micro-learning-cover-3

Why read this article? (15-minute read)

This article is for you if you need to:

  • Skill up teams/workforces where location and time are the most challenging factors.
  • Create a learning space that increases the attention and retention of knowledge.
  • Inspire and educate a time-starved team.
  • Change the way you deliver training and development so it is leaner and time appropriate.
  • Innovate your learning programmes so they are more visual and interactive.

Making time for training is increasingly challenging for employees. A recent Deloitte study revealed that employees can typically only allocate 24 minutes per week (not necessary at a time) for training and development. With classic e-learning courses easily taking 45+ minutes to complete, employees have to rush through it, learn in their spare time, or on the commute. Alongside this, is the "forgetting curve" which highlights that after one hour, 50% of the material learned is forgotten. After 24 hours, it rises to 70%. One week later it can stand at 90%.

All of this does not speak to the attention and retention you want your employees to achieve. However, a 2015 study at Dresden University of Technology shows there is a way to beat these odds. By breaking learning content down into smaller engaging pieces, retention of information improves by more than 20%.

Micro learning

Done properly, micro learning can not only improve how much knowledge is retained but also change the way your employees approach training and development altogether. Based on a concept called 'chunking' first published by George A. Miller in 1956, microlearning refers to providing learning content in short increments of a few minutes only, focusing on a specific topic or learning objective at a time.

Consider how we receive information in our daily lives. News alerts and rolling news, rotating billboards, snappy big letter advertising slogans, bold newspaper article summaries, social media posts, 30-second TV ads. What all these have in common is that they feed us with what we can easily absorb and respond to in short, bite-size amounts of information.

So, optimal learning in our time-starved lives is about providing the right framework tailored to people's work and lifestyle. Where learning tools elevate success rates, as well as participation rates, by creating lasting knowledge engagement in the process.

The challenge to compress content into a few minutes of focused learning provides great opportunities. Content needs to be precise, easy to understand, to the point and engaging. There is no room for seemingly endless video scenarios or lengthy blocks of text to read and scroll through. 

Make it visual, make it memorable

Let's cut to the chase, what we're talking about here are learning tools that elevate success rates by inviting the learner to play an active role. When learning moves from a passive experience to an active one, engagement and retention levels increase.  One of the principles that helps achieve this is: Make it visual, make it memorable. Here are some suggestions as to how you can achieve this.

Storytelling

Creating an overarching experience and taking people through a learning journey becomes even more important when delivering training and development content in small doses. We find information easier to understand and process when communicated as a "story", as we learn better from specific examples than from abstract information. Furthermore, taken through a narrative that we can relate to or, even better, participate in, we more deeply connect with its content and context.

Multi-media, multi-channel, multi-cultural

Focused learning activities need to go beyond a series of videos and quizzes. There are many ways for turning even small learning increments into engaging experiences that stick: 

Videos can be interactive

Explore a content rich interactive learning tool originally built for a leadership development programme.

Quick read (2 mins)

Key speeches can be a picture

Create a common language for a diverse audience with visual scribing. A fun visual tool that encourages feedback and ideation.

Discover (2 mins)

Excel charts can be infographics

Explore this infographic that takes raw data about world energy and transforms it into a visually engaging story.

Explore (2 mins)

Presentations can be motion scribing

Help diverse audiences rapidly get on board with complex content by creating animations that inspire and educate.

Watch (2 mins)

Business scenarios can be a game

Learning does not have to be an individual or isolated activity. Participating in short learning games enables people to tap into knowledge and experiences from co-workers anywhere in the organisation. Explore this state-of-the-art online learning game that uses storytelling methods and social media to create compelling content that educates and engages.

Quick read (2 mins) 

In summary

There are many ways to bring learning to employees rather than asking them to go to one of the many learning silos in organisations, learning management systems or sharepoint directories. In its bite-size format microlearning content can easily be delivered to people via the channels and devices they use in their daily (work) life.

The goal needs to be to train and entertain simultaneously by providing small chunks of personalised learning that people want to do. It requires planning and consideration of content, context as well as the needs and habits of the learners. Enriched with blended next generation learning, visualisation and engagement techniques, microlearning is a powerful tool to vastly improve people's working and learning lives.

To find out more about using visual tools that enrich a learning experience, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If this article interested you and you want to read more, we recommend 12 design principles for next generation learning

References:

https://trainingmag.com | https://www.learningsolutionsmag.com | https://blogs-images.forbes.com | http://journals.sagepub.com

Rate this blog entry:

Share this article

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 15 November 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Cookies Notification

This website stores cookie on your computer. These cookies are used to improve our website and provide more personalized services to you, both on this website and through other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Cookies policy.

To download our "Change Management" White Paper please enter your details below.