Microlearning is here to stay. We’ve become an entire generation of microlearners, we tweet, we text, we give YouTube videos 30 seconds to engage us or we move on. It’s woven into our very fabric. Organically, this is how we choose to learn – so why has it taken such a long time for this methodology to transition into the world of corporate learning?In the instances where it has been successfully implemented we’ve seen some truly remarkable business results.
So how can you use microlearning principals to increase product knowledge?
As a species, we prefer to learn through photos and videos than lengthy bits of text and full day lectures. Follow this logic when creating product topics – short and regular has a much bigger impact than long and occasional.
Microlearning bursts can quickly and inexpensively be adapted to meet a need e.g. train an employee on a product update, or bug fix. The employee can then go out to that meeting, or on the shop floor with confidence in using this new piece of knowledge because it was short, simple and easy to grasp.
‘But I don’t have time!’ How often do you hear, or say that in a day? And it might well be true, so trying to force a whole team to sit through 3 days of training just isn’t practical in today’s world. However everyone finds 5 minutes to grab a coffee. Turn this downtime into productive time by using it for bitesized training. Literally, employees can learn on their smartphones, while they’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
Microlearning maximises learner retention, and instills a deeper understanding than more traditional learning methods. How? By continually offering up opportunities to refresh and review learning.
Our brains are only capable of processing 4-5 pieces of new information at any one time. Any extra information we attempt to learn in the same sitting is lost. Research tells us that people are more likely to grasp information delivered through spaced repetition and retrieval practices. And, they’re more likely to retain and use this knowledge if it is repeated over time. So if you adopt these practices when training product information, you’ll find that your employees not only learn faster, but they actually apply the information they’ve learnt.
At home, if we want to learn something new (for example: how to cook a bolognese) we Google it, find a recipe or watch a video and we learn in that moment. Next time the same craving kicks in, we’ll probably look over the recipe again, and the third time we may even be ‘off book’. We’re retaining the information because it is relevant at the moment in time and we’re using it for a practical purpose (not a theoretical one).
Traditional corporate learning tends to happen at scheduled events, and is separated from the workplace and performance. This isn’t how the modern learner wants to learn and as a result, workers are increasingly looking elsewhere (search engines) to satisfy their appetites for learning or worse, they’re not learning at all.
Microlearning helps you as an organisation to retain control over your message, and gives your employees what they need to learn, when they need it.
If your team learn using microlearning methodologies, it is far more likely to aid them in better product knowledge, and by default better performance. Why? 3-5 minutes of learning per day fits the modern learning style
Not sure where to start? Talk to us about using our training reinforcement tool, Axonify to build out microlearning topics.