Microlearning For Corporate Training – What, Why, And How
Microlearning –knowledge in short, focused nuggets– is ideal to deal with training challenges caused by employees’ dwindling attention spans. Micro modules ensure better knowledge retention and application. Read this article to know what microlearning is and how it facilitates effective training.
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What You Need To Know About Microlearning For Corporate Training
We all want our learners to retain the knowledge imparted in training programs for long and apply it effectively at the workplace. Don’t we? How can we deliver training that sticks? What does it take to ensure proper transfer of learning to the workplace? How can we impart training to the new age workforce, with limited attention spans and busy schedules? Micro online learning modules offer the ideal solution in these circumstances.
What Is Microlearning?
Microlearning refers to the delivery of learning content in the form of information nuggets, in standalone modules. Each module spans not more than 10 minutes and comprehensively addresses one learning objective.
5 Ways Microlearning Facilitates Effective Training
1. Learner Engagement Levels Can Be Improved
Short attention spans are the bane of new-age learners. The inability of the new-age learner to focus for extended periods has made bite-sized learning a necessity. The short duration of microlearning modules allows learners to focus on the content, easily, in an effective manner. Needless to say, this results in learning of high quality.
The ability of humans to process information is limited. Short, focused learning reduces cognitive load and improves retention. Lynne Millward, in his best-selling book Understanding Occupational & Organizational Psychology points out that information can be understood effectively, if it is presented in the form of nuggets. Our brains are more efficient at processing the information in microlearning modules than handling mountains of learning materials.
2. Microlearning Modules Are Mobile-Friendly
In recent years, the number of companies adopting mobile learning (mLearning) has increased by leaps and bounds. This has increased the significance of micro online learning modules considerably. Information nuggets can be accessed easily on smartphones and tablets, and this makes microlearning the preferred choice of firms opting for m-learning solutions.
3. Just-In-Time (JIT) Learning Support Of High Quality Can Be Provided
Microlearning modules are perfect tools to deliver good just-in-time (JIT) learning support to reinforce knowledge and make it available at the moment of need. Consider the following scenario:
The sales rep of a medical device company is interacting with the members of the purchasing committee of a hospital, trying to explain the benefits of his firm’s CT scanner. One of the committee members asks the rep how the product is superior to those offered by competitors. The rep accesses the required information, contained in a bite-sized module, instantly on his iPad, and answers the question confidently.
4. Short Online Modules Are Ideal To Close Learning Gaps Quickly
You must enable your employees make the best use of their time, and bite-sized learning modules go a long way in helping them utilize their time effectively. These learning nuggets are very useful to help staff members close their learning gaps, rapidly, in an effective manner.
Consider the following example:
A salesperson of a power-generation equipment manufacturer in Hamburg needs to deliver a presentation to a prospect based in Shanghai. The sales rep, who was busy with his work, could not brush up his knowledge of the company’s latest turbine. He accesses a microlearning module that explains the unique features of the machinery while waiting at the airport, and this helps him bridge the knowledge gap.
5. Bite-Sized Learning Modules Are Ideal For Learning Reinforcement
According to Hermann Ebbinghaus who pioneered the concept of the Forgetting Curve, learners forget roughly 90% of what they have learned within a week. So, it is important to reinforce learning before this period. You can use microlearning modules very effectively for this purpose. Bite-sized modules can be digested easily and are more effective than lengthy recap sessions.
5 Steps For Developing A Bite-Sized Online Training Program
The steps discussed below will help you develop microlearning modules that address the learning needs of your learners and improve performance.
1. Be Clear With What You Intend To Achieve Using The Bite-Sized Learning Program
This is necessary to come up with the appropriate eLearning design strategy to develop the micro online learning program. For instance, if you wish to create “coursels” for training your people on handling customer objections, you can go in for scenario-based learning. On the other hand, if you intend to use technology-enabled learning nuggets for training your service technicians, on your products, then you can go for short video-based lessons.
2. Choose The Right Tools Based On Your Learning Objectives
After deciding on the appropriate instructional design strategy, you must choose the right authoring tools to develop the bite-sized learning modules. The choice of the authoring tool must be based on the nature of the learning content. For instance, Articulate Storyline can be used to create scenario-based bite-sized courses, very effectively. On the other hand, you can use GoAnimate to develop high quality animated learning videos for explaining the functioning of products.
3. Organize The Learning Content Properly And Analyze It Thoroughly
You now need to collect all the relevant learning material and prepare a comprehensive outline, detailing how many bite-sized online courses need to be developed. Also, it is important to see whether you can reduce the quantum of content and yet convey the meaning effectively. For instance, you may consider using relevant images to replace bulky text.
4. Break The Content Into Microlearning Modules
It is now time to divide the learning content logically, into bite-sized learning modules. Make sure that each learning nugget is a self-standing instructional unit, addressing one learning objective. You also need to see your learners can access the modules in the order of their choice, and yet comprehend the information effectively.
5. Create The Bite-Sized Learning Modules And Deliver Them To Your Learners
You now need to develop the microlearning modules using the eLearning development tool chosen in Step 2. Once the modules are developed, it is important to deliver them using a Learning Management System. An LMS helps you track participation, engagement, and completion rates effectively, and these metrics help you measure the effectiveness of your bite-sized eLearning courses.
Microlearning modules help your learners retain information better and apply it effectively to their jobs. Create good bite-sized learning modules to impart the winning training to your learners.
By Sandhya R Johnson