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Guest Contributor: Christopher PappasFrom increasing knowledge retention to filling performance gaps in a fraction of the time, microlearning offers a variety of different benefits. In this article, I’ll share 7 tips that can help you take advantage of microlearning in your online training program.
How To Apply Microlearning In Online TrainingApplying microlearning in online training involves breaking larger online training courses or modules into more manageable “bite-sized” content. For example, instead of a 30-minute long course that covers every task an employee must master, employees will have the ability to engage in six 5-minute modules, each focusing on a single task. Thus, they can become proficient in each procedure or process before moving onto the next. To ensure that your microlearning online training courses are effective, follow these 7 development tips.
- Understand the learning needs and preferences of your employees. The simple truth is that your corporate learners don’t have a lot of time to devote to online training. They want to develop their skills and improve their professional knowledge, but they don’t want it to interfere with their already busy schedules or pull them away from their job duties. Therefore, you must research your audience to figure out exactly what they need to take away from the online training experience and which skills or information you should include in your microlearning modules and activities. If they feel as though they are wasting their time or that the online activity is not going to help them achieve their goals in some way, then they are likely to click away.
- Develop job aids that focus on specific tasks. Microlearning is ideally suited for specific job-related tasks that involve just a few steps, anything longer or more involved than that may require a full-length scenario or online training course. This makes them highly effective job aids, as employees have the opportunity to access the online training content when they need targeted information or skills that can help them overcome challenges. For example, a product knowledge online training course can highlight the features and specs of a new product, so that they can quickly get the necessary information to pass onto the customer.
- Use a diverse range of online activities. Create a variety of microlearning activities that cater to different learning needs and preferences. You should also bear in mind that certain activities are better suited for certain tasks and skills than others. For example, a branching scenario is ideal for work processes, while an interactive presentation is highly effective for product knowledge online training. There are a myriad of microlearning activities to choose from, ranging from blog posts and eLearning videos to simulations and eLearning games. They key is to figure out which online activity is best for your corporate learners and the subject matter. This is yet another reason why it’s essential to research the learning needs, goals, backgrounds, and preferences of your corporate learners before you start designing and developing your online training course.
- Make it responsive. One of the most notable benefits of microlearning is that it is mobile-friendly. However, if you want to make sure that all of your corporate learners can access the online training content on their mobile devices, you should opt for a responsive design authoring tool and Learning Management System. A responsive platform allows you to create just one master online training course which can be viewed on any device or browser. Every image, text block, and graphic will automatically adjust to fit the screen size and resolution. Thus, an employee who is using their iPhone will get the same experience as someone using an Android tablet. Better still, you will not have to design several versions of the online training course in order to create mobile-enabled microlearning content.
- Determine if microlearning is really the right approach. There are some learning goals that cannot be achieved by microlearning. For instance, it is not typically the best choice for complicated tasks that involve a variety of different steps or ideas that consist of many sub-topics or concepts. Therefore, it’s important to determine if microlearning is truly the right approach, or if you may need to develop a more traditional online training activity. A good rule of thumb to follow is asking yourself whether you can cover all of the need-to-know information in under five minutes. That includes all of the key takeaways, steps, and tips your employees require to get the job done.
- Create microlearning refresher online training courses. There are times when your employees simply need to brush up on their skills or professional knowledge. Microlearning gives them the opportunity to refresh their memories and boost information call, thanks to the fact that they can repeat the activity over and over again over a span of time. Whenever they feel as though their skills are slipping or that they are forgetting important processes or procedures, they can just pick up their mobile devices and engage in a microlearning refresher online training course. This means that they don’t have to wait until the next online training session in order to increase their productivity.
- Keep it concise and centered. The secret to creating successful microlearning online training content is not to go overboard. Don’t try to cover too much information or instill too much knowledge in a single learning unit. Remember that your employees are accessing the online content because they have a problem that must be addressed or are looking for a quick way to build their skills. They do not, however, want an hour long tutorial that walks them through every aspect of the subject matter. So, keep it as concise and centered as possible, and try not to go off on any tangents that can draw their attention away from the core idea.
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