There are many approaches to skill-based learning and training education out there, but none are getting as much attention as microlearning in recent years. This learning approach is used by many businesses to train their employees. While the concept of microlearning has been around for quite some time, it’s quickly gaining popularity among organizations and across multiple industries.
In this article, we’ll explore the concept of microlearning, its advantages and disadvantages, and how organizations can implement this approach in their training.
What Is Microlearning?
The concept of microlearning pivots around the idea that learning is more effective in short bursts rather than longer durations. As a result, microlearning approaches learning by offering shorter pieces of digital content in contrast to longer lessons. Due to the byte-sized duration of lessons, microlearning training focuses primarily on the essential knowledge and what the employee absolutely needs to know. Although microlearning lessons vary in length, a survey of talent development professionals reveals that microlearning content is typically around 13 minutes.
What Are The Benefits Of Microlearning?
Microlearning offers numerous benefits for employees and organizations alike. Since microlearning approaches training in short bursts, employees are more likely to pay attention to the lessons. This increases the chances of the employee absorbing the intended takeaway of the training and applying it to their work.
This approach to learning also tends to be more convenient and cost-effective for companies. The short length of microlearning lessons allows for scheduling when it’s most convenient for the organization’s needs. “Moreover, since microlearning usually takes the format of videos or interactive online content, it’s significantly cheaper than hiring an expert to provide an in-person seminar and paying employees for a full day of training,” says Amanda Gillian, a tech blogger at PaperFellows and Boomessays.
What Are The Challenges Of Microlearning?
Despite its benefits, microlearning may not be suitable for all forms of training. More complex certifications and skills that require a physical demonstration or tutorial can’t be taught in online byte-sized lessons.
Since knowledge is broken down into easily digestible lessons as opposed to a single all-encompassing lesson, microlearning is sometimes criticized for being disorganized. Employees might find it more difficult to connect the concepts they learn to the knowledge they learned in previous lessons.
When To Incorporate Microlearning
As a result of microlearning’s byte-sized nature, they can easily be implemented throughout the entire training process. If you’re looking to use microlearning to supplement formal training, here are a few ideas.
Precursor To Training
To use microlearning before a formal training session, you could include a brief video previewing the concepts that will be covered by the training. Alternatively, you could provide employees with a self-assessment quiz to help them gauge their own knowledge prior to the training. This allows them to self-identify any gaps in their knowledge and might encourage them to pay more attention to those sections during the formal training.
During In-Person Training
Incorporating microlearning pieces into your formal training enriches the lesson and engages employees. Some microlearning lessons to include throughout the formal training are videos highlighting key concepts, interactive quizzes, and games that test the knowledge retention of the participants.
The microlearning approach adds variety to formal training that could help make the experience more enjoyable and effective.
Microlearning can also be used to help learners retain information better. By applying microlearning approaches after the formal training lesson ends, employees can reinforce the skills and knowledge they learned during the training.
Perhaps, you could ask learners to take the same self-assessment quiz they took before the training began. “This can boost their confidence and confirm what they learned from the lesson. Another useful microlearning piece to offer employees is a resource with the key concepts and highlights from the training to access whenever they want to review it,” explains Bill Trenchson, a writer at OXEssays and EssayRoo.
Other Effective Ways To Apply Microlearning To Training
Due to the brief and convenient nature of microlearning resources, there are plenty of ways to incorporate them outside formal training. Here are a few other ways to apply microlearning lessons to your training.
Instead of forcing employees to learn new information all in one sitting, you could try splitting a general topic into several smaller sub-topics. Create a byte-size webinar for each of these subtopics and allow employees to learn the concepts at their own pace. Providing learners the option to pace their own learning might help them absorb the information better. It also alleviates the pressure of formal training and reduces costs for the organization.
After each short webinar, it’s a good idea to include an interactive quiz. It guarantees that learners understood the concepts covered during the lesson. Depending on the sub-topic, these quizzes could allow learners to make unlimited or limited tries to achieve a certain score. If it’s a crucial sub-topic that employees must comprehend, it’s best to only allow a limited number of trials before requiring the employee to watch the webinar again.
Provide resources for employees to perform their own self-assessments online. These assessments should be private and only visible to the learner. However, in the event that employees want to improve a specific skill or knowledge, ensure there are resources available for them online to do so.
Quarterly Knowledge Updates
Organizations can experience many changes in three months. To help your employees stay up to date with the latest news or policy changes within the organization, consider using a short video or infographic.
Company Policy Resources
With so many changes in policies, it can be difficult for employees to keep track of the most up-to-date ones. You could use microlearning to provide employees with constant access to policies. It can be in the form of an interactive document or a brief video that is updated continuously.
Microlearning is a judicious approach to skill and knowledge training that benefits both employees and organizations. Regardless of whether you want to use microlearning to supplement or replace formal training altogether, it’s a good idea to implement this approach in your training as much as possible.