Microlearning - A Beginner's Guide To Powerful Corporate Training
g-stockstudio/Shutterstock.com

Microlearning - A Beginner's Guide To Powerful Corporate Training

As interests and preferences gain widespread acceptance, they pervade all areas of our lives, and corporate training is no exception. Short, focused online learning bytes are now becoming the preferred norm of learning. Microlearning is a learning strategy that delivers information to learners in comprehensive, nuggets, each not more than 10 minutes. What is making organizations turn to microlearning? While there is a plethora of benefits you can read about in the comprehensive guide Microlearning - A Beginner's Guide To Powerful Corporate Training, I will emphasize 2 main factors here. Since microlearning offers learning in standalone chunks, employees can access:

  • Individual modules when they need to look up specific learning points – this saves time and improves knowledge retention.
  • The modules on mobiles and multiple devices – this offers performance support and increases the reach of training
eBook Release: Get the eBook Microlearning: A Beginner’s Guide To Powerful Corporate Training
eBook Release
Get the eBook Microlearning: A Beginner’s Guide To Powerful Corporate Training
Get going with this eBook to discover everything about Microlearning's versatility and ubiquity.

Your sales rep is waiting to meet a prospect and wants to check some updated product specs he is not very confident of. What would you have him do? Leaf through your product manual searching for a bland table of specs or access a well-designed, engaging infographic on his smartphone? You know what the smart choice is!

Some things to be aware of…

Just as everything that glitters is not gold, everything small is not microlearning.

a. Microlearning modules have to be structured logically such that while being standalone, they offer comprehensive information on a specific topic.

Say you want to train employees on using the new ERP, microlearning comes in handy to provide them short 2-min videos of the steps to execute each task. A series of these videos will provide a comprehensive view of the tasks associated with each role.

b. Each module has to be designed according to instructional design and adult learning principles, addressing a variety of learning styles, to appeal to adult learners.

If you have a 1-hour online course on sexual harassment, breaking it into six 10-min modules can’t masquerade as microlearning. Each module will have to be treated instructionally, based on its content. For instance, the module dealing with the types of harassment can have scenarios to help learners identify the same, while the module dealing with the process of filing a complaint can have infographics on the process and contact information.

c. While microlearning is a good means to reinforce learning, it won’t serve the purpose when learners require comprehensive training on several learning points, at once, in a single course.

As discussed earlier, a sales rep can look up a particular piece of information he is remotely familiar with, in an infographic. However, microlearning won’t suffice when he has to learn something completely new like about a new product, for the first time. That’ll need a detailed online course or a blend of other delivery formats.

The Various Facets Of Microlearning

All this sounds promising. However, does microlearning take place only through online modules? If this is what you are asking, the answer is a happy ‘No!’

Microlearning is very versatile and can be delivered in several interesting formats such as:

  • Online courses.
  • Videos.
  • Infographics.
  • Interactive PDFs.
  • Whiteboard animations.
  • Quizzes/gamified assessments.
  • Mobile apps.

Deciding where to use which asset will entail a careful analysis of your audience, their learning need, and the purpose of the microlearning nugget.

Microlearning In Corporate Training

Now to the interesting and crucial part – where can microlearning be used? I would like to give a two-pronged answer to this question. Before that, I would like to remind you that microlearning works best with a blend of other training delivery mechanisms.

1. Types Of Training

Microlearning can be used for all types of training delivered through the online medium. From product and process training to safety and software training, microlearning accommodates all subjects.

For a glimpse of how it can be used, check this micro table.

S.No Training Type Some Ideas
1. Product Product demonstration videos, online comparison charts
2. New Hire Infographics on the company vision and mission, welcome video by the CEO
3. Compliance Online scenarios to help learners build their decision-making skills

2. Stages Of The Learning Cycle

From pre-training to reinforcement, microlearning, can be used in all stages of the learning cycle. Use it for:

  1. Pre-training.
    • Inform learners of what to expect from a training session – through a video.
    • Provide the facts and theory prior to a workshop – through an online module.
    • Check existing knowledge prior to training – through online assessments.
  2. During training.
    • Demonstrate product operation in the classroom – through a video.
    • Explain complex topics – using animations.
  3. Post training. 
    • Check understanding/application of skills learned – through gamified assessments.
    • Provide reference material learners can access after training – through eBooks, interactive PDFs.
  4. Performance support.
    • Offer resources for on-the-job access and reinforcement – through videos, flash cards, infographics.

Microlearning packs quite a punch when it comes to corporate training. While organizations gain in terms of improved efficiencies due to the high impact and availability of training, employees will enjoy learning – when needed, in their preferred formats, in a short duration, and on preferred devices. What I’ve covered here is the tip of the iceberg. For more on microlearning, check the eBook Microlearning - A Beginner's Guide to Powerful Corporate Training.

Related Articles:

  1. What Is Microlearning And What Are The Most Important Microlearning Features?
  2. 4 Fundamentals Of A Microlearning Strategy
Close