Recently, microlearning has become a go-to strategy for organizations looking to create engaging development solutions without overwhelming their learners. Simply put, microlearning is the use of small, short, learning units that can be delivered through a variety of different media. This can include video, interactive modules, interactive knowledge checks, and even games. In 2022, microlearning will be a critical part of ensuring learners stay engaged in their development and have the opportunity to learn regardless of where and when they are working. Here are just a few statistics that suggest microlearning has been and will continue to be one of the best eLearning strategies for the new year.
First, the average completion percentage of a 10-minute microlearning course is 83%. This means that learners who start microlearning courses almost always finish them, as opposed to the average learning and development course completion rate that hovers around a stunning 20-30%. Microlearning offers an effective alternative to costly eLearning programs and ensures strong ROI due to its stellar average completion rate.
Furthermore, microlearning is 17% more efficient that traditional learning according to science. Couple that with the fact that the average amount of uninterrupted work in an office is 11 minutes and it is clear to see that employees do not have the time, nor the attention to complete long, strenuous learning programs. Microlearning is quick, accessible, and effective, making it an excellent choice when building an eLearning program for 2022 and beyond.
Now that we’ve established why microlearning is important for the future of employee development, here are a few best practices you can leverage to ensure your eLearning programs are effective.
Don’t think of microlearning as just a miniature eLearning program.
Sure, microlearning is a form of eLearning, but it requires very specific design and deployment to be effective. If you think of microlearning as just a scaled-down version of larger eLearning courses, you could end up creating a solution that is ineffective and confusing. While it can be tempting to try to quickly convert larger programs into small microlearning courses, the best way to create a new microlearning program is to build content specifically for said course. Doing so will create the most effective learning course for your employees, avoiding confusion, lack of engagement, and wasted time.
Recognize and build with employee motivation in mind.
Every learner will come to your eLearning course with some form of intrinsic motivation. eLearning programs can use quite a few strategies to attempt to leverage this motivation, from games to friendly competitions and challenges. What’s most important is that learner motivation is recognized and targeted. Often, companies are too focused on creating extrinsic motivation for their employees and ignore the passion and engagement they are already bringing to their learning. If you can understand and analyze what your employees value, you can create a more effective microlearning experience at an attractive price point.
Use a variety of content to engage learners.
In most cases, employees will only have about 10 minutes to take a microlearning course. This is greatly due to its accessibility and agility, but it can also create issues if the course is not designed correctly. The most pressing issue with microlearning is also exactly what makes it suitable for engagement—you will typically only have 10 minutes to engage and educate employees. This means that while microlearning can avoid learner burnout, it must also be carefully designed to ensure that learners maximize the time they spend on their training. Using a variety of content types can help you quickly engage learners and keep them engaged through the short course. Opening with a video or open-ended question is a great way to spark engagement and get learners on the right track quickly.
Design for multiple use cases.
Microlearning has revolutionized when and where employees can work on their development. Given this, more and more organizations are choosing to expand learning beyond the computer—to tablets, phones, and other media devices. This is a great option not only for learner experience but also for completion rates, but it can become a nuisance if your program isn’t developed for these various media. When creating a microlearning program, take the time to ensure it is accessible and effective on all types of potential devices. Not only does this show your employees that you value their preferences, but it makes your training more robust and scalable.
Embrace agility and change.
Given that microlearning is typically a fully online experience, your organization will have access to a plethora of data on learner engagement, outcomes, and the like. This is an incredible advantage of microlearning, as it can be leveraged to constantly improve learning programs. Microlearning is agile by nature due to its accessibility, but your organization can further customize it by using data to create a solution that is perfect for your learners.
As you begin to consider which learning and development programs you will focus on for 2022, keep microlearning in mind as a fresh way to create meaningful experiences for your employees. The recent emergence of new work strategies and environments has led to a variety of revolutionary new ways to work and collaborate, and microlearning is the future of creating learning experiences that work for the modern employee. Leveraging short, easy to digest modules can create an environment in which employees are able to learn at their own pace and preference, and offer a solution that can work for all types of learners.