Microlearning typically involves delivering limited content, in very short bursts of time, to communicate a single and specific idea. It’s a new trend in corporate training and is playing an increasing role in many organizations. When implemented correctly, microlearning is a highly effective way to reinforce initial training concepts throughout the learning cycle.
How microlearning fits into the workplace
Microlearning can be deployed in a number of ways including short e-learning courses, a short one-page .pdf, quick videos, or even in person. For example, some organizations devote two minutes during weekly staff meetings to discuss a company policy or reinforce a learning topic.
Many companies create a repository of learning resources, which is helpful, but not especially proactive. The key to successful microlearning in the workplace is to deliver it to your audience. Don’t wait for them to find the information—send it to them. Some organizations use their email system while others text their employees with simple reminders, both of which are especially effective in our mobile-focused society. Find creative ways to push the information out to your learners.
Microlearning also works well when you require “just-in-time” learning. When faced with a situation that needs to be addressed outside of scheduled training, a bite-sized segment of learning can be the perfect solution. It’s designed to be quick, on-the-spot education when you don’t have the time to master all of the detail.
Potential pitfalls of microlearning
Microlearning is an effective tool when used correctly, but there are a few common mistakes to avoid. Be sure to stay focused on a specific topic and keep it confined to a single thought. Some organizations have a tendency to say too much and want to pack as much information into their three minutes as possible. More content sounds good, but it often backfires. Keeping your microlearning efforts focused on a single idea at a time will make them more effective.
When microlearning isn’t a good fit
Microlearning has its place in the learning spectrum and is ideal for reinforcement and sustainability. It should not, however, take the place of core learning. This training is where your employees learn and understand what’s expected of them, why it matters, and what the benefits are for them, their coworkers and the company. It’s the foundation for all other learning. Bite-sized learning is a highly effective follow-up that refreshes and reinforces the core learning and should be used to reinforce, not replace your core training efforts.