What Is Microlearning And Why Should You Care?

What Is Microlearning And Why Should You Care?
Summary: If you’ve been around the training industry for any amount of time, you’ve heard the term microlearning tossed around. Unfortunately, it’s a term that also comes with a lot of jargon and never quite enough explanation. So let’s take a look: What is microlearning?

What Is Microlearning And How Can You Use It For Corporate Training?

Microlearning feeds information to learners through many short courses or modules instead of through a single long and laborious training.

eBook Release: Microlearning: Powerful Training Tool For Onboarding
eBook Release
Microlearning: Powerful Training Tool For Onboarding
Learn what is microlearning and how you can use it for corporate training to strengthen your onboarding process.

For instance, one focus of microlearning is personalization, which allows learners to take the training at their own pace, going through training when they have time or when they need to know a specific piece of information. As a result, learners feel more engaged with the training and see improved job efficiency and performance as well as a piqued interest in learning more and participating in other opportunities for training.

Another focus of microlearning is flexibility. Learners can select and use specific assets that are most pertinent to their current needs on whatever device is most handy, making the training even more relevant to their work. Microlearning supports employees accessing information when they need it most. Because assets are compact, learners are more likely to invest the time needed to use them in an on-the-job context.

Further, assets developed to be compatible with a wide variety of devices allow learners to use them when and where it’s most helpful. As a result, microlearning makes it possible for learners to gain new knowledge just in time to meet their immediate needs.

Why You Should Care About Microlearning

Microlearning works well for a variety of modalities to create powerful training experiences for learners. Assets used in microlearning are compact and focus on precise objectives. As such, modalities such as games, videos, and infographics are easy to coordinate with the content. Because these assets are small, production and maintenance are simple and more affordable in general. The purpose of these assets has high potential variation and can be used as components of broader training initiatives, communication tools, or performance support, among other uses.

The trick is, of course, to use the best modality possible for each piece of content to make the most effective training. Such varied modalities keep the training experience fresh and increase the learner’s engagement with the training. With all this in mind, don’t make the mistake of thinking that microlearning is simply a condensed or cheaper alternative to long-form training.

Microlearning content targets specific topics and behaviors and must be developed rigorously to achieve the desired effect. Whether you have a small budget for a simple series of short discussion activities or a larger budget for more complex content like games and interactive videos, microlearning can drive results. Microlearning empowers your employees with the access to and control over the information they want in a 21st-century workplace.

When done right, microlearning drives results.

What You Need To Know To Get Started With Microlearning

1. Figure Out Who Your Learners Are

When you select a training strategy, start off by considering who your learners are and the context in which their training will take place. Microlearning is an excellent cross-generational strategy, but younger learners or technologically-savvy learners may be more comfortable using gamified microlearning assets than people who do not use electronic devices frequently. Considering the learners’ training needs can be tricky. A corporate desk job has different responsibilities than a manufacturing plant job. Creating the right assets for your workforce is vital to the success of the training.

2. Establish What Kind Of Content Will Be Best

Abstract or complicated topics can be quite difficult to grasp. On the other hand, content that is actionable or that can be broken down into smaller pieces is easily purposed for use in a microlearning strategy. However, using microlearning for complex content is not hopeless and may simply need a blended solution using a longer format for training to develop foundational knowledge while also creating microlearning modules for targeted, actionable content.

3. Determine What Technologies Will Be Used

It turns out that not all Learning Management Systems are built with microlearning in mind. These systems are often designed for long-form training. Microlearning’s effectiveness depends in part on how easily it can be accessed. If learners can’t find what they want quickly, they may not put in much time or effort to access and use such short training pieces.

A solution? Use metadata tagging along with an excellent search function to help your learners find what they need. Being able to share the modules or assets via internal social networks or learning portals can provide a way to successfully deploy your training to more employees and get them engaged and excited.

Note also that web-based microlearning requires your learners to have access to web-enabled devices while they work; so make sure that the training can work on a wide variety of devices from tablets to PCs. If learners are in a remote location, it is also possible to use a learning application to download the content ahead of time for use at the point of need.

If you want to learn more about microlearning and how to use it for corporate learning, specifically onboarding, download the eBook Microlearning: Powerful Training Tool For Onboarding.