Microlearning Whitepaper From AxonifyEveryone’s excited about the promise of microlearning and rushing to jump on the bandwagon. But there’s a misconception out there: If you simply break large training topics into smaller ones—for instance a 30-minute video into 1-minute clips—your training will be vastly improved. That’s just not true.

Micro content isn’t enough by itself

In fact, chunking learning topics into microlearning “bites” does nothing more than break the content down into smaller segments. While your employees can digest a small bit of knowledge much easier than a large slab, If you don’t use microlearning properly, you’re going to spend significant time replicating the existing problems of traditional training across hundreds or thousands of training modules.

Let’s say you’ve chunked a 1-day onboarding program (perhaps 5 hours of content) into microlearning chunks. This means you might have between 50 and 100 microlearning chunks of approximately one to five minutes each. Do you expect an employee to log onto your LMS and systematically click through each chunk? The sheer volume of chunks would make even the most dedicated learner turn tail. Besides this, the same problem exists: The content still doesn’t lend itself to helping employees build up knowledge on the entire subject so they can remember it and then apply it on the job.

8 Microlearning Essentials

A Microlearning solution must do the following for it to produce real learning results that have a significant impact on the business:

  1. Deliver bite-sized content in a consistent and effective way, using proven techniques for reinforcing information. This allows employees to thoroughly learn a topic, retain that knowledge for the long term and apply it on the job.
  2. Support multiple content formats (i.e. text, video, images, etc.) that allow information to be presented in the most effective way for learning.
  3. Provide personalized and adaptive learning experiences that fit with each employee’s job demands, adapt with his/her learning path and align with preferred ways of learning.
  4. Offer a gamified learning experience to engage employees continually in learning each and every day.
  5. Include modern social elements for collaborative learning with individuals across the organization.
  6. Ensure learning can be accessed from multiple devices, including mobile.
  7. Make all learning bites available on demand to allow employees to quickly search and select learning at the point they need it for the job.
  8. Offer tracking and measurement capabilities for measuring learning effectiveness and tying it to business results.

Microlearning can be an extremely powerful tool to bring knowledge to your employees when and where they need it for the job. And when it’s delivered in a consistent, ongoing way, you have the ability to drive continuous learning, build up knowledge over time, and produce real behavior change that leads to improved job performance and significant business impact.

Is this achievable? You bet! Read our new Microlearning White Paper to find out how you can deliver big impact in small bites.

Laura Martin

Author: Laura Martin

Laura loves nothing more than to roll up her sleeves and dig in. She’s a process person: give her a blank slate of a business and watch as she takes it from obscure to renowned—and beyond. It’s exactly what she did when she launched Axonify’s strategic marketing efforts and put the company on the map. As VP of Marketing Laura’s a big part of why we’re so personable and charming, and her verve fuels our push to shake up the learning space with leading-edge thinking.

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  1. Bill Simcox

    I do agree that microlearning is not a panacea, far from it. But it does have its place, whether you chunk existing content, or create unique microlearning chunks. For me, the proper positioning of microlearning is informed by a basic understanding of the different ways people learn. One way people learn is by prescription, a structured learning experience. This is important when folks need the foundational knowledge structures, say learning about a new technology or job, or new concepts. Here curriculum and instruction are needed to acquire these requisite structures. Another way people learn is by doing, by experiencing.

    There is an old adage that the only way we actually know is via experience, otherwise we only THINK we know. That is why we need to immerse folks in high fidelity situations as a learning approach. Another way people learn is by association which is accomplished through the backdrop of context. So within some context, say an actual task, you encounter an issue, either conceptual, procedural, process, etc. It is at this point that microlearning is paramount. For example, a brief micro-lesson, or a how to module, or a process diagram can help you resolve the issue and move forward and in the process foster a new or strengthen association which helps to make the learning that much more enduring.

    Reply February 26, 2016 at 7:47 pm

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