What is Microlearning and How Can it Benefit Your Organization?

By Danielle Solomon in Learning Trends
BlogMaking Your Driving School ADA-Compliant

What is Microlearning and How Can it Benefit Your Organization?

In recent years, many organizations have begun transitioning towards a “less-is- more” approach when it comes to required training modules. Today, innovative concepts like microlearning are transforming the training landscape—replacing the long and drawn-out training modules of the past with rich, short, and useful components.

Defining Microlearning: A Not-So- Micro Task

Ironically, defining the concept of microlearning has proven to be a mammoth task, as it seems to straddle the line between design approach and instructional method. Education experts have thrown around countless definitions of the concept, with many of them focusing on microlearning as succinct, engaging, and digestible content that suits the changing needs of today’s learners. And while there may be some disagreement among scholars on a concrete, accepted definition of the term, most would likely agree that successful microlearning must meet a few key criteria, including:

  • Conciseness (usually 3-5 minutes long)
  • Ability to meet an exact learning outcome
  • Easy accessibility
  • Learner-centric approach

Key Benefits of Microlearning

With a general definition of microlearning established, you might now be wondering what kinds of benefits your organization may see with a transition away from “traditional” learning modules to a microlearning approach.

For Learners

Improved Engagement

For learners, microlearning components tend to better capture the attention of their audiences; this is especially true when you consider that Millennials are now making up a larger percentage of the workforce than ever before. Workers from this generation grew up with the instant gratification of information on-demand and simply may not have the patience to sit through an hour-long training seminar. Instead, they benefit greatly from microlearning content, which gives them the information they need in a familiar and accessible format.

Increased Knowledge Retention

The ability of microlearning modules to incorporate a variety of rich media types can also lead to improved information and knowledge retention—especially when compared to more “traditional” methods of training. When learners have access to relatable and useful media, such as infographics, video, and audio, the training content is better suited for retention by all types of learners. In fact, studies have shown that microlearning can result in more than 20% increased information retention.

Unrivaled Flexibility

Microlearning content is designed with flexibility in mind, making it ideal for use across a wide range of devices. Rather than being confined to an office conference room for a training session, employees can enjoy on-demand training modules from the convenience of their mobile devices, tablets, and the like. This gives them the option to complete training in ways that work with their schedule, whether that means viewing training modules during downtime on-the- job or from the comfort of their own home. In this sense, microtraining is truly learner-centric, allowing employees the flexibility they need (and demand) in the modern workplace.

Ability to Custom-Tailor

Rather than being forced to sit in an hour-long training lecture or complete a detailed computer training program on-the- job, microlearning modules allow learners to explore and engage with training materials at their own pace and during their specific moments of need. This ability to pull information as needed, rather than to have excessive training material pushed upon them, essentially allows employees to take control of their own learning on-the- job and gain a sense of empowerment. Microlearning can also boost employee morale and satisfaction by shifting the way workers think about training.

For Businesses

Of course, the benefits of implementing microlearning aren’t limited to employees alone; there are many ways in which organizations can benefit from making the switch to microlearning in their training strategies.

High Cost Efficiency

When compared to traditional eLearning expenses, microlearning is significantly more affordable for a number of reasons. For starters, due to the shorter content, the time and manpower involved in creating microlearning content is drastically reduced. Furthermore, because employees can explore microlearning modules at their own pace (and even outside of the workplace, as needed), this can cut down drastically on the amount of paid man hours dedicated to training.

Versatile Application

Another important consideration for microlearning is the fact that it can be used as standalone training material, as a Performance Support Tool (PST) in the workplace, or both. In this sense, employees can officially “complete” their training, but then easily have access to the modules from their smartphones or other devices if they ever need to refer back to any of the information later on. This can help to improve compliance on-the- job and reduce instances of accidents.

Quick and Easy Updating

When traditional training content needs to be updated or changed, this can be a burdensome and time-consuming task. PowerPoints may need to be updated, new hand-out materials may need to be printed, and lectures must be revised. This can add up to hours of work for company trainers that could be better spent in other capacities. However, with a microlearning module, making updates is quick and easy, thus saving companies additional time and costs without sacrificing the quality of the training materials in the process.

Proven Results

When employees are truly engaged in their training content and walking away from each module with actual retention of the information, everybody benefits. Your employees benefit by having greater confidence in performing their jobs correctly, and your organization in-turn benefits from improvements in employee safety compliance. And of course, when your organization is operating as it should, your clients and your bottom line see the benefits in both the short- and long-term.

While the concept of microlearning is still rather new, its training applications are certainly here to stay. Learners across all generations, learning styles, and walks of life can benefit from this innovative form of training—as can the organizations supporting them. By re-thinking the way employees are trained on-the-job and allowing them to “take the reins” of their own learning, organizations can see greater information retention and engagement across the board. With all of this in mind, is now the time for your organization to consider making the switch to microlearning modules for your safety training and OSHA compliance training? Interested in finding out more about implementing microlearning at your organization? We’re here to help; contact our team at IMPROV® Learning to get started!


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