MicroLearning: The Hottest Trend for 2020

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Although Microlearning-based training has grown exponentially over the last decade, organizations will continue to have Macrolearning needs, depending on the content to be delivered and the audience to whom it will be disseminated. I often get asked by my clients what is the difference between Microlearning and Macrolearning. This blog post will explore the key differences that distinguish these two forms of learning and discuss how Microlearning may be of benefit to your organization.

Microlearning may be all the latest rage in the eLearning industry; however, the concept of chunking learning concepts into small “bite-sized” pieces of information learners can review quickly is nothing new in instructional design circles. Small micro concepts can be strung together to form a module or an entire course. These building blocks are the foundation of any lesson.

In fact, I have been using “Just-in-Time” learning and “Just-for-You” delivered training terms to my clients for over two decades now. I think Microlearning is simply a repackaged way of saying the same thing as other terms have described: eLearning that delivers 3-6 minute lessons of key concepts to learners on any device who need to know a new piece of information right now.

Macrolearning is just that—a larger lesson that contains several concepts strung together to form a lesson with multiple objectives. Macrolearning looks at the bigger picture and involves longer lessons of 30-60 minutes typically. It is the gold-standard in the eLearning industry and applies for content that requires an in-depth multi-prong approach to being delivered.

For the remainder of this blog post I will focus on Microlearning since it is the hot topic about which everyone seems to be buzzing right now!

Microlearning Training Learner Attributes:

  1. It is short and razor-focused.
  2. It can be learned anytime, anywhere, on any device.
  3. It is available to them within their workflow and they can access the nuggets exactly when required—rather than having to log on to the LMS and search.
  4. It gives control to the learners and they can decide when they want to consume the content, as well as how and at what pace.
  5. It uses formats such as YouTube-type videos that are more engaging and create a more application-type environment for their learning experience.

Microlearning Training Organizational Attributes:

  1. Learners of all generational cohorts can be engaged equally.
  2. Organizations can provide learning that resonates better with employees.
  3. Because lessons are 5 minutes in length, completion rates are usually 100%.
  4. Learners can quickly and efficiently apply the new learning on-the-job so that both learners and the business get the gain from the deployment of the product.
  5. Its approach of threading multiple nuggets over a learning pathway helps learners apply, practice, and hone their skills. This leads to the desired proficiency gain and can also influence or trigger behavioral change.
  6. Learners are less likely to forget the information due to the ability to have “top ups” at any time.

Microlearning for Your eLearning Workplace

Here are some tips to effectively inculcate Microlearning into your workplace eLearning strategy:

  1. To Create Awareness and Buzz- Offer  Microlearning lessons to highlight the value of the upcoming training and create interest and motivation among learners.
  2. For Formal Training- Use Microlearning to supplement formal training within your organization. This can be rendered as a series of nuggets that are threaded through a learning path.
  3. Supplement Formal Training (including aids for performance improvement)- Use Microlearning to supplement your Formal Training. The nuggets can provide support to the Formal Training through reinforcement, apply, or practice. You can also provide them as just-in-time job aids.
  4. To Support Training Sessions- Use Microlearning nuggets at 3 levels (Pre-workshop prep/reading material, exercises or role-plays during the workshop, and post-workshop learning summaries or learn more).
  5. For Early Stages of a Larger eLearning Strategy- Why not start small if you have lofty eLearning goals but have neither the time nor the budget to get there? Smaller micro lessons could eventually be strung together to form the basis of a module one day which could then be stitched together to form a course.

Please contact us should you wish to explore using either type of learning approach for your eLearning product. A blended approach of the two may be just what is required. Let us help you decide the best path to take in order to achieve your desired learning goals.

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