6 tips to integrate micro learning in your courses for rapid learning

Micro-Learning can be defined as a skill-based approach in education as well as training that delivers the information in small, ‘bite-sized’ chunks. This is useful as the learners can quickly assimilate the knowledge that they need to perform a particular task without having to spend long hours learning about it. Thus, it creates an opportunity for the learners to engage with the content exactly at the moment they need it.

In recent years, Micro-learning has supplemented and in many cases, even replaced the traditional method of learning which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. Microlearning, on the other hand, focuses more on the application and is largely self-driven, thus, producing effective and measurable results.

This is why many training programs are now utilizing the micro-learning principles to generate rapid learning and make the process engaging and successful.

Let us look at the 6 tips to integrate micro-learning in your courses for rapid learning:

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Learner engagement is one of the most important aspects of any training program. Without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Micro-learning principles can be utilized to create a game-based learning scenario that is interactive and interesting. Gamifying the learning content makes it visually appealing and engaging which can help the learners better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like compelling narratives, characters, badges, etc proves to be useful in making the entire learning process fun and effective.

2) Using Interactive Training Tools-

Using micro-learning principles in creating Interactive training tools like simulations and scenarios can effectively and rapidly teach a particular skill-set. Simulation, in particular, can be really helpful in creating a virtual situation where the learners can apply the knowledge they have gained to solve a problem or achieve a certain goal. Thus, focusing on the content application instead of theory can help increase its intake and retention. A time-based decision-making scenario is also helpful in testing the learner’s capability in handling work pressure. Thus micro-learning principles offer a unique experience in a training program that may not be possible by following the traditional way.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Instructional videos can be a great way to give information as they are engaging and brief. Micro-learning can be used to create short videos about a particular product or developing a needed skill-set, which can then be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. This is convenient as the learners can access it whenever required.

Similarly, educational podcasts make it easier for the learners to gain information from the comfort of their own house or while traveling, without taking up too much of their time during work hours. It makes the process more learner-centric as they have control over their learning and can easily set their own pace for receiving the necessary information.

4) Writing Blog Posts-

Micro-learning principles can be used to create something as simple as a blog post which can keep the learners informed about various topics. Blogs don’t take much time to read, and a large chunk of information can be easily condensed in the form of points which the learners can easily remember. Blog posts can also be easily accessible from any device and can be published on various platforms which makes it handy for the learners to read them as and when required.

5) Creating Self-Assessment Tools-

One of the most effective ways of using micro-learning principles is by creating self-assessment tools which can include online quizzes, questionnaires, puzzles, case studies, etc. They provide an excellent opportunity to gauge the level of the learner and quantify their progress and understanding. Instant feedback that is given, helps the learners in identifying knowledge gaps which they can then rectify. As the evaluation is quick, the learning also progresses at a rapid pace. Self-assessment tools are also helpful in judging the effectiveness of a training program as they test the learner’s understanding and retention of the content.

6) Using Multimedia Resources-

Micro-learning makes it easier to condense information into various multimedia resources to provide a variety in learning and make the process interesting and enjoyable. Online slideshows and presentations are a great way to deliver information in a few minutes as the learners can easily absorb the content. Micro-learning is also used to create infographics that provide a comprehensive overview of the subject in a way that the learners can quickly understand and recollect.

Thus, integrating microlearning into the regular courses is a great way to boost the productivity of the training program and generate rapid learning and better content engagement, involvement, and retention.

6 Reasons To Localize Your Global Training Program

 Digitization has resulted in a rising number of global marketplace where the company is no longer limited to a single geographical location but spans several cities, countries and even continents. This has led many organisations to conduct virtual training programs as a means to minimize cost and have a greater outreach.

 However, the assumption of one training content being sufficient for the global workforce is incorrect. For the training to be successful and effective, it must generate learner engagement and retention. This is impossible if the learners don’t connect or feel involved with the training program. Hence, it becomes imperative to localize the training process. Localization can be defined as the process of customizing the training content to a specific locale or market. There are many benefits of doing this.

     Given below are the 6 reasons to localize your global training program:

     1) Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workspace-

 With digitization, an organization has better scope to diversify their workforce and advance globally. However, this can only be done if their workspace is inclusive to people and their cultural backgrounds and languages. Hence, it is essential that the training programs cater to this diversity by welcoming people from all over the world and imparting content that is not just informative but relevant to their social space and work culture. Translating the training program into the required language can also help people connect better with the course content.

 2)  Improving Engagement-

The training program is successful when it effectively engages people in the course content. However, if the program is not localized, there is a disconnect between the learner and the course material, as they do not understand and feel involved with the process, or feel the information to be irrelevant to their cultural context. In the absence of effective engagement, content retention is not possible.Therefore, global training programs should be localized so that the learners feel valued and invested in their own training process.

3) Cultural and contextual understanding-

Global training programs must take into account the culture and social systems while creating their course content. Using culture appropriate avatars or avoiding the use of images with people is essential in creating a program that connects with the learners.

 Certain colours and numbers are also viewed in a negative context, for instance, in Brazil and Thailand, the colour purple is associated with mourning. Likewise, the number 4 is considered unlucky and a symbol of death in China.

It is important that to achieve maximum results out of the training program, the course should be created with the cultural and contextual understanding of a demographic location. 

4) Achieving Performance Goals-

Localization is not just about translating but also about adapting the training course to a particular cultural context. This includes adapting their units of measurements, currency, idioms or expressions, tone of voice, images and symbols, etc. When the training doesn’t take these into account, it alienates the learners whereby they lose interest quickly. It can at times also cause dissatisfaction where they feel unwelcome or undervalued by the organization which can greatly affect their productivity. It is therefore necessary that the company localize its global training program to achieve their performance goals and develop their business at a steady rate.

5) Accuracy and Standardization of Content-

Localization is needed to maintain the accuracy and standardization of content. For instance, if the content is regarding Body Language for Sales training, simply having an image of two people shaking hands in greeting is insufficient, as this gesture may seem foreign to the native people of Japan who greet others by bowing. Thus the message may not be delivered accurately or at times can even be misinterpreted. 

Similarly, the ability to make the best decisions in regards to profit will only be possible if the learners understand cost, which can vary according to the country and their currencies. Localization trains the employees in these matters which can also help the organization standardize their global information and data. 

6) Complying with Law-

Lastly, some countries make it mandatory to have their business transitions in their native language along with English. Localization allows the companies to comply with the local law and conduct their training program in a smooth and effective manner. 

Localization is thus, one of the best practices with regards to global training programs because there can be no true global learning experience without localized training. It also effectively eliminates cultural differences and not only improves knowledge acquisition but also increases learner engagement and content retention.

4 Micro-Learning Strategies For Employee- Engagement

Micro-learning is a skill-based approach to learning that delivers information in small ‘bite-sized’ chunks. In today’s modern economy which greatly prioritizes speed, this is especially effective in generating greater knowledge absorption and better content retention. In recent years, micro-learning, with its emphasis on application and self-learning, has supplemented the traditional methodology which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. This transition has improved the learners engagement with the program and has produced effective and measurable results.

Employee engagement is an essential aspect of any learning program. In today’s fast-paced world, it has become difficult to focus on lengthy content for a long period of time. Micro-learning strategies, here, prove useful in delivering the relevant content at the required time in a quick and easy manner, using technology channels that are favoured by the employees.

Let us look at 4 Micro-learning strategies for employee-engagement :

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Micro-learning strategies can be used to create gamified, scenario-based learning content which is not only visually appealing, but also interactive and engaging. Employee engagement is essential for the success of any training program because without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Gamifying the learning content with compelling narratives and characters makes it interesting for the learners and hence they can better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like badges, awards,points and leaderboards can also bring out healthy competition among colleagues and peers, making the entire training process more engaging and effective.

2) Utilizing Multimedia Resources-

Utilizing multimedia resources can be a great way to enliven a technical or lengthy content. Micro-learning principles can be used to effectively condense information into various multimedia platforms like slide-shows and infographics which provides a variety in the learning experience. Online slide-shows and presentations can effectively deliver information in a short period of time and in a manner that the employees can easily absorb and understand.

Similarly, infographics are a great learning tool as they provide an overview of the content in a visually appealing manner with the help of texts and graphics. They are an ideal reference material and can easily cater to the short-attention span of the learners, thus, creating better content engagement and retention.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Micro-learning videos are one of the most effective ways to engage the employees as they do not require any expensive set-ups and are highly flexible in terms of time and place and can be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. They are tailored to deliver a specific set of information and hence are not only brief but also relevant. Videos create an immersive learning experience and hence are effective in employee engagement and retention ability.

Similarly, micro-learning strategies can be used in developing educational podcasts that can deliver information to the learners that can be easily assessed anywhere, without taking up too much of their time, especially during work hours. This makes the process more learner-centric as the employees have control over their learning and can set their own pace for receiving the required information.

4) Creating Blog Posts and Interactive eBooks-

Blog posts are an effective way of providing information in an engaging manner as they do not take much time to read and a large chunk of information can be condensed in the form of bullet points that make it easier for the employees to recollect and remember. They are also easily accessible from any device and can be published in various platforms which makes it handy for the employees to access them as and when required. 

Interactive ebooks with their appealing visuals and user-friendly navigation is another great micro-learning strategy to enhance employee engagement. They can also be made compatible with various formats like pdf, epub, etc., and across various platforms and devices which makes for a very convenient learning experience. These ebooks can also be complemented by worksheets, checklists, quick tips and other interactive exercises that make the training program more immersive and engaging. 

Thus, micro-learning strategies can be employed to deliver content that is appealing, concise and highly interactive. It is ,therefore, an effective way to engage the employees in their training programs which in turn can positively impact the overall progress and productivity of the organisation.

Why is it important for the HR’s to upgrade their Induction programme in 2021?

The induction programme of an organization is an important process of introducing a new employee to the working environment, rules and regulations, company policies, job responsibilities and other such essential information. It forms a part of an organization’s knowledge management process and helps the new member become integrated into the team and the company’s business. It has proven to improve employee retention, build the company’s reputation and increase overall productivity of the employees.

However, the current pandemic situation has proven to be both, challenging and enlightening with regards to the typical recruiting process. With  new emerging technologies and more people opting for a digital workspace, it becomes imperative that the onboarding process be accordingly upgraded, to the changing times and scenarios. Here are some reasons why it is important to upgrade the Induction programme in 2021:

Remote Working:

Telecommuting has become the new reality for business corporations. In the current pandemic situation, the entire recruiting process is completely online. Hence, it is essential that the onboarding process also be similarly upgraded. The upgraded Induction programme should have information about work from home policies, provision for online introduction and interactions,  and should also provide technology training and support for those who require it. A mobile workforce changes the dynamics of an organisation, in the sense that it becomes more impersonal, in comparison to a face-to-face interaction. It is therefore important that the digital training process is able to make new recruits feel welcome and included in the company. 

Networking Systems :

Technology has become an integral part of business and with the introduction of new tools, services and upgrades, it is important to train the new recruits to become more digitally aware and utilize these tools for better collaboration and communication, especially during these challenging times. 

Basic training on the new networking systems like Skype for business, Sharepoint, Google Meet and emerging technologies like Office 365 should also be incorporated to the regular induction process. This would enable the new members to communicate and be in touch with the organization and also provide a great platform for them to get to know their colleagues and develop a great working relationship with them.

Introduction of Learning Management Systems :

Induction is no longer simply a text based training programme. Many corporations are now opting for a gamified learning approach when it comes to introducing the new employees to the company history, structure and policies. Using a learning management system (LMS) for the recruiting process helps the new member learn about the business culture, standard business procedure, compliance policy etc in a more interactive and engaging manner. LMS can be used to design courses for enhancing the employee’s skill or to introduce them to a new software or technology. It can also be used by the Learning and Development team for testing and assessing an employee’s performance. It can thus help to evaluate the success of a training programme and see if the trainee’s have managed to retain the information after training.

Innovation (Creativity over Formality) : 

Many organizations are going the creative and personal route over the completely formal onboarding process. Induction forms the first introduction of the organization and its tone and the methodology used goes a long way in creating a great impression on the new recruits. Therefore, some companies prefer a more innovative approach, rather than the traditional approach while welcoming their new employees. This may include-

Gifting: 

This is a great personal way to make an employee feel welcome. Some companies give their new recruits a pen and a notebook with the company logo and others even give out gift coupons.

Activity based programme:

Some organizations arrange an activity programme where the new member can interact and get to know their colleagues. Activities like sharing a funny story, engaging in some fun games go a long way in breaking the ice and building great working relationships among people.

Buddy system:

Most new recruits often feel intimidated and unsure about their roles and responsibilities when they first join an organization. Induction usually takes care of this by giving them the information in print, but some companies have introduced the buddy system to supplement this process. The buddy system involves assigning a buddy to the new member, who would be responsible for introducing them to the other team members, helping them get accustomed to the company role and answer any queries that they have. Many corporations have reported great success in implementing this method during their onboarding process.  

Thus, upgrading the induction process according to the changes and emerging trends, helps in creating a friendly and dynamic workplace which in turn enables the employees to grow and develop and achieve greater results for the organization

The 7 Advantages of Remote Working

People have always been drawn to the idea of a flexible workspace that provides them with professional and personal control over their career and life in general. While some corporate organizations were hesitant and sceptical about the concept of a productive remote working scenario, the current pandemic situation has forced many to re-evaluate their opinion.

The last couple of months have highlighted the fact that working from home is not only a great alternative to the routine office set-up, but also benefits both, the employee and the business organization. 

Highlighted below are the seven main advantages of remote working :

Increased Productivity

Many corporate companies are of the opinion that working from home can result in their employees becoming lazy and unproductive, but factually, the opposite is true. 

Distance work gives people the freedom to select their own workspace. They can choose to work in comfortable clothes, relax on a comfortable chair or even have their laptop stationed on the kitchen counter. This familiar and ergonomic workspace helps in reducing stress, thereby increasing productivity and performance. 

Moreover, people do not have to expend their time and energy in daily commuting to their offices. Not having to travel long-distance or suffer traffic congestion reduces the anxiety of being late or wasting too much time. People doing remote work are often, more inclined to start their work early or even extend their work hours due to not having to travel to their workplace.

Independence of Location

A flexible workspace allows people to continue working despite a change in their location without having to change their company or start over in a new organization. 

It also provides access to a broader range of employment opportunities that are not limited by geographical location. People can thus, avoid moving to a major metropolitan area with a high cost of living simply to have a career that they desire. 

Companies will also not lose their employees if they re-locate and can thus enjoy a greater degree of employee retention in their organization. 

Reduction of Expenses

Telecommuting can be a great way to save money and reduce expenses. Having a remote job instantly reduces the cost of petrol, vehicle maintenance, professional attire, daily meals etc. It also benefits the companies and allows them to save money as it decreases the cost of real estate and technology.

Inclusion of People

Digital workspace is not limited by geographical location and hence, it allows companies to hire people from different places. This enables greater diversity in the work environment as employees belonging to different culture, language, race, religion, etc., all come together and enhance the social dynamics of the organisation.

Moreover, it also provides an excellent work opportunity for people with disabilities and others who cannot work an on-site job, to follow their career goals without having to worry about external factors like work commute, etc.

Better work-life balance 

Telecommuting makes it easier for people to balance their career and family life. It reduces stress, gives time for recreational activities and improves personal relationships. In addition, the interaction between the employee and the employer is greatly enhanced without all the distractions and politics that come with an on-site job. 

Working remotely also encourages people to live a healthier life by eating well, having time to exercise and not being stressed or over-burdened by external factors.

Flexible Timings

Many remote jobs come with flexible timings where people can start and end their day as they desire, as long as the work schedule is not compromised. This factor is desirable to people as it allows them to take an active part in their family and still maintain their career. It allows them to balance time for their children’s school activities, family functions, medical appointments etc. Thus, an off-site workspace can lead to a more fulfilled and satisfying life.

Environmental Impact

Telecommuting not only benefits people on an individual level but it also proves advantageous to the world at large. When many people choose to work from their homes, it positively impacts the environment by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases and saving oil resources. Reducing travel also helps in reducing pollution and carbon emissions which greatly affects the climate. 

Moreover, distance work negates the use of too much paper, air-conditioner, lighting etc in a corporate set-up which in turn can leave a positive impact on our globe.

 Although the current on-going pandemic situation has been the catalyst for people turning to a digital workspace, many are realizing its multifarious advantages. It is thus, safe to say that this  is one trend that isn’t going to slow down anytime soon

M-LEARNING TRENDS TO ADOPT IN 2021

The emerging technological innovations have certainly revolutionized the way learning is traditionally conducted. With the introduction of elearning and now, mobile learning, new trends are emerging in the market that can positively impact both young and adult learners.

Mobile learning or M-Learning refers to learning and accessing content in a variety of formats across multiple devices. It is quickly gaining popularity as it is cost effective,portable and allows for greater immersion and  interaction with the content.

Given below are some of the m-learning trends to adopt in 2021 –

1. Corporate Training:

Digitization of training within the corporate sector has become popular, especially in the current pandemic situation, with more people opting to work from home. M-Learning is highly effective in consolidating the content in a simple, clear and interactive manner which makes it easier for the information to be retained. It also allows flexibility, where the learners can set their own pace and choose the module they would like to complete first. Hence, a large percentage of companies are now utilizing mobile learning to train their employees and are seeing greater engagement, greater reviewing of completed courses and better completion results.

2. Collaborative Learning:

Learning is no longer an isolated activity. Most m-learning platforms are integrated to an app which is connected to different social media, where people can form groups and communities to enhance their learning experience. There are also open forums, where they can post their queries, share their experience and provide feedback on the course. This method of social learning positively impacts the learner as it allows them greater interaction with others and broadens their perspective on a particular content

3. Interactive Learning: 

M-learning provides an interactive and immersive learning experience using various strategies like gamified learning, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), etc. Instructional videos are also a popular feature of interactive learning modules. These techniques are especially used in fields of education, travel, real estate, fitness, healthcare ,etc. to provide for a tangible, rich sensory learning experience. Many learners prefer the gamified version of a content as it engages them, enables higher participation and retention and also allows for instant feedback

4. Personalization of learning experience:

Psychology proves that every individual assimilates knowledge in a different way and at a different pace. While traditional learning could not cater to this aspect, mobile learning allows for a personalization of the learning experience. Modules can now be created according to the proficiency and interests of the learner and they can set their own pace and choose their own learning path. It also allows people to utilize push notifications and update their app content easily. 

5. Microlearning:

Microlearning or small ‘bit-sized chunks’ of learning is gaining popularity among people. In our current, fast-paced reality, it becomes difficult to digest lengthy written content. Microlearning tailors that into smaller sections and utilizes videos, podcasts, infographics and other such media to convey it in a more appealing and interactive manner. Mobile learning leverages microlearning to enhance the learner’s experience by curating content and also allowing space for reinforcing the learning. 

6. Soft-Skills training:

People are recognising that formal, instructional training is not enough when it comes to the overall personality development of an individual. More organizations are acknowledging the importance of giving soft-skills training on communication, leadership, collaboration etc to their employees. Mobile learning is a great tool to enhance the learner’s  performance and bring about a behavioural change in them. It especially encourages self-directed learning which can greatly benefit the individual by informing, challenging and changing their perspective on a particular content.

7. Data-Driven learning:

Today’s society is largely influenced by data and statistics, which is now being recognised as an important part of the learning and development industry. Understanding data and designing courses based on them enriches the content and meets the learner’s individual needs. Data can also be utilized to track the learning progress of an individual and to analyze if a particular innovation has enhanced the overall learning experience. It can also give a fair idea of the demography of the learners and can assist the designers in creating content accordingly.

Thus, these M-Learning trends help in creating a rich culture of continued learning experience and should definitely be adopted in 2021