How do you decide if microlearning will suit your training needs? For this, you will have to look into the organizational results you wish to achieve. If you want your employees to master specific skills or tasks, microlearning can help. These brief modules prepare employees for performing precise tasks and improve their productivity.
If you are looking for training that is varied and effective, microlearning uses a variety of formats – infographics, quizzes, videos, podcasts and more and can focus on specific objectives. With microlearning, you can break down complex topics and technical subjects into easily comprehensible learning bytes that are easy to understand.
Considering these advantages, how do you decide which part of your training is best suited for microlearning? The frequency, importance, difficulty and the risk factors related to the task determine whether it can be taught with microlearning. If the frequency of performing the task is high, for instance using a specific software every day to accomplish certain tasks, then microlearning can add value; when it is low microlearning, can provide the required just-in-time support.
Microlearning is more suited when the difficulty or risk factors of the task are low; employees can learn at their own pace and execute it without any risk to him or the organization. However, microlearning will have the desired impact only if it is designed well.
How do you design a microlearning asset?
Know the desired organizational results. This will help establish an alignment throughout the design, development, and delivery process to ensure microlearning adds value. The desired results are then translated into the desired performance (what people have to be able to do to achieve the results). Once you list the performance expectations you have from your employees, zero in on the desired performance objective.
Select an associated performance-based objective – the task the learner has to do as part of his job.
Of course, it’s also important to consider the conditions under which the performance must take place such as the environment and available tools and resources, the criteria for performance and appropriate instructional strategies.
All this put together determines the form or shape of the microlearning asset.
The next step is to follow a streamlined development path. This in turn will help you decide the appropriate instructional strategy to achieve the objective. The instructional strategy must consider the following factors:
- Target audience – the identity of your audience, their capabilities, their existing knowledge and their access to devices they may use for microlearning.
- Type of content associated with your objective – the different types of content include facts, concepts, principles, procedures and processes. Based on the content, you will haveto follow a suitable instructional procedure.
- Instructional activities – you will have to decide on the instructional activities that will help you deliver enabling knowledge to your audience.
- Form (or type) of microlearning – the form or type will depend on the intended purpose, what you are trying to do for your learners. If for example you have to demonstrate the steps of a process, you can use a video; whereas you can use an infographic to display a set of dos and don’ts.
- Learning analytics – the data available after measuring and monitoring your learners will help you improve the existing microlearning solution or decide on another solution, as needed.
These insights will help design microlearning which is instructionally sound and engaging while following a streamlined production path. When microlearning is presented in a format that is easy to use and understand, it meets the needs of both companies and employees. When designed properly, it becomes a tool in the hands of employees that helps them address the challenges and tasks they face as part of their work.
When designed well, microlearning has the potential to influence when and where people learn, help on-demand learning, and influence the impact of your course.