Microlearning

How to translate strategy into a high-impact ‘microlearning map’

One of the toughest challenges learning professionals face is to know how to manage their entire curriculum using the right tools. Things get even more confusing when you have to decipher how much of the total curriculum should ride on microlearning initiatives.

To do this, what you need is a microlearning strategy that conveniently translates into a practical microlearning map for each microlearning lesson.

After all, microlearning cannot just be an afterthought. It’s got to be part of your overall training plan.

3 step Approach to a Microlearning Map

  1. Know the desired learning outcomes you seek
  2. Comprehend curriculum that must be on microlearning i.e. number of lessons
  3. Create a microlearning map for each identified lesson

This kind of structured approach will get you the desired learning outcomes with ease.

Let’s deep dive and learn how to make a microlearning map with an example.

Step 1: Define the desired learning outcomes from the training

Once you do the training needs analysis (TNA) and identify the desired outcomes of the training, you need to define the learning objectives that will help achieve those outcomes (knowledge, skills, or attitudes).

Making your learning objectives clear gets you high-performing employees who demonstrate desired behaviors.

This clarity helps your learners know upfront what the training is all about and how it will help them improve their job performance. In other words, it will answer the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) question that is so important for adult learners. You certainly want them to confidently apply the acquired skills, knowledge, and capabilities after the learning initiatives!

Step 2: Decide on lessons/ topics that need to be developed as microlearning

We all know that training is not the answer for every problem with employee performance. In the same way, microlearning may not be the solution for all your training needs. That’s why this step of deciding on which topics should be delivered as microlearning modules is so critical.

A simple rule of thumb is not to opt for microlearning to:

  • Help learners gain mastery over the entire subject
  • Replace classroom/ eLearning sessions when there is a lot of content needing detailed explanation
  • Train on complex content or topics

Microlearning should be your ‘go to’ learning format when you need to provide employees quick help to perform a specific task, as it provides short, concise, need to know information to achieve one specific learning objective

Step 3: Create a microlearning map for each microlearning lesson

Each microlearning map must be based on outcome, objectives and assessments. With clear learning objectives, you could easily create a microlearning map for each initiative.

A three-blocker chart below is an example of a microlearning map. It tells you how you can align the outcome, the objectives, and assessment. The three columns given below will help you create a very specific and focused microlearning lesson.

Example of a microlearning map

Here is an example of a decision-making learning scenario in the banking industry.

Department: Risk Job position: Banking manager, level 3
KPI segment: Operation Risk Key performance Indicator: Quality adherence & Risk assessment
Task Performance Objective-(less than 3)
Audit and approve high-risk financial transactions.This is done by checking if they meet compliance(Risk) and process related Critical-To-Quality (CTQ) parameters. A financial transaction of a bank account are shown on the screen. The learner is required to accurately identify the risk and quality parameters(100% accuracy) within 6minutes, and make a decision. Recall the 12 CTQ (Quality parameters and 9 Risk criteria.Decide whether or not to approve the financial transaction.

The microlearning map  includes a specific agenda with a targeted KPI (key performance indicator).

  • Column 1 indicates the task to be performed i.e., auditing a high-risk financial transaction before being approved. The mandatory regulatory and quality checks to be performed that meet the ‘approval’ criteria. Defining a task clearly is a must in this column. It allows your lesson to serve the microlearning objectives with precision.
  • Column 2 talks about the desired outcome we want out of the learner experience. The expected performance of the KPI group further branches out to specific KPIs. It enhances on-the-job performance. In this example, a financial transaction must be approved or rejected with due diligence. 
  • Column 3 specifies the two objectives. To be effective and efficient in your efforts, you must have no more than 3 objectives for any microlearning map. 

You could create several microlearning maps to cater to multiple such learning scenarios. A similar microlearning map can be created for a variety of manufacturing, services or professional workplace set-ups.

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