When And How Should Organizations Use Microlearning

Instructions For Using Microlearning

With microlearning becoming the new "big thing" in L&D, it is often touted as a "cure-all" to all your modern-day L&D problems. Like all digital learning strategies, microlearning has to be used in a certain way, and only in certain moments of a learner’s learning journey to get the most out of it. The learner’s learning journey usually consists of 7 stages, (although this number varies according to different models) at each of which either microlearning can be used or not. In this article, we’ll discuss when and how organizations should use microlearning in each of the stages of the learner’s journey. Let us begin.

1. Pre-Learning

A great time to use microlearning in the learner’s journey is before the journey has even begun. Pre-learning is a time when the learners are introduced to the topics they’ll cover in the course they’re about to begin. The way the topic is introduced, as well as the way the learning objective is explained, influences the learners' motivation to consume the training/course big time. A 2-3 minute long microlearning video that familiarizes the learners with the topic, summarizes what the learners will learn, and sets the tone of the whole course, is the best use of microlearning at this stage.

2. Learning A New And Complex Topic

As mentioned before, microlearning isn’t a panacea that can be used everywhere in the learner’s journey to provide great results. Learning a new topic, especially one that is complex, requires in-depth study and understanding of concepts which, unfortunately, microlearning cannot help deliver effectively. Breaking complex topics into too many microlearning nuggets (which cannot be longer than 5 minutes) can be difficult, time-taking and simply not viable. Microlearning, thus, is not a good fit for this stage.

3. Expanding Skills And Knowledge

Although it can be done using other macrolearning methods as well, and perhaps better, expanding skills and knowledge is not only possible but also easy, using microlearning. Once learners have had good knowledge about a topic or skill, microlearning can be used to provide learners with useful nuggets which can serve to expand their skills and knowledge over a course of time.

4. Reinforcement Of Learned Knowledge

Microlearning has always been known to be a great strategy to refresh and reinforce already learned knowledge and it is probably used the most in this manner. Short microlearning videos, infographics, interactive PDFs, and gamified nuggets, can all be used to help learners revise or bring back all they have learned.

5. Applying Learned Knowledge

Applying learned knowledge is another stage at which microlearning can be effectively used. When applying learned knowledge, learners want a short learning module that can help carry out a task correctly. Microlearning provides them with exactly that, in the form of a video, or step-by-step infographic.

6. Problem-Solving

Problem-solving, once again, requires that the learners quickly recall the skills, piece of information, process or strategy to use to break down and solve a problem. As mentioned before, microlearning is great at helping learners recall information.

7. Learning A New Process

Like learning a new subject or topic, learning a new process—which is a way to do things—can be difficult to learn through short lessons. Microlearning, thus, is a bad fit to help learners do that, and a deeper learning method such as ILT or a traditional eLearning course is required. Microlearning can be used as a refresher—afterwards, though.

The above-mentioned points describe the stages at which a learner absorbs information at different times in their learning journey, and whether or not microlearning can be used to educate learners. It is important for L&D professionals, especially Instructional Designers to understand these points, as they are the ones who are going to create the courses after all. But as you can plainly see, microlearning can be used more often than not, in each stage of the learner’s journey, which is another example of why it is such a widely acclaimed learning strategy. We hope readers were able to glean something useful from this article.

eBook Release: Tamplo
Project and Team management software