When it comes to corporate and management training content, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, in a world of “TL-DR” (“Too Long, Didn’t Read”), L&D managers have every reason to condense training content into bite-sized, manageable snippets. This approach, called microlearning, feeds information to learners in short courses or modules – usually online or in a blended learning format – instead of through one long training session. Microlearning is a user-friendly approach to learning that meets learners “where they are” in terms of how and when they consume new information and, when done right, can improve learning outcomes like engagement and retention.
What is microlearning
Smartphones have turned us into a species of continuous learners, accustomed to consuming succinct bundles of information in short bursts wherever we are – from the train station, to our desks, to the line at the grocery store. It’s no surprise then that the most savvy L&D strategies are those that offer training content in a manner that can be consumed in a similar way.
Microlearning modules are usually no longer than 10 minutes and can be offered as standalone content. However, they are more often offered as part of a structured learning series. Most often, microlearning content is delivered digitally, allowing participants to access the modules from any device, any time they wish.
Benefits of microlearning in management training
Applying a microlearning approach in management training has multiple benefits:
- Greater engagement from learners
- Easy accessibility from mobile devices
- Just-In-Time (JIT) support exactly when learners need it
- Effective closure of learning gaps
- Ideal learning reinforcement tool
Steps to implement microlearning in corporate training
There are 3 key steps you need to take in order to implement microlearning in your corporate and management training:
1. Define learning outcomes
Like any other approach to learning or management training, the first and most important step for microlearning is knowing what outcomes you hope to achieve. Define what objectives you want to reach with this bite-size learning program and what type of content you will need.
For instance, if your goal is to teach customer service clerks how to handle client complaints, then perhaps an interactive scenario-based learning module is the way to go. On the other hand, if you need to share technological training for technicians, then video-based content could be an effective way to convey the information you need to share.
2. Choose the appropriate tools
Almost as important as defining your learning goals is choosing the right tools, platforms, and technologies for content delivery. Even the best microlearning content can fail to engage learners if content delivery isn’t simple and reliable. The right tool (or set of tools) for you will depend on the learning context and your overall training goals. The most common tools used in microlearning include video, infographic, and simulation software. There are also content delivery platforms designed specifically for microlearning, like OttoLearn and SkillsHub, that could prove useful. However, new microlearning content can also be integrated with an existing internal content delivery system or learning management system (LMS) if there is one.
3. Prepare the content
As mentioned above, microlearning is most often delivered as a content series composed of several short courses or modules. These modules can be derived from a larger body of single-use learning content and distilled into smaller snippets appropriate for microlearning. Once developed, the modules should be compiled and organized in a way that will enable user-friendly access.
When dividing learning content into microlearning modules, it is important to:
- Ensure that modules are mutually exclusive and that each one can be delivered as a stand-alone unit that doesn’t need complementary lessons
- Assign a single learning objective to each module
- Develop and organize modules in a manner that allows learners to access them in any order and still understand all the information
Learners have never had as short attention spans nor as high expectations as they do today. Consequently, providing personalized, convenient, and easy-to-consume learning content is quickly becoming a requirement for any successful L&D strategy. Training processes need to adapt in order to effectively convey relevant information in an easy, fun, and relevant way. If you’re interested in learning more about microlearning and other ways to transform your corporate learning outcomes, contact us today.