What is microlearning, and what are the best practices for this new form of training in the tech sector? Learn everything you need here.
The training and professional development industry generate almost $90 billion every year. Many business leaders are thinking more about their training and development programs.
There’s good data backing investment. Employees who have training opportunities are more engaged and happier at work. Businesses benefit from retaining more of their top talent.
Organizations also benefit from employees who develop new skills. Efficiency and productivity increase. Employee turnover can be reduced.
If you want all these benefits, though, you need to put these programs in place the right way. Microlearning can help.
What is microlearning? This guide will help you understand this learning technique and teach you how to use it in your business.
What is Microlearning?
Traditional learning happens in big blocks or chunks. You might send your employees to a workshop or a seminar. They spend a few hours or days involved in intensive learning.
Courses may be delivered over a longer period, but they also ask students to spend an hour or two per session. Reading a book might represent a similar investment of time and resources.
There are a few problems with this approach. First, it asks learners to cram all their learning into a few short hours. Teachers present as much information as they can, often at breakneck speed.
This actually isn’t helpful for learning. It’s more effective to spread learning out over a longer period of time.
Another issue is the opportunity to practice. Retention is helped by both repetition and practice. If your team members don’t have a chance to practice what they learned in that two-hour seminar, they won’t remember much.
Microlearning changes the story. Instead of delivering information in a concentrated format, microlearning spreads the learning out. It divides lessons down into bite-sized chunks.
These lessons can then be completed whenever your team members have a spare moment.
Why Microlearning Works
Microlearning has many benefits, as outlined in this guide. Most of them stem from how it restructures learning.
First, a microlearning approach makes lessons and information much more manageable. Instead of asking students to pay attention for hours, it allows them to complete shorter lessons.
By doing so, it makes constant, ongoing learning much more possible. With traditional formats, learning ends when students leave the classroom or workshop. With microlearning, learning can happen anytime, anywhere.
This means people actually end up spending more time learning with microlessons. Depending on how the course is delivered, they may also have a chance to repeat lessons.
Your team members can take what they learn in that five-minute lesson and start applying it.
The end result is much higher retention. Smaller lessons make learning more manageable and easier to implement. Repetition and practice drive the ideas home.
With microlearning, your team will constantly be upgrading their skills. That allows them to work toward true mastery of them.
Technology Drives Microlearning Programs
The rise of microlearning has gone hand in hand with the rise of technology. Apps designed for employee training often make use of the principles of microlearning. The use of videos, AI, and more can also support microlearning.
Employers who make use of microlessons for training programs work with many technologies. These include:
- Quiz apps or games that make studying interactive
- Interactive study guides
- Digital flashcards
- Texts or emails that transmit small bits of information
- Instructional videos
Many of these technologies can be combined. An instructional video can easily be part of a study guide or a game.
Apps and other technologies make it easy to deliver bite-sized lessons on a regular basis. All your employees have to do it open up the app or watch a video.
These initiatives also make learning more fun and rewarding. Watching a video and answering questions to test understanding is enhanced by a points system. When you reward learning, people learn better.
Designing an Effective Microlearning Program
Using a game or creating a quiz app might seem frivolous, but it can actually motivate your team to learn. Creating a points system or offering rewards can also incentivize learning.
That’s why gamification is one important part of an effective program. When employees can compete against each other or earn rewards, they’re more motivated.
Microlessons support learning by virtue of being short. When you’re designing a microlearning program, try to make each lesson support one goal.
This streamlines the learning process. The employee doesn’t need to learn many concepts at once, or spend an hour jotting notes down. They can spend their time focusing on mastery of one skill or concept.
Lessons should build on each other. Employees should be asked to combine previously learned concepts with new ones. This encourages mastery of the skill set.
Including visual content, such as videos and charts, is also important. People keep much more information from visual content than text. A picture really is worth 1,000 words.
Finally, don’t forget to include opportunities for review, practice, and repetition. Technology can help by making it easy for employees to repeat lessons or go back and practice.
Consult the Experts
If you’re planning to design a program from scratch, it can be a good idea to get a helping hand. An HR specialist or a training and development professional can help.
They’ll be able to work with you to create effective lessons. They may have insights on the best ways to include certain kinds of information.
Measure Your Success
Microlearning makes it easier to see how effective the training is. If you use an app, you can keep track of app usage statistics and other metrics.
Obviously, your employees’ scores on quizzes also show their learning. You may also be able to measure increases in productivity and more.
Finally, ask your employees about their satisfaction with microlearning. With their feedback, you can keep tweaking the program to make it even more effective.
Learning to Forge Forward
With the answer to “what is microlearning” in hand, you’ve discovered a new way to create effective training programs.
Learning and technology go hand in hand. Want to know where technology is heading next? We’ll keep you up to date on the latest trends and developments.