Is microlearning a good match for your organization? In short, microlearning is typically defined as short bursts of learning with shorter, custom eLearning content to allow learners to study at their own convenience and practice until they learn the topic or skill at hand. This method of custom eLearning is useful in the remote workplace environment of today but might not be the right fit for your organization if you don’t have the correct tools.
In this article, we’ll start by covering the benefits of microlearning and move on to what you need to know before designing a new training program using this method.
Benefits of Microlearning
Here are three major advantages of microlearning:
- Individualized Learning
Perhaps the primary benefit of microlearning is that it can be designed with your specific learners in mind. Are they busy? Are they comfortable using digital, web-enabled devices? What tasks do they need to learn, and what is the best way to deliver content that resonates with them? Keep these questions in mind as you develop your solution.
When we talk about flexibility, in this case, we mean flexible training that fits around the time and location constraints of your learners. Microlearning is easier to fit into an already busy schedule than other delivery formats because each component is intentionally designed to be short. Depending on your design choices for your custom eLearning content, you may also gain flexibility created by producing downloadable resources, such as PDFs and other trainings that can be completed offline, in easily accessed and saved formats for use anywhere.
Microlearning makes it easy to track progress. Your organization can gather data on user participation and build brief assessments into the training to determine learners’ ability to absorb and practice the new skill. This information is handy when it comes to determining the return on investment (ROI) of your training, and in identifying how well learners are performing new skills. Assessments can also help you determine whether or not new learning modules need to be created to fill unforeseen skills gaps.
Custom eLearning Tools
Let’s talk a minute about technology. When you design your learning strategy, you may want to lean heavily on technology to build flexibility into your delivery system and increase options for content. Videos, interactive online practice scenarios and other digital assets can be used to create microlearning programs. However, it’s important to first consider three factors before investing in a new technology: How tech savvy your learners are; how you plan to organize your content, and where the training will be held.
Microlearning is highly effective across age groups and skill levels, but if you choose to use technology that isn’t comfortable, accessible, or convenient for all members of the team the training won’t have the same success rate and level of impact.
You’ll also want to consider whether your organization has the correct systems to organize, access, and store your custom eLearning content. Any learning management system you use should make it easy for learners to find what they need. One way to accomplish this is to build an accessible landing page and link it to your website. All of the resources should be readily available so that employees spend their time learning, not hunting for content.
In addition, if training is held in office or on site you will have more options to standardize your microlearning experience because you’ll be able to provide the same technology resources to each learner. However, if it is likely that your learners will be participating in the training remotely, using their own devices, then you will want to design with flexibility in mind as learners may have different needs in terms of internet access speeds, operating systems and software subscriptions.
Which organizations can benefit most from microlearning as a training strategy? Because of the flexibility and effectiveness of microlearning, most organizations may find success by incorporating it into their training solutions. However, it is important to develop your strategy with technology in mind and to customize your design to make use of the best options for your team.