We all live busy lives, and it may sometimes seem like our attention span grows shorter and shorter each day. Because of this modern reality, one of the newest and most effective trends in learning management is the use of microlearning. What exactly is microlearning?
Microlearning is a training strategy in which instructions, concepts, or other pieces of learning are delivered to the target audience in small increments. Microlearning often overlaps with "spaced learning," which describes an instructional course or program that is delivered over a period of time, instead of in a single session.
What are the benefits of microlearning? Employees are able to retain more information for longer periods of time; concepts are imparted in a clear and effective manner; and behavioral changes are effected through spaced reinforcement. Microlearning does not demand a long attention span; rather, it allows the learner to digest the information at his own speed, in small nuggets, rather than big chunks.
Across all sectors of industry, microlearning is an effective learning management strategy. Here are some microlearning examples that stand out for their clarity, conciseness, and effectiveness.
- Principles of STEM Communication. In this example, Northwestern University provided students with an infographic that breaks down the principles of STEM communication into 5 concise write-ups. This allows the reader to gain a very high level understanding of what STEM communication involves. There is also an option to learn more about each principle next to each write-up, allowing the learner to delve into the "nuts and bolts" when his mind is prepared to do so.
- Bizcocho recipe. Video-based microlearning allows concepts to be quickly learned, sometimes without any verbal instructions. In this short recipe video, all of the directions are written out on screen, and then visually demonstrated. This strategy can be a huge boost for visual learners in the workplace.
- Walmart's safety program. When Walmart saw the need to improve its safety metrics, it used a gamification technique to enhance the effectiveness of its microlearning program. Walmart employees could spend 3-5 minutes at some point during their shift learning proper safety procedures through playing an instructional game. Many companies have found that "gamifying" their learning management initiatives tend to improve employee engagement, and drive successful outcomes.
- American Water ergonomics training. Whiteboard animation is one variation to video-based learning that can be very effective. Again, as in the bizcocho recipe video, no verbal instructions are given. Rather, the combination of kinetic text, simple animation, and background music make for an engaging minute-long video that very clearly explains the importance of good ergonomics in order to avoid workplace injuries.
These are just some examples of how companies across the board use microlearning to drive employee engagement, enhance comprehension, and improve outcomes. Microlearning examples like these can educate and inspire organizations to improve their own learning management strategies. See what Crocs has to say about microlearning:
If you would like to learn more about how the inclusion of well-designed microlearning can enhance your organization, be sure to download our guide: "How Mobile Learning Technology Drives a Consistent Customer Experience."