Does microlearning involve just taking an online course, dividing it into small chunks, and delivering it to your learners? Many do think so. But this is far from reality; microlearning is more than just a clever way to chunk content into small modules; a lot of thought goes into its design and execution. We will explore more of this aspect in this blog.
Microlearning is a flexible learning approach that can be used in a variety of ways to enhance individual and organizational performance. Microlearning units are basically small and focused modules that are aimed at the acquisition of knowledge and skills that will improve performance.
This gives us a fair idea of how microlearning should be designed – as small lessons with a single learning objective each that can be used to improve learners’ efficiency in a very short time.
Designing these micro lessons does not just mean dividing huge chunks of content into smaller ones. Each microlearning module should:
- Focus on a single aspect of a subject
- Be around 10 minutes long, though can be longer
- Use many formats – videos, podcasts, slideshows, or infographics
- Act as quick reference tools to reinforce formal learning
Though microlearning means much more, these features of microlearning are making organizations sit up and take notice, and invest part of their training initiatives in them.
Leveraging on the Features
The size and duration of micro modules makes them ideal for use on different modalities – games, videos, infographics or small e-learning modules – based on the content. This creates effective and varied training experiences for employees.
The small size of these modules means shorter development cycles. They are easy to produce and maintain. The costs are lower than traditional e-learning; they can be quickly created and deployed to learners. This makes it an apt solution for training and L&D teams looking for learning solutions that are faster to produce and are economical. Through such microlearning formats, they can deliver short and relevant courses that will engage the learner.
The development of technology has now made it possible to break down content into smaller sections, into a variety of formats such as videos, interactions, assessments, and study guides.
Most employees today use online courses to learn the skills for their jobs. Microlearning can be used to help them in distributed practice and spaced repetition which will reinforce learning. This helps sustain, enhance, and drive performance in employees. This is one of the benefits of microlearning.
Microlearning modules have a wider range of applications. Different formats can be used for training a new hire from the basics to helping an experienced employee refresh his knowledge. In short, they can effectively accelerate the time to proficiency and empower today’s learners.
The small size of these modules makes it easy to update and upgrade. The modular structure of the modules makes it easy to repurpose content. Modules can be mixed and matched to create new content. The modular structure makes them versatile enough to be used for different learning objectives and for various purposes across the business.
So, microlearning as you can see, is not just slicing content and calling them small learning modules. It is much more; it has distinct features and advantages. These must be recognized by Training or L&D departments to understand what goes into microlearning. This will also help them envisage how they can leverage on these features to create effective training that will be beneficial to their employees.
Microlearning is not a new concept. It has been there for quite some time and many organizations are using it as part of their learning strategy. Knowing its true nature and its impact is crucial to its implementation. Do you agree? Post your comments below.