How To Use Microlearning In Employee Training
Use of microlearning techniques in employee training and development is a key part of contemporary Instructional Design. It’s used by L&D teams and training consultants alike to bridge skills gaps due to the many benefits offered, including:
- Seat time saved in training courses
- Flexibility for the learner
- Increased learning rates due to engagement and ease of retention
- Potential reuse of content as a refresher or job aid
Not all organizations make use of microlearning, however. Instructor-Led Training (ILT) courses, held in person for some or all of the sessions, are often most effective for the introduction of new and bigger-picture processes and concepts. That said, microlearning is most effective when training for a business-critical initiative on a larger scale. It’s most productive in situations where learners must absorb the content quickly with minimal disruption to their daily routines. It can be added to ILT and other types of training as a supplement. It can be especially useful in employee training around compliance processes, brand training, sales enablement, leadership, and other upskilling training initiatives.
If your organization would like to take advantage of the benefits of microlearning, it’s helpful to use the following 3 questions to guide design and development. These questions may also be used to identify whether microlearning is right for your organization, or if you’d be better served by another training method.
Microlearning Development: A 3-Question Checklist Used By Training Consultants
Can you identify and break the performance objective into smaller units? Microlearning is most useful when you can link desired performances to organizational goals for outcomes. You can make these determinations by reviewing the step-by-step processes that must be completed to complete a task or achieve your objective. What are the most successful employees doing? Use those to map your performance goals, and then design microlearning around each step of the process or task.
Can you make the training available at the point of need? Learners use microlearning most effectively as an integrated part of their process. For example, you’ll want to design training that can be accessed, viewed, and downloaded to mobile devices and across platforms. Your learners are more likely to participate and gain the experiences they need if they can easily and quickly view and complete short, readily available, easy-to-navigate content. Always consider multiple use cases in your design and delivery.
Can you design a complete experience, using best practices, with quality media? Do you have the tools at the ready for your microlearning development and delivery? Does your team have the LMS, authoring tools, and technology to use quality media? In some cases, your microlearning will need to include visuals and interactive animations to demonstrate processes. Quality video can accomplish the same thing. You’ll need to invest in the experience, with visuals of quality similar to those of your marketing. You’ll also want to have skilled designers available to create and rework iterations of the training to make it intuitive and provide a good User Experience (UX) for your learners.
If your organization isn’t using microlearning yet or wants to add to and improve its offering, it’s definitely worthwhile to begin meaningful conversations to add this modality to your training. Microlearning is a key strategy in modern training design, as it increases learning and makes it more likely that your employees will find the time to participate. It also aids in retention and is useful as refresher and practice material to view on the job.
If, after combing through the checklist above, you find that you are missing elements to develop your microlearning offering, it is often cost-effective and valuable to bring in training consultants to help. Bringing in L&D staff augmentation or a full-scale training consultant to develop your project may be worthwhile if you need a Τraining Νeeds Αnalysis to map performance before training design begins.
You can also bring in learning technology architects and support to improve your accessibility and content authoring and integrations. You also will want creatives with experience in authoring tools, video, graphics, and animations, depending on your needs. Don’t hesitate to make the investment in design, as better-quality courses will improve outcomes and save money in the long term.