How microlearning enables a more manageable learning environment

How many times has someone given you the advice “just take it one step at a time”? It’s a healthy and productive way to approach many situations, especially if there is a big barrier to overcome. The way we see it, learning should be tackled in the same way. That’s why we’re big believers in the power of microlearning.

What is microlearning?

Microlearning is (typically) eLearning content that takes from 2 – 10 minutes to consume and complete. Often coming in the form of animations or short videos with interactive features for extra engagement, microlearning is a fantastic way to break down eLearning into bite size chunks.

Why break eLearning content up?

At a glance, we get that it may seem like we’re encouraging people to make more work for themselves, but this simply isn’t true. There are many who consider our attention spans to have diminished in the last few years and that isn’t strictly true either.

We simply live in a world of too many distractions, so breaking learning down into smaller chunks increases the chances that your employees can keep focus on what they need for as long as they need to, which comes with a whole range of benefits.

Our top 5 benefits of microlearning

1. Increases information retention

Cartoon of man putting books into his brain to retain a lot of information

 

Workplace learning, especially compliance, can be viewed as something that just has to be done. Employees can mentally switch off during these times and especially when it comes to compliance, this can cause them to put themselves and your organisation at risk. Breaking down this content into smaller chunks and making it interactive greatly increases the chances that your employees will remember what you’re teaching them.

2. Makes the most of the attention you have

Young woman using microlearning on a tablet

 

Take YouTube as an example here. This platform dominates online video consumption and is a go-to for many people of all ages to undertake learning of all kinds in their spare time. There is a golden rule across a lot of YouTube content: don’t run over 4 minutes. This is based on data that shows that after the 4 minute mark, drop-off rates increase dramatically.

Similarly, with video consumption on Facebook, drop-off increases at just ten seconds. So if you spend 4-5 minutes building up to the important information in your training, you’ll have lost employees’ attention before they get to the information they need.

3. Facilitates point-of-need learning

Man using eLearning on a tablet at a worksite

 

Point-of-need learning really does what it says on the tin and above all else, drives more value than any other learning opportunity. In the same way many of us are used to turning to Google, Siri, or YouTube to solve our in-the-moment predicaments and knowledge gaps, your employees should be able to turn to your LMS.

A 2-3 minute video or animation right at the time someone needs it – an engineer is on the road and needs to check how to fix a part of a specific boiler model or a relatively new sales team member is about to head into an important meeting – provides a huge amount of value to the employee and can improve a wide range of performance metrics from compliance levels to sales numbers.

4. Adds flexibility across devices

Six people on a sofa using tablets, phones, and laptops to access eLearning

 

As more of us work on-the-go or remotely and use of technology in field-based jobs is increasing, it’s important to create a level of flexibility for your employees’ learning. This is what microlearning does incredibly well. With smaller chunks of information, the design and internet usage requirements fit across devices to provide a seamless learning experience. With normal load speeds, low data requirements, and responsive design, microlearning helps set your employees up for success no matter where they are learning from.

5. Creates a more open learning environment

Graphic of a book turning into a laptop turning into symbols demonstrating eLearning

Allowing your employees to really take their learning one step at a time removes the common barriers to workplace learning: boredom and intimidation. Now, of course we don’t mean a boss threatening to fire someone for not completing their learning, we mean employees feeling intimidated by the sheer scale of the learning they have to undertake. Especially while onboarding, in that period of seemingly endless compliance training about fire safety, cash handling, and IT logistics, introducing microlearning encouraged employees to take learning at their own pace, while allowing them to complete it in a timely manner without feeling overwhelmed.

Conclusion

Taking workplace learning one step at a time is better for everyone. It makes it easier for your LMS, your management, and your employees. Microlearning has also been shown to increase learning retention, learning engagement, and ultimately learning ROI.

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