What is Microlearning?

Microlearning describes a training tactic that focuses on driving course engagement by implementing small focused touchpoints to re-engage users with course material.

A traditional structure for a course is to divide the course content into lessons in order to create a linear path toward developing an understanding of a topic. This hypothetical course content would then be reinforced with exams.

Microlearning takes this a step further by repurposing lesson topics into single concept content and using those content pieces as a hook to re-engage a learner or reinforce a topic.

Microlearning content is most effective at driving engagement in professional training. Many professional trainers, even when the course is compulsory, struggle to engage the audience over time. In this way, microlearning content can be effective at developing lasting engagement.

Key Micro learning Tactics

Have One Objective Per Engagement

A course or lesson may cover many topics. When using micro learning tactics to bolster engagement it is a best practice to create a touchpoint that has a single call to action. An example would be an email notification that prompts the learner to answer a challenge question or to proceed to the next step in a course.

Don't Ruin Good With Great

Do not get hung up on producing perfect prose or get lost in a design iteration loop. Focus on creating training that is good enough to be effective, get it into production, and build up from there.

Don't Bury The Lead

Minimize the fluff and get to the point. The evolution of micro learning into the modern vernacular comes from a recognition that people are developing shorter attention spans. Focus on communicating as effectively as possible.

It's A Two-way Engagement

Have the learner produce something. Our favorite teachers were more than lectures, they engaged us, they made us better. Engage your learners by having them take action. Examples of learners taking action include putting a piece of knowledge in their own words or using what they have learned to answer a challenging question.

How Can Microlearning Help You? (As a Trainer)

Microlearning as an idea

Microlearning as an idea is born out of the assumption that people have limited time and we, as trainers, are in competition for some of it. It is our job as trainers to distribute information in a way that can be understood. We are more effective as trainers if we can increase engagement and decrease time to completion.

Software-driven Microlearning

Software-driven microlearning can help by providing an affordable and agile way to build microlearning experiences. The amount of work necessary to send follow up quizzes and morning alerts manually would not be worth it. Software-driven microlearning serves us in that it can be used to follow-up with an audience, re-engage unresponsive audience members, identify underperformers, and focus on reinforcement efforts at scale.

What To Look For In A Training Tool For Microlearning

Affordability

A good training tool should produce value beyond what you pay. In today's world of software competitiveness, any good software tool should have a low barrier to entry and a clear value proposition. Look for tools with a free trial to ensure you can try before you buy. Sales demos are often helpful but until you put your hands on the lesson builder you don't really know how it will work.

Simplicity

You shouldn't need a professional-level design or engineering skillset to build and distribute your course. Look for a tool that focuses on the non-course related decisions you have to make. A good tool will get out of your way when building content. The course development cycle gets faster the less you need to learn to get started.

In the cloud

Unless your company has a strong development team and stringent security limitations, web-based tools are a superior experience. A self-hosted learning management system requires significant web-tech domain knowledge. Additionally, a self-hosted solution needs to be updated and managed. Finding a scalable cloud-based solution allows each party to focus on its own core competency.

Use Cases For Micro-learning

On-the-job training

As an internal trainer, we need effective methods to update stakeholders on relevant internal changes and often need to collect some form of acknowledgment. Microlearning tactics that support on-the-job training are reminders to complete training, drip-fed lessons based on need, and internal updates with the ability for the employee to acknowledge the change. The availability of job-focused training content can make the difference between a confident employee producing a company-sponsored solution and an incapable employee disappointing a client.

Onboarding

Many companies have a significant amount of training material that new-hires need to work through. Typically new-hires do not work through all of this material at once. Training sessions are often distributed over someone's first 30-90 days. Using microlearning tactics you as the trainer can assign training at intervals that fit the context of your organization. We can assign training based on gaps in domain knowledge or under-performance and use microlearning to reinforce that training.

Policy Changes or New training.

Introducing new training can be expensive. In addition to the production cost, we are often faced with justifying any production time lost as a result of training employees. Reducing the administrative load can be done by taking a traditional course and making it available online to be done at an employee's pace. Using a microlearning approuch you can break a course into small lessons and distribute them in intervals to employees. Additionally, any noncompliant team members can be sent prompts to reengage.

Learn More about Microlearning

How ConveYour Can Help

Microlearning is an addition to traditional training structures, not a replacement. ConveYour is a learning management tool that embraces microlearning. ConveYour focuses on trainers that need to create content, distribute content, and keep people accountable.

Create quality, effective training experiences that your people love, and more importantly save administrative resources.

Common use cases of ConveYour are sales training, onboarding employees, training on business policy changes, change management, communicating to employees in the field, and post-event follow up.

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