Microlearning has taken over thanks to the tremendous evolution of technology over the past decade. We are experiencing an era of unprecedented technological growth that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Everyone wants faster, more convenient access to information.
Studies have shown that the average attention span has declined in the past 20 years. Blogs appeal to the short attention span of its audience. Even I find myself skimming articles, learning small nuggets while commuting, and watching short videos while waiting in line.
The traditional learning approach just doesn’t cut it anymore. People demand fast access to information in short bursts. They simply don’t have time to sit in a classroom for hours. Companies must adapt to this new demand and respect their employees’ time. This is done through microlearning.
Simply put, microlearning is information one can access in short bursts from smartphones, laptops, and tablets. We see this new learning method take on a variety of different roles including use in:
- Micro Videos
The Basics of Microlearning
The entire concept is based on the fundamental idea of providing small chunks of information to learners based on one learning objective only. This information must be short, concise, and accessible. It provides learners with a way to access short bursts of information in an easily digestible format. Every lesson focuses on a single learning point and avoids all fluff.
Blogs have short paragraphs with clear headlines. Videos are just a few minutes and focus on a single topic. Microlearning puts the learner in control over their learning experience. Often, these microlearning components are also performance support tools.
Microlearning Benefits Employers and Employees Equally
A common misconception is that microlearning only benefits the employee. In reality, there are benefits to companies as well. Let’s take a closer look at both sides of the coin.
Benefits to Companies
Traditional training is expensive. Microlearning reduces this high cost and saves a lot of time. It also lowers the frequency of retraining because employees have time to digest complex information, so they are more likely to remember it. In most cases, companies that use microlearning as part of their training structure find that they have to spend less time on training.
Benefits to Employees
Employees are already used to microlearning, so it requires minimal transition. When we need information in our personal lives, we can quickly find a short video or a quick how-to article to answer our questions. So employees learn in a way that’s natural to them. It’s especially useful given the short attention span of today’s workers. Traditional training overwhelms employees with so much information that they can’t possibly remember everything.
What Makes Microlearning so Great?
Aside from everything mentioned in the previous sections, there are a lot of benefits to microlearning.
It’s a Simple Way of Boosting Workplace Training
Technology makes it easy to develop a course that delivers high quality, quick, and efficient training information. Putting forth this small amount of effort boosts the efficiency of on-the-job training by giving employees exactly what they need, when they need it.
Microlearning reduces the friction between problems and their solution, so employees are more likely to be innovative. Companies that deliver essential information in this manner have employees who are better equipped to meet new challenges. Employees get to enjoy the benefits that come with learning new skills without having to spend hours in a classroom.
Traditional learning is much too rigid to meet the demands of today’s workforce. Being forced to learn in a classroom puts the learner at an immediate disadvantage. They have a ton of information thrown at them all at once.
What’s the one thing that learners do when in a classroom? They take notes to review when it’s convenient for them. Microlearning simply removes the classroom and provides the information in a way that can be accessed at any time.
It builds on the foundation of the approach learners have always used and removes the fluff. Rather than being forced to sit in a boardroom for an hour or two, they can study the information at their own pace.
Employees Retain More of What they Learn
This benefit builds on the previous. It reinforces important learning points in short bursts and then provides employees with the time they need to process those points. The very concept creates an atmosphere that makes it easier for learners to retain the information.
In fact, research has proven that when learning is spaced out as it is with microlearning, individuals experience higher retention levels.
Microlearning Costs Less Than Traditional Training
This is the biggest selling point for businesses. By eliminating the formal classroom associated with traditional training, businesses are able to significantly cut costs. Not to mention the cost savings from not having to constantly retrain employees.
Some of the major costs of the traditional approach require paying instructors, paying more hours for employees to sit in a classroom, and renting the training spaces. These are all eliminated with microlearning (or other self-directed learning solutions).
But those are not the only cost saving benefits to microlearning. It’s easy to update a specific lesson when needed and when each microlearning is one component of a larger training program. If a company is using the traditional training approach, they would retrain employees every time there’s a major change. With microlearning, they only need to update one or two current lessons.
Microlearning is a Worthwhile Investment
Microlearning has taken the world by storm. It’s not surprising though considering the way people prefer to learn. Top companies understand that everyone benefits when they put their employees in a position to develop and grow.
Custom eLearning development has become the new norm for training. No matter the topic, we will create a customized microlearning program that is guaranteed to deliver results.