Microlearning has been a learning and development buzzword this year, but what is it exactly? And how can it help your employees learn in a better, less disruptive way?
So, What is Microlearning?
Simply put, Microlearning is learning in small, manageable chunks, usually with the help of technology. The learner is usually in charge of their own learning schedule, and it works effectively both alone and alongside “macrolearning” techniques, such as classroom-based learning.
How Can it Benefit My Company?
The main feature of microlearning is that learning is split into pieces that can be accessed at any time. Not only does this allow the learner to fit learning around their work, eliminating the need for hours or days to be blocked off for learning, but it also means that learners can revisit topics at their leisure. Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus discovered that recall improves significantly when learning is revisited, and repetition can also encourage behaviour change.
Microlearning can also be done anywhere, which is useful for staff who are hard to pin down. Google claims that 80% of global workers are “deskless”, which can make it difficult to gather them together for classroom-based learning. Microlearning can be done individually, or in groups of any size, anywhere in the world. This means that geographically diverse companies can train all of their staff in the same way, with instant rollout across the world, delivered at a time that suits them.
Microlearning can be a very useful tool alongside macrolearning. For example, your learning plan could teach the wider concepts using classroom-based learning, and the details could be taught and reinforced over the following weeks through microlearning. This boosts knowledge retention, leading to more effective workers without sacrificing large amounts of time from their work day, as the work can be completed whenever they have a few minutes spare. The change of focus can actually help to improve efficiency once the learner returns to their work.