Micro-Learning’s Meteoric Rise
In recent years there has been more discussion around the micro-learning concept. Specifically, the demand for micro-learning has been on the rise.
But what is micro-learning?
Micro-learning involves the reorganizing of training programs into several short courses instead of one large course.
In some respects, instructional designers have already been doing this for years through “chunking” of course content. Micro-learning is similar but often includes smaller (micro) segments.
There are a variety of reasons why demand has increased for this kind of content delivery. Technology advancements are the most obvious of these reasons, but it isn’t just the technology itself, it’s the cultural habits that new technology encourages.
People seek shorter, more relevant information. With so many apps and programs competing for our attention, concise content delivery is desired.
From an employee perspective, micro-learning is advantageous because they are able to learn something that can immediately be put to use without taking up too much time. In addition, learners feel more in control of their learning since the larger courses are now spliced out into very small chunks.
The cost savings and quick knowledge acquisition of micro-learning are what make it an attractive option for organizations.
While there are a variety of contexts where micro-learning is ideal, one of the most obvious use-case is for training sales personnel.
Granting a sales force access to on-demand, bite-sized training can increase their confidence and product (or service) knowledge quicker than traditional classroom training.
While micro-learning does offer some inherent benefits, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t be used universally across all situations.
Any successful elearning program benefits from thorough analysis of primary objectives and the target audience. Depending on the situation, micro-learning may not be the best way forward. You may find that live-training, traditional elearning, or a mix of both are ideal given the course content.
That said, even if you are using some of the more traditional methods you may find certain situations where micro-learning can be leveraged.
Perhaps the easiest way to get started is to pull out critical learning points from your already existing content and make them standalone mini-courses. This will provide you with actionable feedback as to what is useful going forward.
Will micro-learning replace elearning as we know it? No, but its use will continue to rise given today’s “app culture”.