Business leaders and team managers understand the constant need to equip their employees with the latest skills and knowledge. However, traditional training methods can be time-consuming and unengaging. 

Microlearning delivers focused knowledge in bite-sized chunks, making it a perfect fit for the modern workplace. Let’s delve into some specific examples of how you can leverage microlearning. 

Boost employee engagement with videos and screencasts

Short explainer videos can break down complex tasks into easy-to-follow steps, ideal for onboarding new hires or introducing new software features.

Related: Improve employee engagement

Supercharge onboarding with gamified apps

Gamified onboarding modules transform the process into an engaging experience, boosting knowledge retention for new hires. Short, interactive quizzes and challenges throughout training sessions solidify key concepts.

Micro-simulations provide a safe space for new employees to practice decision-making skills in scenarios relevant to their roles.

Related: Gamification for corporate training, Employee onboarding best practices

Unlock the Benefits of Microlearning: Elevate your training strategy with ELM Learning’s expert microlearning design. Get in touch to learn more.

Empower employees with infographics and cheat sheets

One-page cheat sheets summarizing key steps in a process serve as handy reference guides for employees on the job. Infographics visually represent complex data sets, making them easier to understand and retain. Flowcharts offer a quick reference for decision-making, providing employees with a clear path to follow.

Leverage microlearning via social media

Short, engaging social media posts can be used to introduce new concepts or announce upcoming training opportunities. Bite-sized learning modules delivered through a company microblog can provide employees with ongoing access to relevant information. 

Q&A sessions with experts hosted on social media platforms foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing within the organization.

Keep employees informed with email campaigns

Weekly or bi-weekly email digests with short learning nuggets can keep employees up-to-date on essential information and procedures. Targeted email campaigns can deliver microlearning modules on specific topics relevant to different departments or teams.

Curated newsletters with links to relevant microlearning resources can provide employees with a one-stop shop for ongoing learning and development.

Learn More Today: Explore how microlearning can transform your training outcomes. Schedule a meeting with one of our solutions experts now!

Bite-sized takeaway: Your learners already use microlearning to connect, engage, and stay entertained. You already have the tools; you just need to learn how to apply them.

Why microlearning works: Benefits for busy learners

Traditional training methods often struggle to keep employees engaged and can be time-consuming. Microlearning offers a powerful solution by delivering focused knowledge in short bursts, making it ideal for the modern learner. Here are some key benefits of microlearning:

  • Increased attention and knowledge retention: Human attention spans are naturally limited. Microlearning caters to this by delivering information in digestible chunks, which can lead to better focus and improved knowledge retention compared to lengthy training sessions.
  • Improved engagement and learner satisfaction: Microlearning modules are typically interactive and varied in format, fostering a more engaging learning experience. This can keep employees motivated and invested in their training, leading to higher satisfaction rates.
  • Flexibility and Accessibility: Microlearning modules are short and self-contained, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and convenience. They can be easily accessed on mobile devices, making learning possible during breaks or commutes.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Developing and delivering microlearning content is often less expensive than traditional training methods. Additionally, the shorter training times can lead to increased employee productivity.
  • Targeted learning: Microlearning allows for focused training on specific skills or knowledge gaps. This targeted approach ensures that employees are learning the most relevant information for their roles.

By incorporating these benefits, microlearning can revolutionize your corporate training strategy. Employees can gain valuable skills and knowledge more efficiently, leading to a more productive and successful workforce.

Bite-sized takeaway: Microlearning taps into the way your learners’ brains work. By allowing learners to control the flow of information, you keep learners engaged and improve later recall.

Your brain on microlearning

Microlearning isn’t just a theory: it’s proven neuroscience. By respecting the neuroscience behind learning, information consumption, and attention span, it’s possible to design an eLearning curriculum that takes various learning preferences into consideration.

The prefrontal cortex—the part of your brain responsible for everything from cognition to decision-making—is flanked by both the hippocampus and the amygdala. Both play integral roles in learning, but they react very specifically in response to microlearning.

The hippocampus is your brain’s message center: it filters through information and makes quick judgements about how important or vital that information actually is. It then sends the vital stuff to long-term memory for storage and later retrieval.

Information is only held within the working memory of the hippocampus for about 20 minutes. If data is not converted to a long-term memory by then, it’s usually discarded by the brain and no longer available for recall or future manipulation. What’s more, the hippocampus is only great at filtering one source of information at a time. Once you add in more sources of information or attempt to multitask, the hippocampus automatically begins collecting only the most vital information from either source, leaving large holes in the data that it collects and stores.

Typical training can not only be both long and boring, taxing the hippocampus’ ability to stay alert, but it practically begs learners to multitask while learning. Scrolling through a phone or checking email while an instructor is talking means the hippocampus leaves gaps in the knowledge that will be stored in long-term memory.

Microlearning does the complete opposite: By breaking learning into smaller pieces, the hippocampus stays alert and focused while receiving information, making it easier for the brain to receive, sort, and store information without losing focus or giving into the temptation to multitask while learning. The result is a condensed, effective version of training that can take half the time but have even more impact than traditional training methods.

For its part, the amygdala is responsible for processing emotion and creating the building blocks for sensory experiences. When working in tandem with the hippocampus, emotional responses processed by the amygdala can actually strengthen neural pathways to improve recall and memory. When a learner has an emotional response to learning, the brain moves the information from working memory to long-term memory for later recall.

Bite-sized takeaway: Microlearning engages the brain to not only pay attention, but to connect the learner to the content emotionally so information is converted from short-term to long-term memory.

Microlearning best practices

Here’s a breakdown of key best practices for crafting impactful microlearning experiences.

Focus on a single learning objective

Microlearning thrives on laser focus. Each module should target a single, well-defined skill or concept. This allows learners to grasp the information quickly and efficiently without feeling overwhelmed.

Keep it short and sweet

Attention spans are precious, especially in the digital age. Aim for microlearning modules that fall between 2–5 minutes in length. This concise format caters to busy schedules and ensures learners can complete the module in one sitting, maximizing knowledge retention.

Variety is key

Combat learner fatigue and boredom by incorporating a variety of formats into your microlearning modules. Explore options like videos, infographics, quizzes, and even short games. This diversity keeps learners engaged and caters to different learning styles, ensuring everyone retains information effectively.

Make it interactive

Passive learning takes a backseat in microlearning. Encourage active participation through interactive elements like quizzes, polls, or short simulations. This not only boosts engagement but also reinforces learning by allowing learners to apply the newly acquired knowledge directly.

Space out learning

Microlearning’s effectiveness is amplified by spaced repetition. Schedule your microlearning modules with breaks in between. This allows the brain to consolidate information and convert it into long-term memory. 

Think of it like spaced workouts at the gym; spaced learning sessions strengthen neural pathways for optimal knowledge retention.

Optimize for mobile

Today’s learners are mobile-first. Ensure your microlearning modules are designed to be easily accessed and completed on smartphones and tablets. This flexibility allows learners to squeeze in learning during commutes, breaks, or whenever a spare moment arises.

Related: mLearning

Measure and improve

Microlearning is an iterative process. Track learner engagement and knowledge retention through metrics like completion rates and quizzes. Analyze this data to identify areas for improvement and continuously refine your microlearning content for maximum impact.

Start Your Microlearning Journey: Partner with ELM Learning for innovative microlearning solutions. Contact us to discuss your project.

Balancing length, frequency, and delivery for optimal microlearning

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, microlearning modules typically range from 2–10 minutes in length. The ideal duration depends on the complexity of the topic and learner preferences. Aim for focused content that can be easily digested in a single sitting.

Shorter bursts, like bite-sized infographics or videos under two minutes, can be particularly impactful. They capitalize on focused attention spans and can be easily delivered via mobile devices, making learning accessible during breaks or commutes.

Frequency is just as important as length. Spacing out microlearning modules with breaks in between allows for better information retention. This spaced repetition mimics how the brain strengthens neural pathways.

Consider integrating short quizzes or discussions within microlearning modules to boost engagement and knowledge reinforcement. Similarly, sending microlearning content directly to learners’ phones or emails in the form of quizzes, tips, or short videos can be a great way to reinforce newly acquired knowledge.

The beauty of microlearning lies in its flexibility. By incorporating short, frequent modules into your training strategy, you can empower employees to learn at their own pace and retain information more effectively. This approach maximizes learning efficiency and integrates seamlessly into busy schedules.

Bite-sized takeaway: Breaking learning into 10 to 15 minute “chunks” and utilizing microlearning as part of a daily learning routine is the key to seeing the best results.

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