How To Use Microlearning For Employee Development
You’ve probably heard the term microlearning thrown around a lot regarding eLearning and training programs. That’s no surprise: microlearning, which turns training into “bite-sized learning nuggets” has become an increasingly popular modality to use for improving employee performance over the last decade. But if you haven’t already made the shift toward bite-sized learning, the process can be daunting. Don’t worry, with the right training modality you’ll find a silver lining.
Microlearning is more than simply bite-sized training assets. It is focused and offers just the right amount of information necessary to help learners achieve specific, actionable objectives. Not only that, but your employees will also be able to use these micro-modules when they need them on the job, which makes microlearning especially valuable. Let’s consider several training modalities you can use to design and create microlearning for your learners that meet their needs at the right time.
1. Hybrid Learning
First, let’s discuss the concept of hybrid learning as a training modality. This is a method of learning that combines formal, informal, and experiential learning to create training. In this model, we map microlearning to two zones: the training zone (with controlled, dedicated, simulated, pushed learning) and the performance zone (with on-demand, real-time, coached, peer-supported pulled learning).
Now, pulled learning is all about learners actively seeking information out. If they have a need, they go looking for training to fill that gap. These are modules that are on-demand and just-in-time, serving as standalone, digestible modules that serve as a quick reference or refresher. Learners should be able to pull these modules by searching for exactly what they need so that they can have the performance support they need right on time.
Pushed learning, on the other hand, is driven by the people in charge. Coaches and supervisors can push out certain microlearning elements to their team members to target performance gaps they’ve noticed or to help their team meet relevant competencies. With solid microlearning design, learners take the training quickly without cutting into their normal duties.
2. Mobile Learning
Another useful training modality is mobile learning. Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and they provide an excellent platform for continuous, on-the-go learning experiences. When creating custom eLearning for smartphones, bite-sized learning nuggets fit perfectly so that every learner can complete required trainings anywhere, anytime. This provides a great degree of freedom, which in turn yields strong learner autonomy. Employees get to decide when, where, and how long to complete the training.
We recommend creating a familiar, intuitive interface in order to increase learner motivation and retention. This means that your employees won’t have to learn to navigate a new, unfamiliar system before accessing key content and training.
3. On-The-Job Training
Microlearning excels at quick, essential, on-the-job skill development. Let’s say you need to help new employees get up to speed more quickly. With a mobile training platform, you can get new hires to get up to speed quickly by completing content they need that day. Ultimately, it cuts operational costs and speeds up the training process: a silver lining if ever there was one!
But what about continuous employee development? Action planners are another effective on-the-job employee training strategy. Web-based micromodules can include action planners for learners to complete and save during their training. This assists them with setting goals and applying these skills in the workplace.
Microlearning allows learners to practice skills in real-time, which increases their confidence and motivation to succeed in their roles. Microlearning also enables measurable behavioral change, which will show you whether your training works!
Final Microlearning Tips
To help you apply microlearning strategies and other training modalities to effectively help your employees, take note of the following principles:
- Present small nuggets of information that focus on one skill, task, or concept
- Limit your presentation to five minutes or less
- Reinforce your formal, long-form training with micromodules
- Make training accessible on smartphones and tablets, for convenient learning experiences
- Provide targeted instruction where and when and where employees need it
- Get to the point
- Engage learners with interactive features such as quizzes, games, infographics, and videos that track learning progress and reinforce the concepts
Microlearning is an incredible tool that allows you to get critical training to your employees when they need it and on-the-job, with many training modalities. But while the concept is simple, the design can be more complex than just trimming down content. Using the right systems and applications to deliver and host the training is key to success. Fortunately, creating eLearning content is easier than ever. Take advantage of expert advice and ensure that you get your microlearning designed to effectively meet your needs. We’ve included just a few final tips for your organization.
Learn more about the role of performance consultants check out our eBook, 8 Tips For Boosting Your eLearning With Performance Consulting. Also, join the webinar to find out additional information about virtual learning best practices and more.