The Microlearning Myth

The Microlearning Myth

Published: 15th May 2017

There is a buzz about microlearning, but before you jump on the bandwagon, you should be clear on a particular misconception. If you take a current training session and simply break it up into shorter segments, the success of your training will not be dramatically improved.

Micro Content Is Only The Beginning

It is true that employees will usually find it easier to digest smaller chunks of training, but this is not the end of the story for microlearning. If you do not implement it correctly you will just be applying traditional learning methods, but now to hundreds of thousands pieces of training. In essence you will be multiplying the issues of traditional learning.

Let us take an example of a 1 day induction program that has 5 hours of content which is broken up into 50 microlearning chunks of approximately 5 minutes each. Are you expecting an employee to log onto the LMS that many times and click through each chunk of training?

This seems overly burdensome and unlikely to happen in practice when employees are busy. This approach does not encourage employees to build their knowledge so that they can commit it to memory and apply it on the job.

8 Microlearning Must Haves

If a microlearning solution is going to deliver significant impact for your business, it must have the following characteristics:

1 – Deliver bite-sized content using proven techniques consistently to be effective. This will allow employees to learn the topic thoroughly, remember the content, and be able to apply it on the job.

2 – Present information in the most effective way for learning by supporting a range of formats such as images, text, and video.

3 – Recognize that each employee has different job demands and varied learning preferences by offering personalized and adaptive learning programmes.
This should follow an individual’s own preferred learning path.

4 – Engage employees in learning every day by offering a gamified learning experience. This might include introducing casual gaming into the learning process.

5 – Encourage collaborative learning with employees across the organization by including social elements.

6 – Provide access to learning across multiple devices including mobile and tablets.

7 – Ensure learning is available on demand so that employees can access it as they require at the point of application.

8 – Measure learning effectiveness in terms of business results by tracking and measuring the impact of microlearning.

Microlearning is a very powerful learning tool when implemented correctly. It provides employees with the knowledge they need at the point of application. When it is delivered holistically and in an ongoing way, it will enable continuous learning and allow employees to build their knowledge over time and produce real business benefit.


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