Six questions to identify where microlearning fits into your learning ecosystem
and how you can modify your approach to make it fit best.
1. Is your content compliance related? Is the seat-time mandated by law?
- Generally, compliance training is where you should start any microlearning efforts. Often such training is seen by employees as a “waste of time” so shortening it will earn you a lot of credibility.
- If the seat-time is mandated by law, this will be a barrier to going micro. However, see if you can break that into segments – for example, can you satisfy a requirement of 60 minutes per year with just 5 minutes every month?
2. Is your content related to other formal learning? Will people use the microlearning before or after those learning experiences, and will it be required?
- You can use microlearning to “level set” students before coming to a formal learning environment, or to continue extending their learning after that learning event.
- You can also use microlearning as reinforcement after a formal learning activity. This is a great way to encourage long-term retention.
3. Will your content provide support at the moment of need?
- You can use microlearning to give just-in-time learning or support when an employee is stuck or needs help. This is generally your most effective use of microlearning because it will directly impact the learner’s immediate productivity.
- To be most effective, this content needs to be found easily at the employee’s moment of need. Usually this requires that the resources be housed somewhere with good search and supported by strong meta-tagging.
- To be most effective, the content also needs to be targeted to the learner’s specific need, which may require you to have a stronger understanding of the user and the use case.
4. Is it important to keep your content top of mind?
- You can use microlearning for reinforcement of new content or things people should already know. This is an excellent way to keep concepts top of mind, even if the employee will use them occasionally. Many compliance and leadership topics fit extremely well here.
5. People are constantly reading blogs and articles as part of their overall professional development. Will you provide content that the learner is intrinsically interested in, even if it may not be related to a formal training event or specific job task?
- You can use microlearning to address informal learning topics that have wide appeal to your employees (like email management, having difficult conversations, leading up, etc.). Employees will appreciate the efforts made to foster their personal development.
6. Can you break your content into discrete chunks?
- Material that is complicated or needs to be covered in depth is not a good fit for microlearning. To go micro, find ways to break your content into discrete chunks.