Getting Started With Microlearning In Your Organization
Now that 2021 is wrapping up, it wouldn't be wrong if we say that technological advancement, the pandemic and remote work have changed the way business functions and employees work. Undoubtedly, mobile technology is revolutionizing our personal and business lives every moment of the day. In this era of mobile technology, almost every mobile device, every market research shows mobile users access digital content more frequently than desktop users. In addition to these fundamental shifts, the present explosion of information creates much uncertainty, complicating our lives.
In light of changing hours and circumstances, it is natural for us to rethink career progression and learning and development. The days of spending hours in the classroom to learn new skills are long gone. Apart from being banned by social distancing guidelines, it is also ineffective in developing skills. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the attention span of humans is now shorter than that of goldfish. According to the report, the average human's attention span had decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2015, whereas goldfish have a 9-second attention span.
As you read this article, you will likely be distracted by multiple phone calls, WhatsApp chats, children, pets, and even sounds from vehicles etc. And that leaves us with the question: what now? It might surprise you to discover that microlearning, or short, rapid bursts of training content, have a lasting impact on a learner; several studies have demonstrated that microlearning increases student retention.
In this article, we will explore how you can use microlearning content to enhance your training programs and discover the best practices for building microlearning courses that your employees will respond to. Before we talk about microlearning, let's discuss why workplace learning is important for both employees and employers.
The era of learning and development has changed dramatically. Learning that takes a lot of time, attention, and being stuck in training rooms for days on end is dead. With the advent of modern and user-friendly learning management systems (LMS), training can now be conveniently managed and delivered through the internet. This proves that management of employee training is now easier than ever before. Yet, do you understand why workplace learning should be the employer's top priority?
When you make learning and development a priority, it can bring all the difference to getting better work done. The workplace learning program offers employees an excellent way to hone their skills and develop their knowledge base to make them more effective at work. Every day, employees learn and retain skills and knowledge through formal training videos, their teammate’s behavior, and numerous opportunities that occur on the job. Learning and development also aim to create a healthy working environment that promotes employee growth and teaches them the importance of their role.
If you are an employer, you must take this process seriously because it is crucial for the success or failure of your firm. Workplace learning is an effective method for organizations to ensure their employees possess the core skills required for current and future employment. Employees are trained and developed to ensure they have the most current skills and knowledge necessary for their jobs, thus increasing productivity.
This report from Rezolve.ai outlines some examples of successful learning and development programs and why companies should invest in workplace learning.
- Enhanced Employee Onboarding Experience
A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation reported that employees who had a good onboarding experience would stay with that organization for up to three years. In many cases, the onboarding experience is an employee's first introduction to how an organization works. The primary objective of training and onboarding is to enhance employee engagement, retention, performance, clarity, and culture by strengthening safety, belonging, and mattering.
- Formalized knowledge exchange
Learning and development programs ensure employees have a consistent learning experience and the proper background knowledge. Your company's basic policies and procedures need to be consistent. If every employee is well informed about the company's expectations and procedures, this will help. In order to ensure that everyone is aware of workplace and job policies, training is needed.
- Attract and Retain Employees
Having access to ongoing learning and development makes employees feel more appreciated. It is possible to create a collaborative environment, which would allow employees to learn things. A workplace that emphasizes on-the-job training creates a supportive work environment, and employees who feel valued and challenged find their jobs more fulfilling.
- Enhanced employee productivity and performance
When employees receive training, they are better able to perform their duties! Employees who better understand their job domain, duties and responsibilities may also develop confidence after learning and developing tools.
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
A consistent training program improves the skills of employees at work, making them more productive and professional. Therefore, the customers will feel the difference, and their opinion of the organization will undoubtedly be improved.
Employees need flexible learning options with limited time and little to no opportunity to learn. The organization has to develop robust learning content, including microlearning, to build out its learning and development strategies with efficient learning platforms. It is true that learning trends fluctuate, but those that last are usually those that offer real value and results to L&D teams and learners.
The microlearning trend fits into this category. Microlearning has evolved from a buzzword to an essential component of L&D strategy within many organizations, especially those with a modern learning culture. In 2021, learning and development leaders are increasingly relying on microlearning to deliver knowledge and skills to their workforces because microlearning enables teams to gain knowledge faster.
A microlearning program consists of real learning that is broken down into bite-sized pieces. This allows a learner to take the course within a few minutes. In microlearning, the emphasis should be on learning one skill in as little as five minutes. Developing microlearning modules is a great way to address a single problem or question effectively. Any educational materials, such as video tutorials, audio podcasts, presentations, scenarios, and assessments, can be created as microlearning.
As technology advances, microlearning techniques such as video training play an increasingly significant role in influencing the future of the workforce. Mobile devices are typically compatible with microlearning, which makes its modules accessible to anyone. Microlearning is incredibly popular because it provides learners with immediate access to essential skills and knowledge. It is also the favorite solution among instructors as it allows them to create high-quality training quickly and without break-neck costs.
If you are not using microlearning, you miss out on the opportunity to produce engaging, fast-paced content your learners want.
There are four key features of microlearning:
- Maintain Focus:
An essential part of microlearning is breaking the content into discrete chunks of distilled content.
- It’s Concise:
In just a few minutes, microlearning can make a considerable impact.
- It's flexible:
Microlearning can take the form of images, texts, video, animation, games, or even PDF, whatever the learner requires.
- It's informal.
Learning is less structured when it comes to microlearning, and learners often design it themselves.
In general, microlearning and traditional learning have two significant differences:
- The context and details of microlearning are typically scarce since it is not used for delivering basic knowledge.
- In microlearning, each learner assumes he or she is self-motivated enough to find, select and complete the content they need. Yet the reality often differs. Even the shortest lesson can be challenging when it comes to covering knowledge or topics beyond a learner's current skill set.
Microlearning is most beneficial to learners who possess a basic level of expertise, can identify the gaps in their knowledge, and are comfortable with technology.
Research conducted by Markets and Markets predicts the global microlearning market will grow from USD 1.5 billion by 2019 to USD 2.7 billion by 2024, a 13.2% compound annual growth rate. The report also states that the rising need for skilled, result-oriented mobile and the deskless employees across industries are the reasons for the market's growth.
The Best Way to Use Microlearning
These are the best training uses for microlearning:
- Providing short pieces of information that focus on a single skill or task.
- Setting a time limit of five minutes for the presentation.
- Training can be delivered over various devices such as mobile devices, tablets, laptops, televisions, etc., to meet the needs of learners who want to learn in informal settings and at any time.
- Offering employees, the training they need when and where they need it, such as learning a critical skill at work.
- Having the ability to update and fix instructions based on employee feedback.
- Getting to the point quickly and without wasting learners' time.
- Consistently learning in the informal environment.
- Training sessions should be shortened for individuals with limited attention spans.
- Harnessing the learner's sense of accomplishment to revise the microlearning model for greater impact.
- Enhancing the learning experience with interactive features such as quizzes, games, infographics, and videos that track progress.
To get started with microlearning when building your courses, you can look into the following ideas to get your employees or teams started:
- Shorter videos are better
When it comes to training employees, boredom may be the number one challenge. You have lost the fight once your learners become bored with the material. Therefore, you should pay attention to the way you deliver your content. Videos are the perfect solution for keeping your people engaged while they are learning.
It is impossible to expect that your team members will learn anything by simply watching a 1-hour long training session. To effectively disseminate information, it is best to divide your video into smaller pieces. It is easier for people to comprehend and retain information if a module or lecture is segmented into 3-6-minute sections.
- Conduct proper research
It does not make the content more enjoyable to divide it into chunks. There is no guarantee that employees will engage just because they will be spending less time in training rooms. The content should be curated and targeted for each individual. To be effective, it must address the main problems. Make sure your employees find material that will retain their attention. It is crucial that content is not only engaging but also relevant.
- Take Advantage Of Games
Making learning material into a game is called gamification. Micro-games take this concept and shrink it down into an even easier way to access format. Studies have demonstrated that when information is presented uniquely, we retain it more easily. As a way to keep learners motivated, badges or other virtual prizes can be given for performance.
- Flexibility is important.
Bite-sized training has several significant advantages, including flexibility. So always keep it in mind when creating your modules. Make sure that sessions are easily accessed and effortlessly understood. Take into account how the information will be applied in different departments. There is a wide range of learning speeds and courage among individuals. As a final point, if your organization has foreign employees, ensure that developers can translate content successfully.
As soon as microlearning has been implemented in your organization, you must follow a routine evaluation schedule. Keep track of which sessions are generating positive results in your LMS. Use employee feedback to make changes at regular intervals.
How can microlearning benefit your organization?
The concept of microlearning refers to the way content is engineered to be delivered in a series of short, concise, and dynamic learning moments, with each revealing a complete learning experience on its own but supporting the learning sequence as a whole. Rather than a sequence of text and image slides, microlearning might include a video or infographic as the lessons' main asset.
As a time-constrained learning method and as a way for organizations to increase productivity, microlearning offers many benefits.
- Accelerate Training
According to the Workplace Learning Report of 2019, time proves to be a major barrier to workplace learning. Since microlearning modules are much shorter than traditional eLearning courses, they are easier to complete multiple modules, allowing a vast number of people to be trained very quickly. It is beneficial when you are trying to respond to evolving business goals and new demands placed on your team.
Relevant Article: How Microlearning enhance employee learning and development?
- Improves knowledge retention
The process of learning requires us to absorb and reflect to acquire new skills and knowledge. According to research by the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, the average learner forgets half of what they learn in a class within a day – which is referred to as the Forgetting Curve.
According to Ebbinghaus, learning is more effective when done in repeated activities instead of a single activity. It is proven that repetition helps to strengthen memories and stimulates recall. The Forgetting Curve can be easily countered by implementing microlearning since training activities and assessments can be quickly created that are focused and rememberable. The effect of microlearning has been shown to lower the risk of mental fatigue by focusing the mind on one thing at a time and then taking a break.
- Flexible and convenient
It is ideal for mobile devices to deliver microlearning: learning can be done on the move with maximum convenience and flexibility. In addition, employees will not be required to fit training into working hours or stay late after work; training can be completed during commutes home and lunch breaks, among other instances. By allowing learners to complete training on their own mobile devices, they will be more engaged with the learning process.
- Enables personalized training
Learning can be personalized by using microlearning. The most efficient way to locate courses is to search for keywords or ask questions to be directed to just what they need. The more quickly and directly learners can take courses in the time they need, the higher their interest, and the more likely they are to apply their new knowledge in the workplace.
- Streamline "On the Go" Learning
A successful learning strategy must combine microlearning and mobile learning. Today learning is no longer limited to desktop computers. The benefit is that they can use their personal or company-issued devices to learn whenever they like.
Besides its concise nature, microlearning is ideal for time-poor learners, as it allows them to find ways to learn while they are on the go - whether they are on a commute, at a meeting, or doing anything else. Considering that the typical worker has only 1% of their time to dedicate to training and development, organizations need to use any additional time in which workers can connect.
- Engaged More People
According to the report of Software Advice, 58% of participants said they would utilize learning tools more frequently if the content could be divided into shorter lessons. Microlearning aligns well with our brain's natural method of absorbing information, which is why it is so appealing. Microlearning includes only necessary information and skills, so learners won't waste time with unimportant information or exercises.
During a study conducted by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), microlearning was found to work more effectively than traditional eLearning to create memorable learning experiences and long-lasting impressions. By delivering content in short "bursts," microlearning serves to increase knowledge retention by aligning to human attention spans.
Today, microlearning is more than just an eLearning trend. Sometimes, learning happens best when employees and teams are pulled out of their environment for a half-day, full day, or longer. It is impossible to call a company a modern learning organization without incorporating some degree of microlearning.
Indeed, microlearning is an effective and engaging learning strategy for your learners that allows you to create content quickly and easily. Microlearning can train new employees and new products and train employees on compliance, safety, and technology. It can also serve as a building block for establishing a culture of learning within your organization.
Are you utilizing microlearning at your company? You now have a fairly good understanding of the benefits of this format and the steps to incorporating it!