Microlearning is an emerging trend in the corporate learning space. Though this learning strategy has been around for a considerable time, the advancement of mobile technology and the subsequent rise of mobile leaning have fueled its rise to the fore of the Learning & Development (L&D) space in the recent past. Every year as microlearning becomes more widespread, new trends and opportunities emerge for global organizations to leverage. So where are you at with microlearning in 2019? Let’s explore the top trends you can expect in 2019 about microlearning.
6 Microlearning Trends for 2019 Every Training Manager Should Know
- Microlearning and Increased Focus on Mobile Learning
- Microlearning and Gamification
- Microlearning and Artificial Intelligence
- Microlearning and Social Integration
- Microlearning and Fine-tuned analytics
- Microlearning and Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality
What is Microlearning? A Quick Look
Microlearning is breaking down a lengthy online course to small modules or learning units, with each having a definite learning objective. According to an ATD report, the average amount of time for an ideal microlearning module is 10 minutes. Some of the popular forms of microlearning include infographics, podcasts, videos, games, infographics, and more.
Top 6 Microlearning Trends for 2019
1. Microlearning and Increased Focus on Mobile Learning
According to the 2018 Axonify report on microlearning, the largest concentration of microlearning adoption exists in three key industries – retail, finance, and manufacturing. Wondering what the common thread between these segments is? Mobile workforce or deskless workforce. As per the International Labor Organization, 80% of global workers are desk-less. This means they are in need of a flexible training method that can fit seamlessly into their busy work culture.
In this context, what could be a better choice than offering them mobile learning. Mobile learning offers learners an immersive learning experience by facilitating ‘on the go’ training that can be accessed by them anytime, anywhere according to their convenience. This widespread demand for mobile learning among the modern workforce has facilitated the integration of microlearning and mobile learning, thus offering learners a short and focused learning solution.
Using microlearning content for mobile learning helps you simplify course content by focusing on a single learning objective per module such as “How to close the sales successfully?” or “what is the initial step in starting a machine?”
Additionally, the bite-size of microlearning modules decreases the loading time of courses on your mobile devices and makes it easy to download them from a mobile app and save it offline; for later use at places with low Internet connectivity.
2. Microlearning and Gamification
According to Axonify’s State of Workplace Training report, 90% of corporate learners prefer training that is fun and engaging. In corporate training, gamification plays an irrefutable role in driving learner engagement. But how does this actually work? How do you pair gamification with microlearning? By infusing gamification with microlearning, you give employees an opportunity to play short games on mobile devices as part of their daily training.
Casual gaming clubbed with game mechanics and game-based elements helps you to ignite the competitive spirit in learners. You can embed gamification elements such as (scores, points, lives) in your assessments or have standalone gamified assessments. Evenly distributing short snippets of gamified assessments throughout your training program helps check knowledge retention periodically and offer needed learning interventions in spaced intervals.
3. Microlearning and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI), also called machine intelligence, is the simulation of human intelligence using machines. According to the research and advisory company Garner, by 2020 algorithms that leverage data from multiple sources will have an effect on the behavior of global workers. Let’s see how artificial intelligence is new in the microlearning context.
Adapting artificial intelligence in microlearning helps you make your online courses digitally smart. Since microlearning assets are available for every single learning objective of a training program, a large number of them may be available on your LMS. When the learner is in immediate need of a personalized just-in-time solution, it can be overwhelming for them to manually pick the right microlearning asset. They need an option that can quickly serve their immediate need, reduce their training time and increase productivity.
Artificial Intelligence to the Rescue
In this context, AI can play a key role in providing learners personalized course recommendations. Using algorithms, the artificial intelligence engine can create customized learning paths for learners based on the courses they have recently covered, their scores, people they have interacted with or followed on social platforms, and the online sites they have visited. These customized learning paths will be automatically updated based on learners’ changing preferences which are tracked through their social behavior.
4. Microlearning and Social Integration
For at least 50% of the U.S workforce, remote work has become a standard operating mode. In other words, in today’s corporate workspace, remote work is no longer an option or a privilege. According to the State of Remote Work Report for 2018, 21% of remote workers claimed “loneliness” as one of their prime workspace challenges. Addressing this issue with a “remote-friendly” workplace culture through the social integration of employees is a new challenge at hand in 2019. Let’s see how microlearning will help in this scenario.
Pairing up remote workers with their peers in other locations will help your employees combat workplace loneliness. But how to go about this? What about the idea of a web-based collaborative learning approach? You can quickly develop a bite-sized video, poster, infographic, or even a small PDF document with the learning content relevant to the remote-employee’s daily work.
Once developed, use social learning online platforms such as WebEx and have discussions. This strategy can also be used to serve the purpose of a refreshment training solution for remote workers. This online collaborative approach provides opportunities for improved engagement and participation of employees around the globe, thus addressing their social needs. It helps them benefit from the experience, knowledge, and skill of their peers and enables them to stay updated with the latest industry trends and requirements.
5. Microlearning and Fine-Tuned Analytics
Do you know how effective your training programs are? How successful are your learners in transforming their gained knowledge into workplace performance? A few months after the completion of a training program, have you felt that learners are in need of additional resource support?
Learning analytics will help you answer such questions. This emerging trend is being largely adapted by forward-thinking organizations around the globe to assess the impact of online training programs on learning.
Learning Analytics in Conjunction with Microlearning Assets
With microlearning redefining today’s learning paradigm, more organizations are coming forward to capitalize on this dynamic training method. However, before investing on a large-scale microlearning initiative, it is vital for organizations to understand their learners’ perspective toward microlearning, their current level of acceptance, and future requirements.
Learning analytics helps organizations assess the status of microlearning within their company. In the microlearning context, learning analytics will help you answer questions such as was the microlearning asset used, how frequently was it accessed, did it help learners to transfer their knowledge into performance, and more. You can also drill down the analytics to individual learners to look how they are performing.
6. Microlearning and Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality
By the year 2016, millennials have become the largest generation in the US labor force and toward 2030, they are expected to become 75% of the workforce (the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). If your organization is planning to improve learning effectiveness among millennial employees, an immersive and experimental learning experience is necessary.
Microlearning is proven to making learning effective and appealing for modern learners who are hard pressed for time, and Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) strategies can be considered an added advantage to microlearning.
Understanding AR and VR
Augmented Reality: AR adds virtual elements to a live view using a smartphone or a camera. For example, the game Pokémon Go or snapchat lenses. It helps you connect online course content with the workplace reality, thus opening more options for learners. It you render abstract ideas that are hard to imagine and turn them into 3D models, making it easier to grasp difficult content.
Virtual Reality: With the help of an opaque headset, VR shuts the learner out of his immediate physical world and completely immerses them in a virtual environment that he needs to be trained in. VR provides learners a feeling of presence that enables them to learn about a subject by experiencing it; VR helps learners easily understand a concept with less cognitive load for processing.
By integrating AR or VR in your microlearning modules, you can mitigate the risk of demonstrating complex and dangerous topics. For example, if you want to physically train your laboratory technicians on some processes involving lethal chemical, it can be hazardous. Using a VR video to demonstrate the same will enhance learning and reduce the risk involved.
Microlearning as a trend will continue to flourish in the coming years. With the influx of Generation Z workers, the demand and significance of microlearning is only going to become more widespread and popular. Would you like to read more on microlearning design and development? Check this e-book to get inspired and incorporate microlearning in your organization’s training framework.