Everyone knows what microlearning is, it a more focused bite-sized learning to achieve specific objectives. But often, micro-learning is incorrectly implemented leading to undesirable outcomes for the course. The best fit cases for microlearning in a corporate environment are
Product Training: Product manuals are very large and typically contain too much information. The learner will find it hard recognize key take ways and forget them in days following his learning session. No one really wants to go through the entire document or video to recollect a few key features. Micro-learning can help break cumbersome courses in smaller portions, each containing 5-10 key take ways that you want the learner to remember. This will increase retention and easy recollection for the learner.
Compliance Training: Given the integrated and fast-changing world we live in, the legal, compliance and regulatory policies are changing all the time. You need to ensure the relevant stakeholders are regularly trained. Micro-learning will help deliver the key content in a continuous and easy to assimilate fashion.
Induction and HR Policy training: Ok, so you hold a weeklong Induction training for new joinees running through your company history, ethos, and HR policy. You can be assured that they would have forgotten most of it within two weeks of the course completion. HR policies regarding Sexual Harassment, Employee benefits, and Whistle Blower policies need to be delivered on a regular frequency to reinforce appropriate behavior from your employees.
Negotiation and Objection Handling: You can only organize and run so many case studies, live demonstration or use cases in a two-day workshop. You will have to keep sending short new use cases or simulations to all your learners throughout the year to maximize learning.
In functions such as Sales or Customer support, outsourced, off-roll employees constitute a significant portion of the workforce. In addition, L&D managers are faced with high attrition rates and constant changes in the products and regulations. The following tips will help you maximize the ROI on the training.
Go Mobile: It is financially unviable to provide desktop training to a distributed or off-roll workforce. Mobile & Tablet browser/App based training platforms, will eliminate the cost of conducting the training at any physical location and allow the employees to complete the course on-the-go. Create courses that are mobile friendly.
Keep things simple: Create courses and journey that are easy to navigate and operate under low bandwidth conditions. You want to reduce queries regarding Content or the System, given the sheer volume and geographical spread of your users.
Use SaaS LMS: SaaS LMS are the best tools for training your employees at an affordable cost. They can be deployed across most devices and operating systems. They are hosted by the product creator on cloud, hence do not require any infrastructure spend or extensive IT Security approvals, allowing your user to access the platform at her convenience.
Last week I paid a visit to my engineering college, just so that I could reminisce about the good old days. It had been a decade since I had last visited my alma-mater. I expected things to have changed – both inside and outside the classroom.
Outside the classroom, new structures had been built where the old buildings stood. There were new amenities in the campus, the likes of which I would have only dreamt of as a student. Expecting teaching methodologies to have changed as well, I sat through a couple of lectures. Strangely, the classroom continues to function the way it used to.
In the age of mobile learning and eLearning, professors continue to follow head to head classroom learning using pen and paper. In today’s world that runs on technology, where an assessment can be conducted through online courses, I saw students writing assessments on paper and submit them offline. Instead of using a learning management system (LMS), professors only depend on the content that they deliver offline. Instead of using mobile instructional design principles, they use chalks and blackboards.
Let’s put down a simple list of
features/facilities that would bolster their teaching process.
A platform or LMS that will enable
them to transform existing offline learning into eLearning modules, to enable
them to deliver content from any place in the world, to a student who is
located at even a remote location
A mobile learning system that will
enable them to deliver the content on not just the desktops, but via mobile
learning. This need not be different from the aforementioned LMS
A system that will enable them to
incorporate gamification and game-based learning to enhance the student’s experience
– provide a fun to do way of learning.
A system that will enable easy
creation or upload of content eliminating dependencies on third party software
products for content authoring.
Is there a solution available? Yes, there are multiple platforms available that professors can use – Docebo, QuoDeck, etc. Some of these are available for free on the internet. Give them a try today to see how
The complexity of these games varies widely. You can set up an entire business ecosystem with competitors, lenders, shareholders and customers, simulation of customer negotiation & Objection handling or in simulating Lab results for R&R.
These are best suited for organizations, where product, compliance and regulatory training must be imparted continuously. These games have a high ROI due to their simplicity, low cost of deployment, ease of embedding new content and use of existing infrastructure such as desktop/mobile devices
Research says that assimilation of content is higher when it is presented in a concise and interactive manner. Traditionally, learning comprises of long classroom sessions and large documents or videos in their online avatar. As a team leads, your aim of training your team should be keeping your learners engaged, emphasizing on key take ways of the course rather than the entire course and making it fun for them to improve adoption. Therefore, micro-learning proves to be an effective way of imparting learning to your team.
“As a team lead, your aim of training your team should be
keeping your learners engaged.”
Let’s look at a case study
and understand how you as a FMCG team lead can use micro-learning for your
You are a team leader and want to train your sales team of 350 people spread across various regions. You have an option of doing classroom training and have a couple of videos, documents, and PDFs. You have used various options, but you see that the learners are not engaged and do not retain what they have studied. You recently learned about micro-learning and want to apply its principles to training. How will micro-learning help you?
Micro-learning comes in
many forms and has elements of short to-the-point videos, interactive
interface, quizzes and assessments, gamification and infographic representation
of information. These help in knowledge retention and skill development. As
these elements are short and concise, reviewing information is an easier task
for the learners.
Videos: Traditionally, long videos of recorded sessions were used in training courses. However, with the advent of micro-learning, the approach to video-based e-Learning has changed. Short videos of not more than 3 to 6 minutes with the relevant information focused on the subject matter can help better retention and save time. Whether your training content is regulatory, on-boarding and induction related or new policies, videos can engage your employees and can be interactive as well.
Interactive Interface: We always think that a lot of content means a lot of information. However, large chunks of content in the form of long PDFs just become too frustrating for the learners to read also leading them disconnected with the material. One of the easiest ways to train your learners with engaging content is an interactive interface which can consist of small and short learning modules. It becomes self-satisfying for the learners as completing smaller modules but too many of them give a sense of accomplishment to them.
Quizzes and Assessments: You always want your learners to learn more along with higher retention. It is a great idea to use quizzes and assessments at the end of each topic or course. This helps learners retain better and gives you an idea of how much the learners have retained for designing your further courses. You can also use quizzes and assessments as contests while you launch content courses and give rewards to your learners. This suffices both your aims – retention and reward.
Gamification: It is important for your learners to come back to your courses and use them as refreshers to the topic. Gamification will help you do this. With games, your storyline becomes engaging for them and playing small games instead of going through plain quizzes keeps them on their toes. Your customized learning module can allow your learners to collect points, atop the leaderboard and level up continuously. Giving them a feeling of accomplishment helps keep them engaged.
Infographic Representation of Information: We all know about infographics. They just make your content look simpler, engaging and effective at the same time. Data in the form of graphics and charts make a unique experience for the learners. With infographic information, you can focus on key takeaways of data and statistics that a learner needs to know.
Start using micro-learning and help your team retain better!
Gamification is one of the most effective ways of imparting learning to your employees. Standard gamification features include setting up a game like structure, creating leaderboards, offering rewards, badges & certificates, and making it mobile. The following key tenets are routinely overlooked, when using gamification, leading to suboptimal results.
Create an interesting storyline: There is a reason why the best games, apart from having great visuals, have the most interesting storylines. Take your audience through a journey, get them excited to move to the next level. Design all your courses, assessments, and rewards based on the storyline. If you can add mystery and adventure to the fray, you have a winner!
Provide a mix of individual and team competition: Most gamified learning journeys offer only one of the two. As social beings, people love competing in groups and helping each other. However, the need to shine as individuals remains. Design assessments that reward top teams and top performers.
Decide the deliverable of the gamification: This cannot be emphasized enough. Do you want your employees to have fun, compete or create buzz? Is learning more important or competition? These need to be considered while gamifying your eLearning course.
When you think of creating eLearning, you are thinking of SCORM modules or a full platform. If you are thinking of Scorm creation, I would recommend building on PowerPoint and using an add-in to convert to basic SCORM. If you can afford it though, Articulate and Captivate are spectacular for authoring.
As an alternative, I would also like to invite you to try QuoDeck to create a mobile learning platform. You can use your existing PPTs, PDFs, and Videos to create the content and layer it with quizzes and games without requiring a separate authoring tool. Give it a spin and see if it works for you…
While companies worry about attrition across all functions, they worry about it the most in sales teams. CSO Insights puts average sales team attrition levels at around 16% – twice as high as any other function. This means sales trainers are training a third of their audience from scratch every year, without accounting for growth in the team.
Attrition in a sales team can have a strong effect on turnover and affect client relationships as well. Especially when that attrition is of high performers, any organization can go a while before finding replacements and getting these new hires to perform effectively. Therefore, the cost of attrition is not only in actual lost revenues but the time value and return on investment on every subsequent hire.
In high-attrition environments, these costs can pile
up significantly. With the amount that companies spend to train these teams
every year, ROI for these spends can steadily decline unless managed carefully
and through effective sales training programs.
Sales trainers have just one job in high-attrition
environments – make new people productive in the shortest time possible. Good
onboarding programs can help make sales people productive 2 months faster than
less effective programs. With such clarity of purpose, this seems like an easy
problem to solve. But its not. 71% of companies take six months or more to
onboard people effectively according to CSO Insights.
So, what does it take to build an effective sales
training program in such high attrition environments? In one word,
“standardization”. Here are some critical ingredients that can help you cook up
the right recipe to standardize and increase velocity of your sales training
In today’s mobile world, the tendency and
receptiveness to consume digital content has gone up tremendously. A 70:20:10
approach – with 70% on-the-job, 20% mentoring and only 10% structured or eLearning
– may be outdated, and more expensive than you think. In high attrition
environments, placing the burden of on-the-job training on sales managers can
mean a further slowdown in productivity. Since millennials are prone to consume
a lot more digital content today, given the ease and convenience of doing so,
it could be more effective to increase the eLearning/mlearning component of
onboarding programs to ~30% to play into your audience’s natural behaviour. Apart
from standardizing what is taught to your audience, it also ensures sales
managers can focus on productivity and retention among their sales team rather
than constantly worrying about training.
Build a eLearning/mlearning repository for informational content
Most sales onboarding programs try and cram in as
much information into the first few interactions that a sales person has with
the program. Retention typically takes a hit because of this. A more natural
way for your audience to consume is to give them online courses with all the
information to be imparted that they can explore at their own pace. This will
serve as a go-to destination for all sales people to refer to on a regular
basis. In some cases, this can also be used as a sales aid in the field, for
quick reference before meeting with customers or networks.
Of course, onboarding programs must give critical
information to the sales person before they can get started such as product
information, company history, sales processes and systems etc. However,
including microlearning highlights with references to your online courses repository
will ensure they don’t get deluged with a lot of information they ultimately
cannot remember. In a high-attrition environment, having this repository will
help you send out your sales people into the field faster with a safety net of
the reference repository.
culture of contribution in your audience
When performing sales people leave, a lot of
institutional learning leaves with them. Whether this is in the form of
insights or anecdotes, effective sales trainers aim to capture and build an
organizational knowledge repository to draw upon for their programs. To
institutionalize this, sales trainers must push for a ‘culture of contribution’
among their sales teams. Having KPIs around knowledge sharing that require all
sales people to contribute to a ‘knowledge repository’ can help build such a
culture and keep your program current and relevant.
In today’s digital world, generating this content is
far easier than you imagine, especially using modern mobile learning products.
Instead of asking your experts for PowerPoint presentations – which you will
probably never get – ask them to record and post a short video or audio clip
with some sales insights, to the social section of your mobile learning app.
Most modern eLearning and mlearning platforms will ease this process. Crowd-sourcing
such content can help ease your time and budget constraints and promote
ownership of the program among your audience. Such content can be drawn upon by
your new sales people for sales tips and tricks they would otherwise take many
years to learn.
If the holy grail is getting your new folks onboarded
faster, then bringing your onboarding program into the new-age may be a great
place to start!
Continue to watch this space for our upcoming series on how to drive sales training adoption
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids
working together & motivating them, the teacher is the most important” –
Do you find it difficult to grab your students’ attention?
Are you looking for ways to engage with them and get them to score better on
assessments? Well, technology is the solution here. In today’s technology-led
world, you would become obsolete if you did not figure ways to include
technology inside, and outside the classroom. Let’s dedicate 2019 to just doing
that – in 5 simple steps.
The beginning of a new year is a good time to set objectives.
This year, let’s focus on using technology to enhance ourselves.
Learn technology – become the expert at
The internet has multiple tools that you can use as an educator. Begin your journey with Google’s tools such as Drive, Gmail, Docs, etc. Once you have the hang of it, you should move to more e-learning focused technologies such as Canva, Course Lab, QuoDeck, etc.
These tools are simple to use and
can catapult your classes into the next level on engagement. You can use these
Get on Social Media – tweet your thoughts away
Social Media is the most important piece of the pie, with Twitter being on the top of the list, currently being used by more than 335 million users on monthly basis. Why not put it to use? Connect with people worldwide and share your experiences. Know what’s happening and what’s trending in the field of education technology. Be seen by your students as someone who understands them and believes in technology.
Pedagogy – brush up on your teaching
There’s always room for pedagogical
improvement – be it theory, getting back to basics, or just adding a new
technique to your arsenal. Bringing changes to the way they teach should be a recurring
feature in every teacher’s to-do list. Introduce game-based learning in your
classroom, bolster text books with educational videos, gamified assessments
etc. Make sure that when you plan on using learning games, you plan for rewards
If you wish you see the change in the way you
teach, you need to first change the way you think about it. To keep up your
exposure up to date, you must read books, blogs and articles on methods to transform
your teaching and you will start noticing a difference in the way you process
the daily challenges of teaching. Connect with other teachers, make groups and share
knowledge of the changes that have been made. Practice this in your routine.
Bring freshness to your content
Most teachers are comfortable using PowerPoint
or Keynotes for their presentations. But what we forget is that all of it
doesn’t appeal to the students. What they would be really interested in are games
and entertainment. Choose interactive slide presentations along with game-based
learning to get your students to learn what you want them to learn. There are
simple tools to help you do this. This will result in academic accomplishment
along with you becoming a better educator in your students’ eyes.
Ask yourself – How are you growing
as a teacher? Have you given a thought to this? If not, now is the right time to
do so. These 5 goals are just a starting point.
Do you have your own strategy that
has brought changes in you and your students? Tell us all about it. Talk about
the kind of tech-related professional development that has been most valuable
for you, and why. We would love to hear from you.
eLearning is like the proverbial Prometheus’ Fire. It will deliver great good for your employees, improve engagement and increase knowledge assimilation. As an L&D leader, you should avoid the following mistakes to help maximize its effectiveness.
traditional offline or using existing traditional content: Traditional
content such as long videos, lengthy documents and classroom training
techniques are not symbiotic with eLearning. Content will have to be created
and designed to be engaging, and interactive.
creating mobile friendly courses: While this is a must for on field sales force,
it is important to roll out mlearning for all employees. Employees spend a lot
of time on their mobiles and it is imperative to make learning as informal and
accessible as possible, even outside the work place.
effective assessment tools: Putting out the most engaging and interesting
course, with no way to assess your learners, is a waste of your and the
learners’ time. Put out quizzes and exams for each section, and the entire
course. These tests should be short and fun. Use Images, videos and blurbs as
part of the assessment to improve engagement.
mechanism for the learner: Learning
is a two-way street, the higher the engagement with the learner, the more the
learning. One of the primary reasons for drop-off in engagement is the lack of
an effective feedback mechanism for the learner to express her views on the
course. Listen to what your audience is saying and act on them.
objectives: Why have you set this course up, what do you want your audience
to gather, is this course to increase knowledge, boost productivity or develop objection
handling skills? If you are unclear of the outcome of the course, your learner
will be even more unclear. Lay down objectives at the beginning and design the
course to fulfill these objectives. Gather feedback and conduct assessments at
regular intervals to modify the course.
and complicated UI/UX: So, you deployed the latest and most expensive
Learning Management System (LMS) in town, but the adoption rates are low and
dropping. This might be because its to complicated to navigate. Always approach
eLearning from the learners’ point of view, not the creators. The simpler and more intuitive the UI, the
better the chances of learners engaging with it.