Digital training has come a long way in delivering quality organizational training. But it doesn’t mean the good ol’ classroom training approach has become any less impactful. To get the best of these two training methodologies, many organizations opt for a blended learning strategy.
A blended approach beautifully combines technology with traditional learning. The digital component gives learners much-needed flexibility, access to latest content and a personalized learning experience, while the classroom provides concentrated engagement and a highly interactive learning environment.
For your blended approach to be truly beneficial, you need to develop the digital components of the course carefully. They should serve the dual purpose of supporting classroom sessions as well as being standalone assets that individuals can access to meet specific learning needs.
Microlearning modules fulfill this learning need. These bite-sized learning nuggets convey a single topic comprehensively and are the perfect addition to your learning blend. Let’s explore how you can use microlearning in your blended learning program before, during and after classroom training or e-learning sessions.
Micro-modules can provide learners a glimpse of what is going to happen in the classroom:
- Short video trailers build curiosity and get employees interested in the training session.
- As part of a flipped classroom, microlearning modules can offer introductory or basic concepts, which can be discussed in detail in the classroom.
- Quiz-based microlearning challenges to test employees’ existing knowledge, and then assign only the necessary training.
In the classroom, you can use microlearning assets to make the session livelier, enhance participation and offer deeper insights:
- Microlearning modules in classroom or online sessions gauge learners’ perceptions through poll questions or surveys.
- Short videos demonstrate the use of complex machinery or other operations that are not possible in a live classroom environment.
After a classroom session or e-learning, microlearning assets are a great way to fight the forgetting curve by offering learning in spaced intervals. Videos or short online modules summarizing the key takeaways of the training session can be a great way to refresh knowledge. Game-based modules, mini-quizzes and scenario-based challenges are all great ways to test application of knowledge after the training. They also help training managers determine who needs reinforcement training.
Learners can also download and save micro-assets to use as performance support tools. A few examples include:
- Infographics depicting dos and don’ts, rules, guidelines, or principles
- How-to/explainer videos that demonstrate the operation of machinery or the execution of steps in a software program
- PDFs and job aids that depict the steps of a process
Microlearning can also be used as standalone learning resources in the overall training framework. Here are a few examples.
Use microlearning to test learners at frequent intervals after the completion of training, chunking the assessments to test specific concepts. For example, a food retailer looking to revamp its existing e-learning on information security used microlearning to help learners apply knowledge immediately and strengthen learning. The company had one video-based challenge for each learning objective, based on the various situations employees were likely to encounter at work. Each video conveyed certain information security breaches to be wary of, followed by a set of pertinent questions to check their understanding and apply what they learned. The company also used short quizzes 30 days and 60 days after the video-based challenge.
No matter how effective classroom sessions are, in this age of information overload, learners are bound to misplace or forget what they learn. Forgetting also happens when the duration between the training and the application is too long. By using microlearning modules the right way, you can help prevent forgetting. Develop just-in-time micro-courses that give crucial knowledge just before an important task. Include easy-to-absorb formats such as podcasts, infographics and flipbooks that also cater to learners with different preferences.
Social Media Integration
Social learning is an underrated training approach. Employees gain a lot of knowledge through water-cooler conversations, cafeteria meetings and other informal channels. Microlearning allows organizations to take social learning to the next level. Use plugins that allow employees to share their progress after each micro-module, and embed links to chat rooms or discussion forums where learners can actively exchange ideas and perspectives about a topic. Social learning keeps the human interaction factor alive even outside the classroom.
Start including microlearning in your blended training program today. As part of the classroom, before and after training, for timely help, or to enable social collaboration, microlearning is a good fit in every part of a training program.