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If you've ever had a nagging question and a mobile phone in hand then you'll know what the obvious solution is. You tap the search engine app and find the answer. This is basically a form of just-in-time learning. Bite-sized chunks of information, where and when you need them, provide a huge opportunity for learning. Thus, microlearning can be a visual, auditory, and kinesthetic tool for creating high-impact learning that can instantly be applied on the job.
As stated, microlearning in employee learning strategies, can be used as just-in-time learning. This educational method can include blended learning and learning path personalization for each of your staff members. It can be the best instrument for aligning business goals with employee needs for personal and professional growth. The best part about microlearning is its ability to be used on the go, in the learner's own time, irrespective of location.
Microlearning can come in various forms:
Video - captures the learner's short attention span with bite-sized visual descriptions of difficult concepts.
Animated Whiteboards - help visual and auditory learners deepen their knowledge of a concept or process through the use of illustrations.
Pod/Webcasts - offer personalized employee training for busy professionals; these learning methods allow the users to grasp important information and assimilate it quickly.
Simulations - come in virtual or online formats and recreate the work environment to enable learners to learn, free of the fear of failure.
Infographics - engage learners by combining visuals and text in a way that simplifies difficult concepts.
Gamification and Game-based Learning - introduces the fun factor and allows employees to learn through play; this is a highly effective method as it replaces the pressure to learn with real-life applications of specific concepts.
You can use microlearning for:
Trainee onboarding and induction
Teaching soft skills
Training the salesforce
Detailed product training
Learning about applications by using simulations
Teaching compliance protocols
Initiating change management
Now, let's take a close look at 4 of the most impactful microlearning modules that yielded amazing results for the companies that used them!
One of the more impressive examples of microlearning comes from the illuminated brains at Google. To efficiently train their managers, Google implemented a series of bite-sized courses by using email communication. Each email contained a short lesson focused on practice-based bits of information. This encouraged managers to try out different approaches during staff meetings. The idea behind this method was to provide managers with the right information at the right time without overwhelming them with extensive management theories.
Through microlearning, IBM bypassed the need for long in-class training, and cut straight to the heart of the problem: helping employees develop the required skills fast. They developed a microlearning platform to teach IT and web developers on how to use the Cloud platform efficiently and purposefully. With each new project, employees learned specific skills needed to complete each task. This highly customizable method allows learners to work at their own pace and access the needed information in their own time.
ADP facilitated personalized learning by developing the Learning Bytes microlearning platform. Through this platform, the company offers its clients personalized learning that molds to individual needs.
The training platform delivered focused lessons that helped clients efficiently interact with multiple applications at the same time. This solution enables learners to connect to specific information contained by short videos and PDF files. Configured as self-paced, just-in-time learning, each module consists of lessons with 7 to 10 steps that can immediately be put into practice. This brought the training time down from 24 to 7 hours.
The Cisco Learning Network is a comprehensive library of short, 7 minute videos that answers IT questions. Named Cisco Answers IT, the platform assists employees in their Cisco certification exams, providing bite-sized explanations to common IT questions. Designed as a refresher learning module, this microlearning method presents the learner with core concepts needed to pass certification testing. Certified employees can also use the lessons to boost knowledge recall and enhance skill confidence when working on a new project.
To see examples of microlearning from the Designing Digitally team, view our case studies today!
We hope these microlearning examples have helped demystify this employee training method. If not, here is a solid example from our team that can show what microlearning can do for your business. You can combine different microlearning formats to fit the learning needs of your employees. Videos, podcasts, simulations, games, and animations engage the learner and provide short, focused bursts of essential information. Regardless of the type you choose, one thing is clear- using microlearning in employee training strategies is highly effective!