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Videos and Microlearning – The Perfect Pair You Cannot Go Wrong With

Given that employees today have decreasing attention spans and busy schedules, traditional formats of training, where knowledge is imparted through long sessions no longer hold water. This is a challenge organizations constantly grapple with, so how do they help learners retain and apply what they have learned, with short training spells?

Video is an optimal solution to this training challenge. The ubiquity of the Internet has made video a popular medium for delivering learning in a timely manner.

Microlearning or presenting information in small digestible chunks and reinforcing them in spaced intervals have proven to be an effective method. Trainers have discovered that videos are the ideal format to present these nuggets of information. Short videos which can hold bite-sized content are the best match for microlearning.

Short videos and microlearning share a number of characteristics that make them the perfect duo. They are short in duration, can provide just-in-time learning support, and are easy to access because they can be easily uploaded on mobile devices.

Microlearning in the form of videos suits the needs of the millennial learners. About 70 to 75% of millennials visit YouTube every month, looking for videos to answer their queries or solve their problems. Their short duration appeals to their limited attention span and more importantly their accessibility on mobile phones, meets their expectations of 24/7 availability.

Apart from this, video is the most popular form of content across all ages. This explains the popularity of YouTube videos. According to a report by Nielsen, 44% of these videos are accessed at work. So, you can have a private dedicated YouTube channel, where you play videos on a sales technique, software update, or how to replace a broken part in a machine. These videos can be made available anytime and anywhere and accessed as often as the learner wants.

Microlearning videos appeal to visual and aural learners. Closed captioning, descriptive audio, graphics, animations and music will make these videos appealing to multiple audiences, which will have a positive impact on knowledge transfer and retention.

Videos are easy to create; an instructional designer or SME can simply record a short video where they can demonstrate a particular process or program. Mobile phones have made recording videos simple and flexible. Video production can be designed to meet your budget; you can create simple amateur videos in-house or go all out to create movie-style ones with the help of professionals.

Short videos can be embedded in your eLearning course to teach a process or procedure. These videos can be viewed by these technicians on their mobile devices. They can be accessed when they need more information on a procedure. Videos work well when you have to introduce new courses, policies, or procedures to your learners. Videos communicate information in a concise way, better than words.

For instance, we had to create a course for a multinational corporation on new software for their employees. The course had to teach employees the usage of the software based on their roles. More than 25,000 employees spread all over the world speaking different languages had to be trained.

Microlearning videos of 3-4 minutes were created that showed actual simulations on how to use the tool. These videos helped learners quickly access information on how to use the tool for every process, based on their job roles. Videos were created in English and 10 other languages. Learners had to log in to the LMS and access their respective videos for each step.

Here is a screenshot of a translated video.

Translated video

Short videos delivered as microlearning, give learners the control to pause, rewind, and watch the video as many times as they wish. This feature helps cater to different learning styles and speeds.

Finally, it is the short, organized, and targeted content in these videos which learners can access anytime and anywhere that makes them work. This is also likely to engage them better. Content that causes little or no workflow disruption is what today’s learners prefer and learning designed like this is bound to succeed.

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