An Analogy of Efficiency
To understand what efficiency means, let’s consider the lightbulb. To measure the efficiency of a lightbulb, we compare how much light the bulb produces with how much electricity it takes to make it work. If the bulb were 100% efficient, it would convert all incoming electricity into light without producing any heat.
An incandescent bulb runs at just 10% efficiency. The electricity that it doesn’t convert into light becomes heat, which is wasted as it dissipates. On the other hand, an LED bulb converts 90% of its electricity into light, making it much more efficient at accomplishing the same task.
Applying This Idea to Learning
When we look at traditional employee training, we can see a lot of parallels with incandescent bulbs. It works, but it’s only a fraction as efficient as a contextual approach. In-context microlearning is akin to LED bulbs. Companies that commit to a microlearning initiative can look forward to increased productivity and higher employee satisfaction; plus, the process complements the way many employees prefer to learn.
What Is Contextual Learning?
Contextual learning is a method by which employees access training modules that align with their daily workflow. Since they access learning in the moment, while they are performing active tasks, that content has context and is easier to understand and retain.
With microlearning platforms, organizations can offer training within their learning management system (LMS), enabling them to embed learning modules within the applications, platforms and software that employees use every day, creating an environment that fuels learning and advancement.
Making a Case for Contextual Microlearning
It’s all well and good to make blanket statements about the effectiveness of a given training approach — but where is the evidence? Here is some food for thought:
Regular Types of eLearning Methods Are Not Motivating
You can offer eLearning in the form of videos, quizzes, PowerPoint presentations or a portal built with lots of knowledge, but it’s not motivating, and it doesn’t drive employees to take action. These types of training modules also take employees away from their work. They’re an interruption that ends up feeling like extra work, which can cause resistance.
Different Times Call for a New Approach
Training competes with a lot of other things for learners’ attention, making it critical to reach the point quickly and to make it relevant. What’s more, with a rising number of “digital natives” in the workforce, many of our learners are accustomed to accessing information in the form of contextual microlearning. When you can meet them on their terms, your mission becomes easier to accomplish.
Furthermore, with the coronavirus pandemic, we are all living and working in a “new normal.” Many companies are thinking about new ways of doing business going forward, and some have already made the transition to doing some or all of their business online. In many cases, this approach has brought up as many challenges as it has solutions.
As remote working gains ground and companies adjust to maximize efficiency, training and compliance must also transform. Contextual microlearning helps solves this problem by meeting remote workers where they are, when they need support. You can also leverage contextual microlearning to deliver vital information, such as changes to company policy and legal compliance, which are critical factors in being successful amid volatility.
Promoting an Agile Learning Style
If engagement and information retention are problems with your current training programs, a contextual learning approach will help. It satisfies your learners’ need for immediate answers and establishes a workflow that emphasizes continuous improvement and skills enhancement.
A contextual approach is frictionless and innately agile. Because it offers help when it’s most needed, this learning approach is more effective in improving retention and application. When everything employees need to succeed is at their fingertips, the benefits resonate throughout the organization.