Human attention span is decreasing by the day. In fact, a study by Microsoft Corp. found that the average attention of a human being stands at 8 seconds. In other words, human attention span is less than that of a goldfish (nine seconds)!
Human being are exposed to a plethora of information on a daily basis, which makes concentration minimal and the need for filtering extremely difficult. So how can employee training programs get any benefit when learners lack the desire or ability to sit through long and boring training sessions?
The answer lies in understanding what kind of learning is desired by employees and pushing out personalized and engaged content to them accordingly. What can help achieve this? Definitely not a traditional classroom training session. The solution lies in microlearning.
Here is how microlearning helps employees learn faster and more effectively:
1. Concise and succinct
Attending training sessions in pre-defined physical locations can lead to a lot of wastage of time and effort. Micro learning involves methods that break up critical information into digestible portion sizes. This allows the brain to process the information more effectively. This technique works really well for videos and images, where a lot of knowledge is condensed into smaller chunks. Such practices can help increase positive results and efficiency, rather than plainly disseminate a lot of content to learners in one go.
Such short and focused learning enables effective time management and multitasking. Microlearning is best for organizations who are scaling up and cannot afford missed work and extra resources required to conduct traditional training sessions. This enables more time on the job without the focus shifting from learning at one’s own pace.
2. Scenario-based learning
A traditional method of learning usually involves content aimed at multiple learning objectives. For example, a traditional training for customer service for a retail employee would include many slides which will define what customer service is, why it is important and what are its essentials. Too much theory is not only boring, but also unretainable. The result of this is low engagement among the learners.
In case of microlearning, however, the customer service module is broken down into effective behaviors that constitute good customer service in a retail environment. There is an option of presenting different workplace scenarios to the learner where each kind of behavior of demonstrated and presented in practical situations. Such kind of concise and interactive learning is way more impactful and helps improve on-the-job performance to a great extent.
3. Learner autonomy
Microlearning allows learners to feel in charge as it gives them the opportunity to pick and choose modules and lessons while going through a particular technological platform. Learners have the advantage of sifting through available content and clicking on a module he/she wants to learn more about.
Learners can also search for information in an area they are keen on learning about by putting in the relevant keyword. This process hence respects learner’s time and it understands the fact that a busy professional may only have a few minutes in an entire day to spare for learning. A traditional method does not allow this kind of flexibility as learners are told and directed as to when they have to attend a training and the content is also pre-decided.
4. Continuous updates
We live in a time when changes occur sooner than one can imagine. In order to stay updated on latest trends and developments, training content also needs to be updated continuously. Traditional learning takes time to create content and disseminate it through classroom sessions. Because it is a one-time event, updating it and sharing the changes with the learners is almost impossible.
Microlearning always remains up to date as the technology enables it to continuously update and improve the information in it. By funneling learning modules into a more digestible medium, organizations can gain the advantage of pushing out continuous updates through various modes such as social media, video, text and images. This keeps learners updates on latest trivia and helps organizations save time in delivering that information to the audience.
5. Engaging and interactive
Microlearning involves features that allow for interactivity as learners are allowed to apply what they learn. Such application helps learners commit information to their long term memory, and hence reflects in enhanced performance late on. Learning on demand can range from anything like a quick video while on the metro or reading a short email while relaxing on a couch.
Such interactive elements make learners be in constant contact with learning material. The presence of social elements such as connecting with learners via social media also helps improve engagement and participation rates.
6. Fast insights
Finally, there is no point of pushing out microlearning content to learners without knowing how well it is performing. Microlearning solutions offer access to rich analytics that enable organizations to look at completion rates, engagement data and progress metrics. Such critical information enables companies to understand what is working and what is not. This helps in making the training better and better, aligning it as per the needs of the learners.