29 April 2021

Why you need Microlearning in your learning strategy

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Microlearning is a key trend in the training sector as organisations aim to respond to learners’ needs for short bite-sized learning activities to help achieve a specific goal in the quickest time possible.

The benefits of Microlearning

It is a proven fact that chunking information increases our short memory capacity. According to neuroscientist Daniel Bor, chunking information allows us to ‘hack’ the limits of our memory, making things easier to process. Microlearning uses this approach to focus on one key learning objective at a time, reducing overload for learners. Microlearning courses can involve a range of different approaches including text, images, videos, audio, assessments and quizzes – as long as the focus is on concise delivery of the message.

There are several key benefits of microlearning:

  • Quick to deliver – Focused courses are easier to produce and can be delivered in a matter of hours. This will allow organisations to respond to changing demands from learners
  • Cost effective – Courses are cheaper to produce as they require less resources. Content can be created without the need for multiple authors, subject matter experts or specialist content authoring tools
  • Adaptable – Any subject can be covered in a bite-sized course which can provide a high-level overview or break a complex subject down into individual elements
  • Engaging – Microlearning courses are highly engaging and learners see their experience as akin to checking social media apps on their smartphones. It is therefore learner-driven and feels much less formal than traditional training methods
  • Knowledge retention – Research into microlearning shows that the ability to revisit content at regular intervals aids knowledge retention
  • Accessible – Courses can be consumed at a time to suit the needs of an individual learner and can even be downloaded to view offline

Including Microlearning into your wider learning strategy

While Microlearning may look like it has all the answers to meet learning needs, it is important to consider that there are some limitations. Microlearning is not the most appropriate approach for complex concepts or in-depth training activities. For these more complex requirements, classroom training or in-depth e-Learning courses will still be required.

When creating Microlearning courses, it is important to ensure you don’t just take your existing e-Learning content and chunk it into bite-sized offerings. Where Microlearning is the right approach, courses need to be individual, self-contained learning units.

Microlearning has a place in your learning strategy but it must be combined with other delivery methods to create a truly blended approach for learners. Learning at the point of need is one of these and will be looked at in more detail in the next blog.

When creating a blended approach, organisations will need to look at harnessing the power of a Learning Management System (LMS) which should be used to underpin whatever approach, or combination of approaches that an organisation chooses to implement.

Visit the MHR Academy to discover how the right LMS can help you retain and develop a productive and committed workforce within your organisation.

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Alan Mullen

I joined MHR as a Learning Product Owner, the People First product, in February 2021. I have over 20 years’ experience in Learning and Development across a wide range of industries and I am looking forward to bringing that knowledge and experience to improve the current learning offering within People First.

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