September 24, 2019
Microlearning is an educational strategy that offers information in a bite-sized format to achieve a specific and actionable objective. Microlearning is fast catching up in the corporate training environment where there is a need for rapid transition from theoretical knowledge to practical hands-on experience.
Microlearning can off-set some specific challenges.
A study by Alorica claims that millennials will make up nearly 75% of the workforce by 2025. The attention span of this generation is not expected to be beyond 90 seconds. With a diminishing attention span, microlearning offers the best learning strategy that is available to address the issue.
As per Pike’s 90/20/8 rule of instructional design, content can be taught for 90 minutes continuously. However, the content should be chunked into 20-minute sections with interaction for every eight minutes. Learners tend to tune out unless adequate breaks are provided during the training.
Despite the successful completion of the training, learners tend to forget nearly 80% of what they learned within 30 days unless they use the information or there is a positive reinforcement of the information they learned.
Therefore, a successful microlearning strategy must involve the delivery of short, impactful learning experiences to employees for the ability to learn the task effectively and efficiently.
Here are some guidelines to implement a successful strategy.
Most organizations make the mistake of choosing microlearning simply because the content development timeline is short, and the cost is cheap. However, the most important step is for learning professionals to understand the learning gaps, LMS platform, and user preferences when related to content and devices before formulating goals. It is also important to understand that microlearning is not the best choice when the tasks are too complex, or the skills require too much time to master. The learning specialist must also understand the individual expectations of the employees.
Before developing content for a microlearning course, it is essential to first ensure that one has clarity about the problems or specific learning objectives that the module will solve. One also needs to be clear about the expected change in employee behavior and the method to track the results of the intervention.
When creating a microlearning course, it is better to not use fragmented pieces of information as content, such as cutting up long videos into shorter pieces. The focus must be on covering full concepts in each piece of content.
Most standard eLearning courses cannot be accessed when an employee requires guidance, assistance or learning to complete a task. Thus, microlearning can be the catalyst for the moment of need for an employee to prepare, acquire, practice, and improve upon what he or she learned.
Microlearning can be effective only when it is continuously used as part of a training program. This helps improve knowledge and retention. To improve retention rate, users should be able to access the micromodules easily and practice new topics over an increasingly longer duration of time.
Microlearning aims to change behaviors of people rather than what they know. Microlearning can be used to change workplace behaviors like decision-making or constructive feedback by gradually building the skill at focused periods.
The objective of any microlearning course should be to actively engage the learners to practice and learn a concept. Micro-interactions enable learners to perform an action that shows what they have learned in the module. These interactions could be in the form of quizzes, videos, infographics, surveys, etc.
The best way to end a microlearning module is to have a call-to-action. This helps the learner to gauge the progress made in the module. The completion of the action is likely to make the learner feel good.
Microlearning can be used as an online resource as part of the pre-workshop preparation. During the workshop, this resource can be used for role-plays, practice sessions and post-assessments. This can be used as positive reinforcement after the conclusion of the workshop.
Microlearning can also be a great tool to collect a vast amount of data to assess the performance of learners and analyze how this knowledge connects to their job performance.
If you’d like to know more about how EdApp’s mobile learning platform can help your internal training practices, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also try EdApp’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.
Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.