Why microlearning?

Ellie Doyle, 2 min read
Woman walking with phone blog header

Microlearning, as the name may suggest, is learning delivered in small doses. The opposite of a textbook, if you will.

The aim of microlearning is to extract the key takeaways and break it down into much more appetising doses, so that they can be consumed on the go, at a time convenient to the learner. 

It’s a problem-solver for a ton of different learning challenges, so here are our top 5 benefits of microlearning.

1. Allows a time-poor workforce to get their learning in

The modern worker has only 24 minutes per week to dedicate to learning. It’s not much - so we really have to make sure we’re making the most of those 24 minutes.  

The beauty of microlearning is that it allows the learner to complete a little bit of training every day of the week. 

2. Learning in the flow of work

A huge plus for microlearning is that learners can utilise what they’ve learnt straight away, in the flow of work.

What do I mean by that? Well, learning in the flow of work means that learning is made accessible during work, in the workplace environment.

Imagine Lucy, who works in a camping shop, is trying to sell a new range of winter coats. A customer has asked her a question about the feather density of a coat, and how it compares to another. As Lucy answered a question just that morning about feather densities, the figures are at the top of her mind, and she can apply that knowledge straight away.

Not only has she cemented her knowledge from this morning, but she helped a customer out and sold that coat. Win-win!

3. Learner engagement

If you're trying to close a skills gap, learners need to enjoy and be engaged with the learning content in order to actually, y'know, learn.

Low levels of completion are always a challenge for workplace learning, but, with microlearning, you can raise those engagement levels and encourage learners to finish their learning.

A feature of microlearning is that the messaging must be short, sharp, and to the point - you don't have an hour to explain a concept! This means that only the key concepts are pulled out for the learner to absorb, and they don't have to worry about any faff. You then have the freedom to deliver these concepts creatively (we prefer injecting a healthy dose of LOL into ours!).

It's much easier to pay attention for a couple of minutes than it is to pay attention for 8 hours. Swapping out a whole day of learning with microlearning means that learners are paying full attention to their learning, and learning a little bit every day. The convenience makes it much easier to engage with the content.

4. Makes the learning stick

Once you've learnt something, the real challenge is retaining the knowledge.

I bet you can’t remember how to solve an integral problem. But, I’m guessing you probably did in high school.

The reason you don’t remember how is because you’ve likely never come across it again since you passed your Year 12 exams. You’ve simply forgotten - and there’s nothing wrong with that! However, if you’re forgetting content that is highly relevant to your day-to-day work, that becomes a problem. 

As microlearning is delivered in small doses, it’s easy to redeliver content throughout the learning process. Instead of having to read Calculus, Metric Edition cover to cover a second time to remember how to do something, you get asked a simple question a few times over a few weeks to cement the knowledge into your long-term memory bank.

5. Can deliver learning across a distributed workforce, direct to their preferred device

It can be tricky getting everyone into a room to undergo training! Whether you’re managing retail workers, drivers or - really - anyone, getting everyone together and into a classroom can be highly inconvenient.

A huge benefit of microlearning is that you can deliver it to a distributed workforce to complete at a time that is convenient for them. They can also receive their learning direct to their preferred device, whether it’s a phone, iPad or computer.

Microlearning is flexible to suit the learner!

Ellie Doyle

Ellie Doyle

Ellie is the resident Yarno wordsmith. If she's not writing a million words a minute, you'll probably find her trying to smash her New York Times daily crossword time while listening to 3 podcasts at once.

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