Canada Association of Tourism Employees

The Good And Unhealthy Of Microlearning For Staff

Microlearning: When you need it, where you need it

When developing training for employees, talent specialists have a lot to consider. Over time, the work environment becomes more hectic and most employees’ attention spans continue to decline. So what is considered an effective method of imparting knowledge in such a complex work environment? Micro-learning! Microlearning is one of the fastest growing trends and is increasingly being adopted by companies. In this article, we are going to walk you through everything you need to know about it.

What is microlearning?

Microlearning is a small portion of training material that is provided in order to achieve a specific goal. As the name suggests, there are small doses of information that can be quickly absorbed by the end user. The main idea behind this methodology is to electronically transmit details on a specific topic in a short period of time. There are several ways to impart such knowledge to users; This can be video, audio, walk-through, instructions, short text summaries, demo snippets, gamification of data, infographics, etc.

The good

Microlearning has several advantages. Let’s look at how you can benefit from this learning methodology:

  • Easy to remember
    It is common knowledge that people often forget a lot of what they have learned, so after a single day the retention rate is close to 30% of all information. You can overcome this challenge with the help of microlearning as it provides small, bite-sized details that are easy to grasp and remember.
  • More flexibility
    The flexibility of micro-learning is often underestimated by organizations. However, it is worth noting that end users can access information anytime, anywhere with learning management systems and software induction systems available in the workplace.
  • Easy to update
    It is important for companies to stay up to date with training and learning materials. Microlearning does just that by allowing it to be easily updated through cloud-based business technology. On the other hand, in-person training on new and updated technology would hurt productivity and be just as time-consuming as it was the first time.

The bad

While we’ve found microlearning transforming traditional training methods, there is still room for improvement. Let’s cover some common challenges that arise when introducing micro-learning into a business environment:

  • Self-education is a hurdle
    Organizations and training specialists often have unrealistic expectations of their employees when they introduce learning management systems in the work environment. Learning management systems often require employees to actively seek information when they choose to. While this sounds like an ideal study setting, workers and end users are unlikely to spend their free time studying on their own.
  • Not relevant for work situations
    Even if micro-learning provides brief bursts of information, they are often given at the wrong time. People often need guidance when they are unable to complete a task, but micro-learning is not available in the moment of need. Including microlearning resources in places where employees are struggling the most is the best way to get them to concern themselves with it.
  • Ineffective without context
    We mentioned earlier that microlearning is easy to understand, but when it’s not available in the context of your work, it’s just as ineffective and frustrating for employees as any other standard training methodology. This is often the case with micro-learning because it happens out of context and users return to the learning management system to remember the original information they were given. To improve retention rates, companies need to make micro-learning accessible within the company software itself!

Contextual micro-learning is the future of corporate training

After identifying the shortcomings of micro-learning, I believe we can locate the missing piece in this puzzle: the context. In-company training has changed in many ways over the years and micro-learning has become an integral part of it. But contextual micro-learning will improve the learning experience for everyone.

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It is not enough to provide microlearning with the help of a learning management system or an intranet. However, when it’s made available to you in context and through your business systems, employees and end users have access to information when they need it, without disrupting their workflow. Contextual micro-learning is therefore the way forward and paves the way for both in-company training and productivity.

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