Microlearning – “Learning Snapshots”, bite sized knowledge delivery for your learners.

The online learning world continues to see innovation and new ways to help learners acquire the skills, knowledge and capabilities needed to enhance their contribution to the organisation.

Microlearning is one such area that is currently seeing much attention. Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific, bite-sized chunks (often 5-10 mins long), that are designed to meet a specific learning outcome and that can be used for both formal and informal training.

Does it replace existing learning?

One of the questions we are often asked is whether this type of learning replaces the more traditional learning tools and our thoughts are that rather than replace existing practices, it supports them.

As an example, at eLearning Plus, we have developed a variety of modules around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Each course can take up to 40 mins to complete the course in order to deliver the appropriate knowledge needed by the learner. To underpin this, we have also developed “Learning Snapshots” which are short, supporting modules of around 5 – 10 mins duration that learners can use to reinforce what they have learnt from the full course.  These are particularly useful for refreshers and for a mobile work force who may have to perform most of their learning in the field or on a mobile device.

How can you make use of Microlearning?

You can use Microlearning in many ways.  One way is to provide a speedy way of bringing new or temporary staff up to a required level.  For example, in the retail world you do not always have the luxury of sending new joiners on classroom based training as you need them on the shop floor or in customer facing areas quickly. When they join however, they could review several of your “Learning Snapshots” prior to meeting the public.  This way, they will at least have some level of knowledge to help them be more prepared and more professional.  A new piece could be delivered to them each day of their first week, increasing their knowledge with minimal impact on their customer facing time.

Some areas where you could use Microlearning:

  • Health and safety – critical information for new inductees
  • Working at heights – the basics for the type of equipment specific to your location
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – what it covers and their role in supporting this
  • Customer service – the level of service you expect and how they contribute
  • Organisational culture – explain the cultural style you wish them to adopt
  • Fire safety – the basics for the specific site they are working at

How to use Microlearning effectively

Microlearning delivers new knowledge, reinforces existing knowledge and sustains learning by using a variety of media including video, eBooks, flash cards, images and text. It can also make use of rich media to provide engaging learning that is designed to be delivered across multiple platforms (including tablets and smartphones).

Microlearning encourages short bursts of learning that is focused on high value content so your learners progress more quickly.

  • For increased success, you should concentrate on just one learning objective per module.
  • Make the focus clear to help maximise the learning opportunity.
  • Be very succinct with the information you provide.
  • Don’t try to put too much into each “Learning Snapshot”.
  • Make it interesting and engaging.
  • Use mini assessments within the modules.
  • Keep them informed on other “Learning Snapshots” and course material that will help develop their knowledge further.

Microlearning could be a powerful tool in your learning provision, contact us to see examples and discuss your needs further.

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About the Author

Terry Simmons

Terry Simmons

Terry Simmons is the founder of eLearning Plus, an organisation dedicated to helping organisations engage with their learners for a Smarter Business. eLearning Plus works across the UK and Internationally to help organisations with bespoke and generic course development. eLearning Plus also designs tools and training materials that support learning as well providing technology solutions to manage learners and course delivery. Terry's LinkedIn Profile