The 4 W’s of Microlearning Mobile Strategy

Designing Digitally



Who? What? Why? When?

For a corporation to foster a successful microlearning mobile experience, these four questions must be addressed.

MicroLearning: What

Microlearning is the term used to describe brief learning experiences that are focused on a specific concept, in a variety of formats. It is designed to be "bite-sized pieces of information", presented in an engaging and interactive way. While it isn’t a new trend, microlearning is gaining popularity, markedly so in the corporate world.

MicroLearning: Who

Very simply, the “who” is the learner.  In a corporate training situation, the learner is the employee who is utilizing  microlearning as a part of their job preparation and career development. When contemplating the best microlearning strategy to employ in your company’s training, tailoring it to the learner should be the priority.

Successful corporate training programs know their audience and gear their methods toward them. Due in large part to the prevalence of social media, people have shorter and shorter attention spans. The average person’s attention span (defined as the amount of time a human can focus on non-changing stimulus) is eight seconds.    

To put that in a little context, that’s one whole second longer than a goldfish. Thus, this is a primary reason that microlearning is becoming a widely used training strategy.  A short (3-5 minute) burst of information is just right for most of today’s learners.

MicroLearning: Why

Possibly the most important of these four W questions, “why” is a microlearning strategy the best bet? In a fast-paced world, everything is expected to be done more quickly, more streamlined, and without waste of time or resources.

Technology has trained humans to get from question to answer in the time it takes to type out your query.  Microlearning harnesses this ability by providing the learner with short, focused lessons that are practical, with strategies that can be employed immediately.

Another answer to the “why” question is the interactive nature of microlearning. Engaging the learner is important for comprehension. The most effective flow of learning begins with the teacher telling the student the information. Next, the teacher shows the student. Finally comes the important step of the student getting to try the concept on their own.

Microlearning provides all these steps in a short and concise process. Learners can engage in a short quiz or assessment at the end of the experience, while also receiving swift feedback.

The time factor shouldn’t be overlooked. Some corporations or small businesses cannot afford the missed work hours that come with a longer training format. There is a definite advantage to focused training in a short time frame that results in more time on the job while an employee keeps learning.

MicroLearning: When

With the mobile-friendly nature of microlearning, smartphones and tablets are ideal learning tools. Microlearning modules can be done anywhere, at any time. A learner can utilize the extra five minutes waiting for a plane, waiting for an appointment, or during any period of downtime.

Most people are rarely without some sort of communication device close at hand.  They are much more likely to utilize microlearning when it is just a click away.

By connecting with their learners in a way that is convenient, easily accessible, and time-conscious, businesses and corporations are setting themselves up for a successful and well-trained workforce that will be an asset to their company for years to come.

With clear benefits for the approach, it’s easy to see why corporations should foster a successful microlearning experience for development and training of their employees.