Have you been wondering about the semi-new term being bantered about lately – "microlearning?" It's not a complicated idea. It means allowing employees to learn information about their new jobs, duties, and the expectations they are to meet, in small snippets. When a new worker arrives for his or her first day, throwing all the rules and regulations at them at the same time is probably a little disconcerting. Instead, today's eLearning providers suggest using smaller-sized training modules and videos that are compatible with employees' learning styles and paths.
What is Microlearning?
But microlearning is not just a lot of information whittled into smaller subsections. And not all content that is delivered in small increments is microlearning. The most significant piece of microlearning is that it is tailored to meet the specialized knowledge needed by the learners. It also includes delivering the information using the following approach:
- Explain the specific situation.
- Show how it can be fixed.
- Fix it.
[It is] a term that reflects the emerging reality of the ever-increasing fragmentation of both information sources and information-units used for learning, especially in fast-moving areas which see rapid development and a constantly high degree of change.
- Employers need to define the problem they are trying to solve.
- Infer what their employees "need" to know.
- Include information that will be "nice" to have.
- Figure about how much time their employees have for ingesting the information.
- Curate what types of learning vehicles they will use to inform their employees, such as videos, informative audios, classes, shadowing, and more.
Microlearning can take many forms so your training tools can include many different iterations.
- Engaging mini-games, or casual- or micro-games as they are also called, are short immersive microlearning simulations. They last only 5- to 20-minutes and allow learners to use their smartphones to train while away from work, as well.
- Donna Herbel, vice president of training and culture development at Perkins & Marie Callender's LLC., at the Nation's Restaurant News Show pointed to Yummly videos as an example of training employees in "chunks" of microlearning to gain the ability to model a skill, behavior or event.
- Matthew Brown, writing for Training Industry, suggests that restaurants make their own micro-training videos. He adds that doing so can keep everyone in the company engaged in continuous microlearning tools. All that is needed, says Brown, are:
- A decent microphone
- An attachment to hold your smartphone steady
- A simple video-editing program
Consider making your own videos for your store's specific station-training, new hires, and performance support. Customized lessons will always be there for employees who need an answer. Make them short, focused, and available whenever needed.
- Add an activity at the end of the short learning session to help embed the information even more. This action could include a pop quiz, a discussion panel, or a Q&A.
- Breaking things up into smaller pieces allows owners to readily identify employees' problems. When managers use short microlearning modules for their training, the lesson can be used whenever an employee problem pops up.
Just remember to keep training modules compact; focused on the facts, engaging, and as effective as can be.
Microlearning is not the answer to every restauranteur's problems. The occasional store-wide meeting will have to occur, but microlearning is a no-brainer where training is concerned. For even more information on this topic, take a look at our latest ebook - "Learn, Communicate & Measure: How to Build a Future-Proof Learning Ecosystem."