Microlearning: A Training Disrupter or Training Strategy?

It’s a story as old as time...

A serious incident has occurred. You’ve been asked to roll out a company-wide training program. You know the rules: Everyone must participate, and it must stick. You get to work.

  • You identify the problem and the end goal.
  • You double-check your information with the subject matter expert.
  • You determine the appropriate modality.
  • You design a program with engaging interactions.
  • You create a communication piece.
  • You deliver “train the trainer” programs and review the results with management.
  • You plan for both eLearning and live delivery to ensure full participation.

The training goes off without a hitch. Then the call comes.“It” has happened again. All eyes to look to you, and the leadership proclaims that the training failed. You are confused. People went through the training and passed the assessment. The training was comprehensive, and the program assessments indicated the learning was on target.

Why didn’t the training stick?

There are several reasons why training doesn’t stick. Let’s assume the training was well designed and met organizational and learning goals. From here, it’s safe to say that even if we look at training with a 360-degree view, there are three main culprits that prevent learning connectivity.

  1. Lack of feedback loop.
  2. Lack of training reinforcement.
  3. Lack of supporting culture.

This is where microlearning can have your back.

Microlearning to the rescue

Microlearning is not just a buzzword; it is an important tool in your toolbox: When correctly applied, it can reinforce learning and support people after training. You can use microlearning to provide ongoing coaching as well as learning reinforcement tools. By creating a strategic plan using a microlearning framework, you will be shrinking the odds of training failure.

Perhaps more importantly, microlearning can be used as a performance support tool. By putting microlearning as performance support in motion, you embed your larger initiatives in the workflow; they are seen as part of the working culture, a critical after-step of any training program that increases chances of training success.

Using microlearning to scaffold learning after a training event takes place takes training and professional development to a different level.

  • It creates those moments of supporting critical feedback loops and training reinforcement that help people become more successful by addressing the Five Moments of Learning Need.
  • Microlearning may be small but it needs a strategy—one that is specifically designed to reinforce and embed everything that is covered in any foundational training that people receive. By developing a microlearning plan, you create an embedding process that supports a culture of learning and builds a more productive workforce that exceeds the expectations of business and learning goals.

Your training will “stick” if it is seen as relevant by the learners (context), is consistently reinforced beyond the walls of the program, and is enthusiastically supported by the organizational culture.

We know that customized bite-sized knowledge delivered at regular intervals, that reflect a person’s real-world experiences and culture outside of the classroom will be more effective than hours spent in a classroom.

Good business leaders want their people to succeed. They want to see their people grow and develop new skills and behaviors that will not only help the business but help themselves be more successful in life. It’s time to think beyond the status-quo walls of the classroom and embrace the small but mighty microlearning.

Microlearning has your back!

Register for The eLearning Guild’s Microlearning Summit, February 20–21, where Shannon Tipton will present "Microlearning to the Rescue—Your Guide to a Rapid Framework for Success." Learn how microlearning can have your back in a multitude of training situations.

 

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