Microlearning – it’s a buzz word right now in the learning community – and for good reason. In this age of 280-character tweets, and 300 second snapchat videos, learners are conditioned to consuming bite sized pieces of content when and where they want it. The evolution of social media and instant-everything has put employees at odds with a longstanding tradition of long, arduous training and development courses.

The ever-increasing demand on employees’ time combined with high expectations for productivity has led to a growing demand for microlearning.  Employees have less time to learn what they need to and apply it. The heavy, one-time training tracks just don’t cut it for many of the critical skills required these days. Traditional training for certain skills may require too much time out of the office while not providing enough practical experience.  Enter the idea of Microlearning!

So, what exactly is Microlearning? As the name might imply, microlearning involves delivering concise, context-sensitive training that is broken up into bite sized pieces for easier consumption at the point in time the user needs to learn it.

Microlearning content can be in the form of a short and quick video, micro-games, simulations, etc. To be successful the content must be laser focused on a particular topic.  It must answer the user’s question “How do I do the task I need to complete right now?”

Let’s not consider microlearning as a replacement for everything.  It’s not a magic one-size-fits-all solution.  Instead think of it as an option to supplement other training modalities.  This might be a silly example but, would you want to go to a doctor who received his medical degree by watching 8 years of medical education as a series of 3 to 5-minute videos?  I wouldn’t.  But I would be happy to see a doctor who just watched a 3-minute refresher clip on the latest medical discoveries and treatment of a condition that I might have.

So, what do you stand to gain from putting Microlearning practices into place?

Benefits of Microlearning

  • Facilitates Just-In-Time-Learning

Traditional learning methods that offer long single courses or videos don’t allow for easy access to specific pieces of information. Dividing the course into many Microlearning units makes it much easier for the user to search for, identify and view the information they need at that time; which keeps employees from wasting time searching or getting so frustrated that they abandon the search all together.

  • Easy to Create / Easy to Maintain and Update

The essence of Microlearning is that the information is brief and concise. Since the details are short, Microlearning can be created quickly and updated rapidly as needed. As a result, microlearning facilitates better ongoing updates and improvements to content.

  • Increased Learner Retention

This is the most important benefit of microlearning. The ultimate objective of any type of learning is to have the user retain and use what they learned to be a more effective employee.

In 2015, the University of Technology in Germany released a study that found that microlearning improves the retention of information by 20%. It also found that those who used microlearning techniques answered questions 28% faster than those who used traditional methods. This is because the microlearning group found it easier to retain and recall the bite sized information they received.

Want to better enable your employees to do their jobs with less actual training time and greater retention? Microlearning can help your organization by giving learners just-in-time access to the content they need, in the format they need, with the time frame and retention rate that you need.

Microlearning is becoming increasingly essential for companies that want to take a more productive approach to learning. If you’d like to learn more about how to apply microlearning practices to your business, feel free to reach out to us at globalsales@bluewaterlearning.com or +1-877-801-9277.