Smart Microlearning Implementation Improves Workforce Training

According to the most recent Learning Technology Trends Survey by the Brandon Hall Group, almost half of the companies surveyed are actively looking to replace their current learning management system. The number one reason cited by an overwhelming 88 percent is the need for a better user experience. These statistics make a good case re-examining how you currently deliver learning content and whenever possible, breaking it down into shorter, more easily digestible lessons that can be offered in a microlearning format.

Microlearning demands that we think about learning and development in a new way. Companies that have invested a lot in the development of in-depth training modules may be reluctant to breaking them into micro lessons. But doing so will leverage their investment well into the future.

So, start with what you already have. If your company is still delivering learning content in a cumbersome eLearning platform with long modules that require a significant time commitment, you’re likely sitting on a gold mine. Using the best practices we recommend here, you can probably rework much – if not most – of the content you currently offer to begin taking advantage of the benefits microlearning has to offer.  

 

Best practices on how to implement microlearning

  • Take an inventory – When designing a microlearning curriculum, start by mapping out all the skills your learners need and the order in which they need to learn them. This will help you identify what types of learning content is well-suited to microlearning and any interdependencies that will allow you to develop a more effective and comprehensive learning experience.

 

  • Think smaller, shorter content, then break it down even more –  We encourage every company to take a fresh look at the content they’re currently using for training and development and to break it down to its most essential elements – nuggets of gold that can be delivered in 10 minutes or less.

 

  • Content should focus on a narrowly defined skill and context – With only a few minutes to deliver your training, it has to be lean. Don’t weigh it down with unnecessary information. Attention spans are getting shorter. Today’s learners are looking for quick answers to their questions and will disengage quickly if they have to sort through several sections of learning content to find what they need.

 

  • Connect the learning content to business outcomes – What do you want your employees to do with the information they receive? The more relevant the information is to your employee’s job at hand and the easier it is to access it, the more quickly it will be consumed and put to use.  

 

  • Make it mobileMobile is a must for microlearning. According to Bersin and Associates research, more than 70 percent of workers now access the information they need for their jobs online and are increasingly turning to their smartphones for the just-in-time answers for unexpected problems they encounter on a day-to-day basis. Making microlearning mobile not only to helps your employees be more effective on the job – it also provides greater accessibility to training content allowing your workers to learn anytime and anywhere.  

 

  • Make it multiplatformBecause microlearning is made up of short content that can be consumed very quickly, it is suitable for delivery over a large variety of platforms. This makes it ideal for different learning styles and employees who consume content in a variety of ways, including video, audio, short quizzes, gamified content, social media snippets, etc.

 

  • Measure the impact of your training – Microlearning, like any other type of learning, should be undertaken with adaptive management in mind. Analytics need to extend beyond tracking completion rates to connect training with business results. If you do a good job of tying your microlearning content to your business outcomes as you are developing it, measuring its impact will be easier.

 

Must-have tools for microlearning

With the increasing interest in microlearning, many technology solutions have emerged to support the development and implementation of microlearning today. With so many solutions available, it can be hard to determine which might be the best fit for your company. Here is a short list of tools and services we consider critical to implementing a successful microlearning program.  

  • AI-driven system to personalize learning based on performance
  • Real-time feedback and coaching at scale to reach all the workforce
  • Analytics to connect training with business results
  • A digital library to store content
  • Social features to foster collaboration
  • Gamification to empower and engage
  • Support of learning professionals to design and continuously improve learning program

When you begin to design a new microlearning program for your company, it pays to think strategically and comprehensively about your microlearning content, looking for how it connects to the larger whole. The right microlearning program will help you meet your business objectives if you remain flexible throughout its implementation. Be prepared to measure and evaluate your results and continually adjust – adaptive management is key to getting the greatest value from your microlearning content.

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