Micro-learning is learning presented as short and focused nuggets of content. Content can be in multiple forms including text, images, videos, etc. Micro-learning presents only as much content as required for learners to achieve a specific learning outcome. With today’s workforce comprising of Generation Z and millennials, it is particularly valuable in corporate learning.
The training that your learners experience, whether in the form of workshops, ILTs or online courses on your LMS, are mostly long-form. As a result, learner gratification usually happens only once on course/workshop completion. Also, because the attention span of the audience you talk to is short, as little as 5 minutes, their interest in long online courses often wavers causing understanding and retention to suffer.
With the help of micro-learning nuggets, you can attack both these problems. These provide gratification in shorter intervals and prevent learner demotivation. Also, since their length is usually kept below 5 minutes, learner attention does not waver either.
Apart from just solving problems for the learner community, micro-learning offers multiple benefits to individuals who own learning or training of teams.
a. Just-in-time learning
Micro-learning can be accessed on mobile phones, LMS permitting, without using up too much data. With content being available on their handiest device, your learners can access it on-demand. These micro-learning online courses can thus act as ready reckoners and prove helpful on the job.
Millennials needs more autonomy than any other generation. Allowing them to consume relevant content, as and when they choose to, drives motivation as well as interest. Additionally, this gives them the feeling that they can chart their own learning paths. Learners thus apply their learning in their daily lives and often look for content that they can consume. This reduces the pressure on learning managers as content does not need to be pushed as much as earlier.
c. Varied forms of learning
Micro-learning principles demand concise and to-the-point information nuggets with focused and compact objectives. Using various forms such as games, videos, infographics, eLearning and m-learning, it can help create specific content with effective training outputs. Along with this, micro-learning content also helps achieve content interactivity and learner engagement.
d. Advantageous for small teams
Micro-learning offers key advantages to small teams, groups or departments. Given their small size, setting up a micro-learning mobile app is easy and affordable. This can be used for achieving smaller but important milestones that a department may have set for itself.
When should you use micro-learning?
It is important to consider two aspects while applying micro-learning strategies – business aspect and learner needs.
Here are some things to consider while using micro-learning:
a. What technology will you use?
Micro-learning’s success largely depends on how easy it is to access. If a learner cannot easily and quickly find content that she is looking for, it is likely that they will not spend any effort to access it again. Not all LMSes handle micro-learning well. It is important that your LMS deploys these courses easily and tag the learners to help them find what they need. The LMS needs to be accessible on mobile as well.
b. Who are your learners?
It is crucial that you know your learner profile before you design a micro-learning course. While micro-learning can be effective across all generations, younger learners or learners who are more technologically savvy may be more comfortable using these than those who do not use digital devices frequently.
To conclude, micro-learning is the best learning strategy for the Gen Z and millennial workforce. Not only can it be engaging and effective, with the right approach to creation, it can be entertaining too.