In your company, think about when employees most need assistance. It’s likely during critical moments—while dealing with a customer issue, when responding to an alarm, or out in the field itself. These employees don’t need drawn-out (and frequently boring) hour-long training courses once a year. They need that help right where they are. That’s where microlearning comes in.
What is microlearning?
Microlearning was born out of the necessity to create quick, accessible training for employees—right when they need it the most. And most employees only have 24 minutes a week (or 1% of their workweek) to dedicate to this training.
Microlearning resources capitalize on these smaller training opportunities since they:
- Are typically only two to three minutes long
- Can be accessed by employees when and how they choose
- Are tied to one specific learning objective or concept
This style of training has been called by different names in the past, and it overlaps with other instructional trends. People refer to them as “bites” or “nuggets” of information. “Just in time learning” responds to the need for point-of-issue training. “Spaced learning” provides instruction over spaced intervals, so employees retain more of the information later on. And, mLearning refers to training on a mobile phone where microlearning increasingly takes place.
What are the benefits of microlearning?
Microlearning is more effective for most topics, is desperately needed by time- and attention-hungry employees, and reduces strain on your current training resources.
The stats don’t lie:
- 17% improvement in knowledge transfer when learning is broken into smaller chunks
- Mobile learners study an additional 40 minutes per week, on their own time
- 50% of college-going Millennials are not in favor of physical classroom learning
- Most employees only have 24 minutes a week to dedicate to training
- Microlearning resources take 300% less time and 50% less cost to produce than traditional courses
How does microlearning work?
Microlearning isn’t just a shorter course that’s sometimes delivered on a mobile device. It’s a departure from the idea of “courses” all together. Instead, think of microlearning resources that your employees access when and where they need them the most.
Because it’s not just shorter courses, microlearning is built around an employee’s actual learning cycles. Instead of forgetting most of the content after a longer training, employees can continue to access those resources, as they need them. This repetition helps move that information into long-term, working memory.
You can read more about how just in time training supports a student’s learning journey in a recent post by Greg Black Burn.
What does microlearning look like?
Some examples of work-related training that is ripe for microlearning include:
- A quick tutorial that covers your point-of-sale system for new hires
- An online resource library of two-minute videos where your employees can revisit how to complete a common workplace task
- A gamified app with quizzes, information nuggets, and competitions to encourage your employee’s healthy habits
- A quick video followed by a quiz to accompany the roll-out of a new product or service
- Ongoing and on-demand small modules that employees can access to help them learn an advanced job-related skill
Microlearning works best when it’s short and focused to one specific learning objective or task. For more involved or collaborative topics, an in-person training may still be more appropriate. We break down the different types of employee training and their respective benefits in a recent post.
Create just in time training for your employees
If you’re ready to learn more about how microlearning can help your employees, it’s time to talk to the experts. At EdgePoint Learning, we work with companies across the world to find the training tools and techniques they need to train their employees at affordable rates.
To read more about finding the right learning program for your company, check out our related posts on the topic: