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Want to Sustain Learning Momentum? Try Microlearning!

Jack is an L&D executive working with a leading pharmaceutical company. A couple of weeks ago, his organization conducted a five-day workshop on the company’s latest painkillers, for its salespeople. However, the medical reps could not remember much of the information delivered in the workshop, and as a result, are unable to apply the learning to their job.

Martin is the product training manager of a reputed consumer electronics manufacturer. Two months ago, his learners, the service technicians of the company, completed an online course on the firm’s product, a smart TV. Last week, the company introduced a new version of the TV, with a few new features. Martin’s manager asked him to ensure technicians are fully acquainted with the updated features of the product. 

Graham is the training manager of a global financial services company, in-charge of imparting compliance training. Recently, his company delivered an online course to educate its staff on the latest disclosure norms. The eLearning course was well-designed and highly interactive, and Graham believed that the learning in the session would be put into effective use at the workplace. But, to his surprise, many learners complained that they had problems using the information at the workplace, as they were not provided with tools to access the information at the point of need. 

In all the above three cases, albeit for different reasons, a one-time delivery of instruction, through an instructor-led or an online learning program, was not adequate to enable learners perform efficiently at work. Many in the L&D fraternity may face a similar problem. Learning needs to be continual, beyond the classroom or a web-based course to facilitate good performance. What does it take to sustain the learning tempo? How can you keep the learning momentum going? You need to go for microlearning.

What is microlearning?

Microlearning refers to the delivery of learning content in the form of “information morsels”. The content is divided into several small chunks, each about 10 minutes in duration. Each microlearning module is self-standing and addresses one learning objective comprehensively. You can use microlearning to take training on various aspects, such as products, safety and regulatory affairs, software and so on, beyond classroom or web-based learning sessions.

How do bite-sized learning modules help sustain the learning momentum?

Learning nuggets help your staff retain information effectively

One of the biggest problems faced by organizations is ensuring that their employees retain the knowledge and skills taught in training programs. In fact, a research, conducted at the University of Waterloo, reveals that learners tend to forget 50-80% of what they’ve learned after one day and 97-98% after a month.

You can use microlearning modules to ensure that your learners do not forget the information after attending a classroom or web-based training session. Researchers at the at the Bjork Learning and Forgetting Lab, at UCLA, have proven that learning retention levels can be improved considerably by spacing out information over time rather than cramming it into one session or a short time period, and repeating the information at the right intervals of time through bite-sized modules. It is advisable to deliver learning bursts after 24 hours, 2 weeks, and 2 months to ensure that learning is not lost and is carried beyond the training program.

Microlearning modules help provide knowledge updates easily 

 Learning needs are dynamic and you need to update the knowledge of your employees regularly. In many cases, it is not necessary (and possible) to conduct classroom or online training programs for providing knowledge updates to the workforce.

Micro online learning resources are a great way to provide the needed information updates to your employees. The short duration of these learning resources makes it ideal to fill in knowledge gaps quickly. One of our customers in the ICT space, uses mobile-compatible bite-sized learning videos to keep its sales staff abreast of the features of new versions of its products, ensuring that their knowledge is up-to-date and not restricted to what is taught in training programs.

Good just-in-time (JIT) learning support can be delivered

We all know that proper just-in-time (JIT) learning support goes a long way in enhancing the performance of workforce. Access to the required information, at the point of need helps employees apply their learning to deliver the desired results.

Online learning nuggets can be used to provide high-quality JIT knowledge support and ensure that information delivered in a training program is carried to the workplace. Consider the following scenario. One of our clients in the insurance sector uses infographics to provide JIT information support to its customer service executives. The information delivered in the training program is “condensed” into infographics, and the executives can access them readily on their mobiles, while interacting with customers.

You need to make sure that learning momentum is sustained, to ensure the effective performance of your people. Harness the power of microlearning modules to take knowledge and skills beyond training programs.

Where Does Microlearning Fit in Your Learning Strategy?