Summary: We have heard of microlearning many times in the last few years as one primary mode of implementing digital learning. However, the question remains: is it effective or overrated? I will try answering the question in this article.
Is Microlearning Still Effective?
In 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was launched, which was criticized widely by everyone. Many traditionalists believed that the tournament would degrade the sport into a spectacle, another ruse for entertainment, and would not be serious competition.
Further, they opined that it would not last long as it was a copy of another tournament. IPL would appeal only to a certain section of people who liked fast-paced stuff. Basically, IPL forced batsmen to play an aggressive brand of cricket, and bowlers were made into mere bowling machines where they were forced to discover new tricks for survival.
Similar to the IPL, when microlearning made its advent, numerous questions were raised about its effectiveness. For instance, people asked the following questions:
Microlearning? What is it?
Will it work?
Isn’t it overrated?
Can you really chunk large information into smaller bits and make it effective?
Today, we can safely say that people have accepted microlearning as an important mode of digital learning. Microlearning:
- Is here to stay
- Is objective-driven
- Cuts out history, focuses only on tasks
- Can be implemented before, during, and after a formal training
Why Has Microlearning Gained So Much Popularity?
Microlearning became popular for numerous reasons, such as:
- It is bite-sized, so it’s easy to learn (both the trainers and learners love it)
- It is easy to create, quick to upload and implement/administer
- It is easy to track the progress
- It gives quick data and insights on learner behavior
- It is budget-friendly
Numbers Don’t Lie
According to RPS Research, “microlearning improves focus and supports long-term retention by up to 80%.” According to Software Advice, microlearning also improves engagement by 50%. Facts always paint a picture, and we improvise and build better outcomes.
Microlearning is effective in various ways:
- It helps increase the retention of the concept learned
- It works as just-in-time learning to help the learner in the field or at the workplace
- It ensures that there is a reinforcement of knowledge
- It ensures that there is additional information provided over and above the main learning content
- It provides tips to do a job better or complete a task successfully
Microlearning Can Be A Great Support To Hybrid Learning
What is hybrid learning? Well, it is a learning methodology in which the best of classroom and online training are combined in a manner that enables the best learning experience as well as improved performance of the employees.
Microlearning can be a great aid in the hybrid learning model, as:
- It helps employees undertake training irrespective of the location and is not constrained by the time and availability of trainers
- It delivers synchronous lessons using Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet
- It maximizes learners’ learning time
- It can boost collaboration, social learning
- It features a combination of the classroom, virtual training, and eLearning/microlearning
- Learners can interact with the content in meaningful ways
- It offers access to targeted remedial practice, guided practice, chatbot
Various microlearning interventions can supplement your main training program and help learners apply the learning on the job. Those could be:
- Learning nuggets: Bite-sized intervention addressing one learning objective. There can be multiple learning nuggets for a competency. There can be three to five learning nuggets to attain a certain level of mastery for a user role.
- Learning activities: Make learners go through activities such as reading a PDF and answering a question, researching a topic, and writing a note on the topic. Crossword puzzles or similar can also be added to the mix.
- Videos: Videos that are created with kinetic text, infographics, motion graphics, or whiteboard animation.
- Questions: Two to three questions per learning nugget. There can be individual quizzes that can be administered.
- Game-based activities: One game-based activity per competency per level (so, to attain a level, one game-based activity can be designed).
But we need to understand that microlearning doesn’t lead to mastery.
Microlearning isn’t ideal in all situations. Here are some instances when you should not be using microlearning:
- As a replacement for formal education or training.
- To tackle complex topics.
- To gain complete mastery over a topic.
- As a replacement for eLearning.
Examples Where Microlearning Is Effective
Imagine a situation where a sales guy is about to attend to his next prospect. He must remember a few concepts related to negotiation and closing out an important deal. While he waits for the customer, he can quickly open a short microlearning course on his phone that summarizes the steps to negotiate with the customer. He also accesses an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) guide that helps him remember what to do when the customer presents a tricky question. This just-in-time and continuous reinforcement will equip the salesperson better to close deals faster.
Front Desk Executive
A front desk representative in a hotel needs to recall how to upsell to a particular type of customer. He goes through quick bite-sized learning on how to upsell to a walk-in customer to prepare suitably for the next customer who walks in.
To conclude, microlearning in 2022 is still effective. It works well in various scenarios. Microlearning can be implemented at multiple points of a training program, that is, before, during, and after the training program. Microlearning can be a standalone piece of short courses that learners can take anytime, anywhere.
At Tesseract Learning, our learning and visual architects are constantly innovating and reinventing their approaches to design, develop, and deliver effective L&D programs. KREDO, our learning platform, helps create and deliver effective learning experiences. Through our platform, you will have an effective impact on the learners, focusing on motivating them through an agile and blended learning methodology.
Tesseract Learning has been recognized as a Top Microlearning Company for three years in a row. We can deliver innovative and effective microlearning programs based on your business needs with our learning design expertise. To know more about our services and how we can help you, write to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us.