25 September 2018

Microlearning Examples: An Innovative New Way to Deliver Training?

Digital Immersion / Microlearning
microlearning examples


Declan Mulkeen

Ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day? You are not alone. Today’s Modern Learner is pressed for time, easily distracted and wants answers to their learning challenges straight away. Microlearning is the ideal antidote to this. This innovative training solution uses short, concise “bursts” of learning delivered via smartphone, tablet or PC. Corporate microlearning examples can be found in many L&D learning strategies and the results are starting to echo throughout the corporate training world.

Training days: a logistical nightmare

Traditional training approaches generally focus on bringing together a group of professionals with a training requirement, placing them in a single location for a day and delivering perhaps 6 hours of training content to them.

If it is delivered well, then the day has been well spent and represents successful L&D training. Logistically, it can be challenging though- for a couple of simple reasons;

  • Your teams are busy people who will find it difficult to lose a day from their schedule, even with a few weeks’ notice
  • Professionals are often spread out across different locations so getting them all in the same place at the same time can be a challenge
Demystifying the Modern Learner
How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning
Demystifying the Modern Learner
How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning

You might have heard of the glass jar metaphor for time management. If we look at the jar as our regular workday, we can see lots of little spaces that are going unused. These are the gaps where Microlearning lives.

Microlearning involves small, bite-sized lessons ranging from 60 seconds to 20 minutes, taking full advantage of the time when the learner feels most motivated to concentrate.

Further reading

 From 9-5 to the pocket office

There was a time when our working day was limited to traditional office hours and the commute to work was a chance to read the papers, people-watch or snooze off whatever you got up to the night before.

For better or worse that situation has not only changed, but the old way has gone forever.

Smartphones and Tablets mean that for many of us the bus or train is now our office for part of the day.

Handheld digital technology has changed the time limitations on our working day. Taking work home, even working while traveling, has become increasingly easier and normalized behavior.

Not all the people on the train are staring at their social media feed or watching a movie; some of them are actually working.

For those of you who view that as a negative, let’s try to rediscover some optimism about your in-tray living in your pocket.

Demystifying the Modern Learner
How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning
Demystifying the Modern Learner
How technology and new learning preferences are shaping modern-day learning

Modern learning for modern times

Remember that jar? The spaces are where the magic can happen thanks to Microlearning.

Because it can be consumed almost anywhere via digital devices, Microlearning makes it possible to learn anywhere at any time.

So imagine that you have just been booked onto a corporate training day as part of your professional learning path. The day runs from 9 am until 5 pm and involves face to face training with an L&D expert.

Combine this “conventional training” with bite-size microlearning content and the learner can prepare for the training over breakfast, continue that preparation on the bus or train, and follow up the training after the formal training day finishes.

This approach is known as the flipped classroom method.

Training becomes far more effective if we are able to apply that knowledge straight away.

Further reading

A one-off training day which isn’t followed by further training, or the application of that knowledge within our professional roles, can be a waste of time and resources.

Microlearning allows the consumption of training content to take place days or weeks before the face-to-face day and facilitates the “embedding” of learning outcomes long after the formal training day is over.

Microlearning can stand on its own feet too

There are some in the training world whose vision for Modern Learning includes the idea that Microlearning doesn’t just have to complement traditional learning delivery. It can also stand on its own as a full program in its own right.

Video, podcasts, soundcasts and online quizzes are just some of the innovative microlearning examples deployed in these courses.

Start your commute by opening up a 10-minute module from your bespoke modular training program.

Watch a video, absorb a mini-webinar, read a case study or participate in a practical session, all on your device while rattling into work on the 7:23 from platform 2.

Do the same on your commute home and repeat for a couple of weeks and you’ve just completed a useful piece of professional training. Not bad for the spaces in your day that you didn’t think of as useful.

Learn on your own terms

Online microlearning can complement offsite training and in some cases even replace it. Through this innovative approach employees no longer need to devote weeks at a time to professional development. They can access learning on their own terms, wherever and whenever they want to.

Corporate microlearning examples are now more and more common across the learning world. If you want to see your professionals take charge of their learning and make the most of the small gaps in their day, incorporate microlearning examples into your L&D strategy today.

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