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Microlearning is more than simply bite-sized training assets.
Microlearning is focused and offers just the right amount of information necessary to help a learner achieve a specific, actionable objective.
This makes microlearning in business contexts especially valuable.
Microlearning is a holistic learning strategy focused on achieving specific, actionable, performance-oriented results.
It is the perfect solution for today’s workforce that has very little time to devote to learning, as it helps them access solutions to problems right at the point of need, get latest updates, offers performance support, and more.
It enables the faster achievement of business results, allows content to be repurposed, and has a role to play in enhancing employee motivation and loyalty.
Adopting microlearning is therefore a winning proposition and organizations should include it in their training framework.
Given their brevity and engaging formats, microlearning assets can be integrated with blended solutions to maximize training effectiveness.
Microlearning has been part of training and instructional design for many years, and has now become an integral part of the training toolkit.
Microlearning can be defined as a flexible learning approach that can be used in a variety of ways to enhance individual and organizational performance.
Learning designers need to have a detailed conversation with stakeholders on the performance that is to be accomplished through the microlearning initiative.
Microlearning is NOT…
• A new concept:
The idea of using small focused “nuggets” and weaving them in the overall training strategy has been around for a long time.
• Limited to a fixed time period (only 1, 2, or 5 minutes):
It depends on the content and objective.
• Just one format (video, in particular).
• Appropriate to every situation (task).
• Simply chopping content into small pieces.
• To be confused with performance support:
Performance support is applied on the job, whereas microlearning supports learning, that is later transferred to the job.
• A single “one-dose” solution: in most cases, it’s part of an array of learning solutions.
Microlearning yields the best results when it is incorporated in the overall training strategy.
So, no matter which training content you are developing – classroom training or e-learning, it is important to plan for the potential and scope of microlearning.
Based on the complexity of the course, each lesson or topic within a lesson can be delivered as microlearning assets, which can be accessed independently, based on the performance-based learning objective.
Microlearning can also be part of the ‘flipped classroom’ where learners go through the basics of a topic online, and attend classroom sessions for practice and detailed analyses with experts.
For example, sales reps can go through the dos and don’ts of engaging in conversations with customers as an infographic and practice the same through role-plays in a classroom.
Along with blogs, wikis, and social media messages, smartphones have now made it easy for employees to capture a piece of learning and share it with the larger community.
For the individual (learner), microlearning:
• Provides immediate, relevant value:
If designed right, it is going to make an impact right away.
• Is targeted, concise, convenient, and time-efficient.
• Gets learners in and out (speed): Learners can learn something quickly and apply it to the job at hand.
• Is personal, flexible, adaptive, and learner-centric. • Fosters knowledge encoding, retention, retrieval, application, and transfer.
• Is engaging, immersive, and offers variety.
• Promotes self-sufficiency (70/20/10):
70% of training and development is supposed to be the responsibility of the individual that microlearning solutions can help with.
• Is easily accessible.
• Allows for immediate feedback, a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
• Facilitates collaboration, contributions (learner sourcing), and sharing.
Microlearning is not just videos or infographics. Microlearning assets can be configured in a variety of interesting formats, depending on their function.
Popular forms (or types) of microlearning include:
• Interactive Resources
• Mobile Apps
• Whiteboard Animations
Microlearning can be a great way to keep your training fresh, accessible, and relevant.