To achieve high employee engagement and performance gain, training must be precise, easy to assimilate, and easy to apply on-the-job. Microlearning-based training is a highly effective approach to engage learners and enable organizations to enhance employee performance.
Learners love it, as they want training that is short and focused; helps them achieve a specific gain; and can be consumed “on the go.” L&D teams also find value in microlearning because it encourages higher engagement, has better completion rates, and its granular design approach can be used to achieve specific outcomes.
What is Microlearning?
Microlearning, as the name suggests, features focused learning nuggets ideally designed to be 2-5 minutes long, and normally not exceeding 7 minutes. It has a specific outcome or gain associated with it and should trigger the learner to the desired action. It is supported across all devices—ranging from desktops/laptops to smartphones/tablets—and is the preferred mode for learning “on-the-go.”
Key Characteristics That Make Microlearning Relevant Today
- Flexibility: Learners can consume the training on the device of their choice. This matches the lifestyles and learning styles of modern learners.
- Appeals to a multi-generational workforce: Microlearning resonates with all kinds of learners.
- Available within the learner’s workflow: It can be accessed precisely at their moment of need.
- Action-oriented: Nuggets can be designed to help learners learn, overcome a problem, scale to the next level, practice, and apply the learning successfully on the job.
- Can adapt to the learning need: Training can be rendered as a stand-alone nugget, or as a series of nuggets connected through a learning path.
- Personalization: You can personalize learning journeys based on learners’ proficiency, roles, or preferences.
- Provides a wide range of format options: You can offer nuggets in varied formats, each optimized to deliver the right learning experience.
- Easy to maintain: Training can be quickly updated and redeployed.
Microlearning Offsets Modern L&D Challenges
Microlearning can offset three specific challenges that L&D teams face today.
Challenge 1: Limited attention spans
You may be aware of the 90/20/8 rule on attention spans:
- The learners are fully alert and attentive for the first 8 minutes
- Their attention level starts to dip after 20 minutes
- The alertness dips significantly as you hit the range of 60-120 minutes
How microlearning helps: Its short run length is aligned to match the limited attention span, and hence is more likely to deliver the required impact.
Challenge 2: Dwindling attention spans
A study by Microsoft on attention span put the human attention span at a mere 8 seconds.
How microlearning helps: While Microsoft’s number may be debatable, we live in a world where we have multiple distractions. We need to multi-task and we don’t have enough hours in the week to block for training. Microlearning effectively addresses this.
Challenge 3: The Forgetting Curve
Despite completing a successful training session, learners can forget nearly 80% of what they learned within 30 days if they do not use the information, or do not receive any reinforcement.
How microlearning helps: It provides reinforcements to flip the Forgetting Curve to the Recall and Retention curve.
Put Microlearning into Action
Here are some ways to effectively use microlearning to drive higher performance:
- To create awareness/change management. Prior to launching significant training programs, use microlearning videos to highlight the value of the upcoming training and create interest and motivation among learners.
- As part of formal training. Use microlearning to address the majority of your corporate training needs. It can be rendered as a series of nuggets that are threaded through a learning path.
- For performance support. Use microlearning as a performance support tool to reinforce formal training with just-in-time aids to facilitate the application of acquired knowledge, or to meet a specific challenge. With this approach, you can meet the tougher mandate of performance gain and demonstrate the desired impact on the business.
- Provide the microlearning nuggets within the learners’ workflow. With this, the learners don’t need to log on to an LMS to retrieve specific information. Instead, they can access focused nuggets aligned to their needs to learn more, learn something new, solve a problem, address a specific challenge, apply and remember, or practice to gain mastery. Microlearning nuggets can offer a learner a quick fix to a problem (tips/short cuts), serve as a ready reckoner to support their task (cheat sheet), or a checklist. All these microlearning formats help you enhance employee performance.
- Microlearning can support ILT training /VILT sessions. You can start by providing online resources for pre-workshop preparations. In the workshop, it can be used for role-plays, practice sessions, and assessments. Finally, it can be used for post-workshop reinforcement.
EI Design: A Leader in Microlearning
At EI Design, we offer over 20 microlearning formats to enhance employee performance. All of them are multi-device formats, supported on desktops/laptops, as well as tablets and smartphones. Watch this video to see some of our top-performing formats. We feature several next-gen designs, including immersive strategies like VR, gamified microlearning activities, and interactive videos that can be customized.
Book a free demo with us today!
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