5 Steps To Address Micro Learning Moments: The New Learning Journey - Part 1

Steps To Address Micro Learning Moments: The New Learning Journey - Part 1
Summary: There has been a lot of buzz in the learning industry about micro learning and about shorter learning experiences having a better impact with learners. Several companies are implementing learning production and distribution models based on targeted content nuggets or pills that let learners control their learning time and ensure that learning occurs at the time of need.

Steps To Address Micro Learning Moments

In a recent post on Think with Google, Google focused on the opportunity for brands to connect with consumers by focusing on the hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro moments that make today’s mobile driven customer journey. I believe the same concepts apply to the eLearning industry, as companies and organizations develop new learning strategies that engage learners along a new real-time and intent-driven learning journey made of micro learning moments.

While the hype around micro learning is very much deserved, all the discussion focuses mainly on how to replicate technologies and formats of generic content platforms like Facebook and YouTube that arguably deal with micro content well. Vendors are rushing to provide enhanced features to create, edit, enhance, and package such micro content, primarily video. What is missing is the proper contextualization of the learning experience that makes micro learning applicable and effective. For example, it is not enough to deliver to learners short videos as alternative to traditional online learning courses just for the sake of addressing shorter attention spans.

Taking a step back, the surveys powered by Google in their work on micro moments highlighted consumer behaviors that apply to learners as well in our understanding of how to develop learning strategies and platforms that effectively address micro learning moments. Some of them:

  • 62% of smartphone users are more inclined to take immediate action to solve an unexpected problem or a new task.
  • 90% have used their smartphone to move towards achieving a long-term goal or multi-step process through small steps (i.e., people pursue big goals in small moments).
  • 91% said they are looking for new ideas on mobile devices while performing routine tasks.
  • 91% of smartphone users seek ideas through these devices at the same time they perform other tasks.
  • This year users have seen on YouTube 100m+ hours of “how-to-do” content.

Google has categorized these new mobile-driven behaviors into 4 micro moments that consumers face on a daily basis along the customer journey: Want-to-know, want-to-do, want-to-go, and want-to-buy (4 New Moments Every Marketer Should Know). Learners today exhibit the same behaviors that need to be addressed when implementing effective micro learning solutions.

How? Following on Google’s initial thinking on the consumer journey, we can define 5 key steps to consider when addressing micro moments linked to learning experiences.

Here is how to create micro learning moments:

  1. Map.
    Map learning moments by identifying instances in which students of a training process need to connect with knowledge required for the performance of their learning activities. To start, focus on the moments you cannot miss and move from there.
  2. Understand.
    Understand learners’ needs in the micro moment in which they need access to knowledge, evaluating how to make the learning experience better; or evaluating what content would be most helpful to that particular instant. Put yourself in their shoes!
  3. Contextualize.
    Contextualize the learning experience by analyzing the context like location and time of the micro moment to deliver a customized eLearning experience. Match the content to the when and where of your learners.
  4. Optimize.
    Optimize your eLearning experience along the learning journey of your learners across all channels, independent of what organization or department owns the channel. The learner is your focus for improving.
  5. Measure.
    Measure every moment when possible and use best estimates when an exact measure is not available. Don’t let measurement gaps get in the way of monitoring the entire eLearning journey.

These steps are the just the beginning. Shifting to a learner centric eLearning strategy that fits today’s micro moment driven learning environments requires a dedicated effort. Experimenting using micro learning platforms and formats is a good starting point as long as properly contextualized for the learning journey that learners face.

NOTE: This is Part 1 of a series of articles on the learning journey I hope to continue publishing.