Microlearning: Bite-Sized Learning

Mike works as a trainer for a large construction company. Training has always been an issue at his company since employees usually don’t have the time for long training sessions. His boss gives him a project that he’s been hoping he could avoid – roll out of a training program for personal protective equipment.

The last time the company attempted a training like this, it was an absolute disaster. Trying to get employees to attend the training was like pulling teeth, and once the training was completed, it seemed like they forgot everything that was presented. Mike was very worried. Besides trying to figure out what he’d done to make his boss punish him like this, he needed to think outside the box to make this training effective. Fortunately for Mike, he’d seen an article on something called microlearning that might be the answer to his problem.

What is Microlearning?

Millennials and Gen Z’ers are a growing part of the workforce. They’ve been exposed to large amounts of data presented quickly since they were young and they’ve adapted some amazing ways to handle all this data. One of these techniques is filtering the data they’re presented with. This can become a problem since these filters often kick in if content is boring or doesn’t seem pertinent to them – they zone out.

Microlearning is the technique of breaking down a training program into small, bite-sized chunks. As a general rule, these chunks are no more than about 5 minutes in length each. These modules are almost always designed to be deployed on any device, from desktop computers to mobile phones. By designing training in this manner, learners can take the training from wherever is most convenient for them. Microlearning can also reduce your costs since there isn’t a need to pull learners away from their work to complete it.

There are a number of ways to create microlearning. Sometimes it’s delivered as a video, other times (and more commonly) as an e-learning course. By nature, it doesn’t work well with in-person training since one of its main goals is to allow learners to take a course wherever they want.

So, How Do I Use Microlearning?

Let’s take a look at Mike’s predicament and see how he uses microlearning to solve his training problem.

The first step Mike has to accomplish is to break down his topic – personal protective equipment – into small chunks. He decides to create a list of courses similar to this:

  • Hard Hats
  • Safety Vests
  • Footwear
  • Eye Protection

Now that he has a list of all the courses he needs, he assigns anywhere from 1-3 learning objectives to each topic then begins the e-learning development process just as he always has. Once he’s finished developing his microlearning modules, he’ll assign the modules to employees who will have two weeks to complete them.

The Takeaway

Microlearning is a technique that can be used for just about any type of training. We at Nickel City Learning Solutions have used it for compliance training and new hire orientation, just to name a few applications. This type of training allows learners to take the training whenever they want, can reduce training “overhead,” since there is no need to have learners congregate in a central area, and is easier to update in the future.

If you’re interested in potential applications for microlearning in your organization, contact us and we’ll get back to you.

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Our Clients

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The Money School

Money School’s founder Chris Naugle had a great idea: teach people how money really works and how to become their own banker rather than pay interest and fees to everyone else.

International Solutions Group

The International Solutions Group wanted the ability to distribute their course to a larger population while maintaining the same quality.

Optimum Safety Group

Optimum had a large cache of existing material that needed an update. We created a large batch of e-learning modules for Optimum with a focus on deployment on mobile platforms.

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