The workplace landscape is constantly evolving, and professionals are more harried than ever. Let’s face it, we’re a busy generation! We want to do more in less time, often away from our desks while working on mobile devices.
Consequently, Learning & Development professionals must always explore ways to help employees keep their skills and knowledge up to date in this demanding and fast-paced work environment. Microlearning has emerged as one of the leading ways in which knowledge is being shared.
Microlearning is essentially bite-sized training, typically in an online format, and usually lasting less than 10 minutes. Microlearning makes use of a wide array of formats to achieve its goal. It can use a short video to quickly explain a complicated topic, a gamified module to reinforce a topic through active user participation, or an infographic to present a set of rules. That’s a key advantage of microlearning: access to important information quickly, often with the purpose of accomplishing a particular task.
But where do microlearning modules fit in your overall e-learning strategy? To answer this question, first we must decode an e-learning strategy. To do that, we must understand how an e-learning course is developed.
A brief overview of course development
The first step of course development is usually a thorough analysis of the business goals and training requirements. Then decide upon an instructional strategy and proceed with selecting the right authoring tool. The entire content bank is then broken down and organized into specific modules. Modules are further refined into topics and lessons to facilitate the creation of content.
These topics and lessons are created in such a way that useful skills can be learned after studying them. Instructional strategy, topics, and content are in turn driven by the learning objectives derived from the business goals.
A critical hurdle
In this era of hyper-productivity, it is possible that training and learning managers of a large organization, unknown to each other develop lot of similar content, for different scenarios and sometimes for almost the same trainings. They develop content from scratch, putting the same efforts and cost into the development.
So how this duplication of work be avoided?
One way to circumvent this is by creating microlearning modules that are in alignment with e-learning courses, instead of creating them on an ad-hoc basis. Micro modules giving an overview of the subject matter at hand can be used before the main e-learning course. They can also be used post the main e-learning session in the form of a short video to effectively summarize the whole content.
This way, courses can be an active part of your e-learning program. But as microlearning modules are self-sufficient, they can also work as independent refresher modules. When a course is self-sufficient, it assumes an identity of its own, and allows users to learn useful bits of skills and information without having to go anywhere else.
By developing shorter modules for specific topics, each module can be tailored to any audience, based on their need. If modules are conveniently short, then you can simply reshuffle them to create a course for two different target audiences.
This reusability greatly reduces the overall cost of your training program. It also makes learning more impactful for learners through engaging micro-modules.
Interactive microlearning techniques such as gamified content, interactive videos, interactive scenarios, and so on can greatly enhance the learning experience of your employees. You can also pre-program micro modules as your assessment centers by using interactive games or quizzes that can be accessed through smartphones. Microlearning modules can also serve as great just-in-time or performance support units due to their short and impactful structure.
Microlearning modules can fit right into your e-learning strategy when they are planned for from the initial stages of course development. Incorporate microlearning modules in your training strategy right from the beginning to successfully break your course into easily digestible nuggets. They not only reinforce learning among learners but also help increase the return on investment of the training budget. So, embrace this rapidly evolving technology for a millennial generation and give it the rightful place in your training strategy.