This was originally published on td.org in February 2019.
If you’ve been keeping up with the training industry, you’ve probably heard of microlearning. The concept of breaking up training content into bite-sized, easily-accessed courses has been gaining traction over the past few years, and for good reason. While it’s often marketed as a solution for Millennials, it has benefits to offer everyone in your workplace, and its potential impact suggests that it’s much more than just a passing trend in the L&D world. Below are seven reasons why we believe it’s here to stay and poised to help modern learners be more engaged than ever.
7 Ways Microlearning Engages Learners
- Directs learner focus.
It’s no secret that adult learners have vastly different needs than they did when they were schoolchildren. In contrast to lecture-style training, microlearning cuts directly to the chase. Focusing on the “how” and the “why” without any of the less-than-necessary traditional textbook trappings shows respect for learners’ time and learning ability while simultaneously keeping their priorities in check.
- Designed to be relevant.
By design, microlearning must be flexible. This refers not only to ease of access and compatibility with various devices, but also to the content itself. As learning technology continues to evolve, we need training that is easy to keep up-to-date and current if we are to make the most of our investment. Microlearning is a modular solution, making it relatively easy to refresh content. This keeps learners engaged because they can trust that what they’re learning is something they can use in their everyday work lives.
- Boosts learner retention.
When our brains are presented with too much information, it becomes more difficult to recall the most important parts later on at the time of need. By breaking down training content into bite-sized, digestible pieces, more of this information can be retained. This is why microlearning engages learners.
- Easy to apply.
Because microlearning modules are so short and to-the-point, it isn’t difficult for learners to understand how what they’ve just absorbed actually applies to them in the here and now. Many of these solutions build in action steps that learners can apply to their work strategy immediately to better help them integrate what they’ve just learned. Easy application is one reason microlearning is great to use for employee onboarding.
- Allows for on-the-go learning.
The future is digital—more and more facets of our lives incorporate the technology surrounding us as time goes on. This, of course, extends to the world of learning and development. Microlearning is a great way to harness this, as small-sized modules and mobile-friendly designs allow learners to take it with them wherever and whenever they might need it.
- Compatible with busy schedules.
One of the major challenges facing the modern-day learner is lack of time. Many employees feel they could benefit from additional training but would consider a day in a classroom a source of stress—after all, the backlog keeps on piling up. In contrast to traditional training methods, microlearning engages learners because it is designed to fit seamlessly between tasks, offering competency boosts without pulling an employee away from the ever-growing email inbox.
- Creates a culture of everyday learning.
The modularity of microlearning prompts its users to explore the material rather than have it spoon-fed. This helps to promote an intrinsic desire to learn more and build on past knowledge, developing a sense of interest and curiosity in employees. In fact, microlearning can be a useful tool in transforming how we as a workforce think about corporate training and the benefits it can provide us.
Allencomm’s award-winning microlearning solutions span multiple training areas, incorporating industry best practices and comprehensive needs analyses to determine the best fit for our clients. Curious about our process? Wondering if a microlearning solution is the right fit for you? We’d love to hear from you!