One of the biggest trends in online education and training is known as microlearning. This refers to learning that occurs in small chunks rather than in long, drawn-out sessions. This is in accord with today’s fast-paced world where people are extremely busy and have short attention spans.
This article describes how microlearning benefits your online employee training program for both learners and your business.
An Introduction to Microlearning
The concept of microlearning is quite simple. Traditionally, people learned by sitting through a class, watching a long video or reading an article or book. While these methods still have their place, they aren’t really in tune with the digital world and people’s shortening attention spans. A recent study by comScore found that millennials only have a 5-second attention span for ads. While this study was about advertising rather than learning, the principle is the same. In the age of smartphones, apps, and texting, people have less and less ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
Online microlearning is the ideal solution for training people in this age. It not only gives learners information in short chunks, often as brief as 5 minutes, it also gives them the freedom to access training materials at their convenience. This is something that many people do today even if they’ve never heard of microlearning. When people watch TED Talks or instructional YouTube videos, or consult Google to find out how to do something they’re applying this principle. That’s what makes microlearning such a powerful tool for today’s businesses as well as learners.
Benefits for Learners
Here are some of the top benefits of online microlearning for employees.
- Modular Content The latest evidence supports the idea that people learn most efficiently in chunks. This means that people absorb brief, pinpointed material better than long-form content. Shortening content into concise modules gives busy employees the opportunity to learn by introducing flexibility. You don’t have to spend hours and hours to master a concept. A learner could get what they need in as little 2-3 minutes, instead.
- Easy to Update The fast pace of technology means best practices and recommendations can change rapidly, employees benefit from receiving the most relevant information. With the small module sizes of microlearning, it is generally easier to keep content up-to-date.
- Ideal for Just-in-Time Learning Just-in-Time training or learning is aimed at providing learners with the information they need at exactly the right time. Because microlearning can be delivered quickly and to many types of devices, it’s easy for people to access what they need, when they need it.
Benefits for Businesses
Online microlearning is equally beneficial for businesses that want to train employees as effectively as possible.
- The flexibility is affordable: Short videos, webinars, written content, audio files, and other microlearning formats can be produced quickly and cheaply. Businesses don’t have to take the time and resources to create long courses on every topic. Microlearning, of course, doesn’t completely replace traditional content. For many purposes, however, it’s a cheaper and more efficient alternative that helps companies lower their costs for training.
- Expands learners’ ability to fill the skill gap: Employees will be more likely to participate in professional development if they know that they don’t have to take a huge chunk of their workday to complete a training. They can get the information they need on their own time, with targeted, easily-digestible modules.
- Better results: Microlearning is in sync with how people learn today, employers can achieve better results with this method of training. If people are forced to sit through long training sessions, they are likely to find the content boring and are more likely to forget it.
The Importance of the Right LMS
We’ve explored some of the advantages of microlearning for both learners and businesses. However, it important to have a way to deploy your lessons with an easy-to-use, flexible user experience. This last, vital piece of the puzzle should be implemented through a Learning Management System with these qualities:
We live in an age when people are accustomed to learning by Googling and watching short videos. At the same time, companies are seeking faster, less expensive, and more efficient ways to deliver training. Microlearning, when combined with an appropriate LMS, is the ideal framework to meet the learning needs of both learners and businesses.
About Knowledge Anywhere
Knowledge Anywhere is an elearning company focused on providing flexible, modern learning and development solutions that enable organizations to harness the power of an engaged, knowledgeable workforce. Our Learning Management System, Virtual Reality Training, and Course Development services, combined with our experience and customer support enables our users to create a learning and development program that boosts sales and drives company growth.