile
Having a clear understanding of your audience will help you tailor it to their unique competencies and needs. It’s all about finding the right fit!
You need to know how each learner learns, what each one needs to learn (domain, skill, information), and the level of complexity an individual learner can handle. This helps us sync our microlearning lessons with the learners’ profile.
Simply put, our lessons need to be in tune with what our learner can handle with ease.
So, ask yourself, “Will the content, design, and format truly help the learner achieve the learning objective?” If not, we must revisit our whole strategy.
3. Find the right microlearning platform
The microlearning platform and design format must complement each other.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is the microlearning platform in tune with our needs?
- Can it help create content quickly?
- Do we have staff and instructional designers who can deliver on it?
- Is our IT and training staff equipped to handle the creation of microlearning assets – videos, podcasts, infographics, animations, etc.?
- Is our content interactive enough to create an engaging learner-experience?
Answers to these questions will set you up for success with your microlearning initiatives.
4. Work on the microlearning map, its user-friendliness and quality
A microlearning map is the blueprint of your lesson that gives a clear plan of how you will design, script, and present your content.
We must ask ourselves if our lesson is user-friendly. A user-friendly microlearning enables the learner to easily access any lesson in any order.
Apart from this, you also need to check for quality of the assets – be it the visuals, animations, short sims, gamification elements, videos, and so on.
You must make a conscious efforts to make your microlearning assets ‘sticky’.
Motivational elements and mastery-evaluating options need to be embedded into the microlearning lesson. This creates a pull-effect that attracts and encourages learners to continue the training!
5. Measure outcomes
After the microlearning is implemented, we must measure its effectiveness.
Use measurement tools to know the extent of participation, engagement, completion rates, scores, errors, confidence levels, etc. This means tracking learners’ behavioral changes, skill enhancements, evidence of information retrieval, application orientation, increase in decision making capabilities, extent of accuracy, and quality of work, among other things.
Learner feedback is equally important to explore areas for improvement of the microlearning initiatives.
After all, learners are key stakeholders.
To conclude, learners love microlearning, and organizations find it super-efficient. It’s a win-win for everyone when envisioned, strategized, and implemented with rigor and clarity!