Using microlearning in your training is an effective method of improving learner motivation, knowledge retention and success, but how do you go about incorporating it into your training? And how are you to be sure it is effective? Here are 5 steps to using microlearning in your content successfully.
- Engage trainers before learning
What happens before and after training can be just as important as what is done during training. This is where priming comes in. Priming refers to events before the training that increases the likelihood of learning and retention of key information. Priming is a memory phenomenon in which exposure to one stimulus influences a response to another related stimulus. For example, prior to training, you can prime learners by having them engage with a video or game before the training ever begins.
2. Chunk your content into bite-sized pieces
In order to create microlearning that facilitates knowledge retention, chunking your content into smaller ‘portions’ can help achieve this. Cognitive load theory states that we have mental “bandwidth” restrictions, meaning our brain can only process a certain amount of information at a time. Chunking is handy here as it lowers the cognitive load. These short training “bursts” can be delivered daily or even several times a week, and fit effortlessly into today’s busy schedules.
Testing increases learning more than any other study method, and incorporating tests and quizzes into employee training programs is a critical part of the learning itself. Long-term memory is increased when some of the learning time is assigned to retrieving the information. It is important to make the testing challenging – researchers from neuroscience and psychology support the idea that making training programs more challenging improves long-term retention.
Without reinforcement, information can be quickly forgotten, but learners do not want to repeat a longer course only to get the specific information they needed. That’s where microlearning comes in, proving itself useful when specific aspects of a course are required to be revisited. Learners can jump back in to the course and access the information again quickly and easily without repeating information they already know. This leads to successful reinforcement in particular areas, resulting in better knowledge retention.
5. Making the content compatible with smartphones
With the number of smartphone users currently by the billion, elearning on the go is a convenient way to gain new knowledge. When people use smartphones to answer questions or gain skills, concise and simple information that does not take long to read and understand is ideal.
Microlearning, when coupled with eLearning on smartphones, acknowledges the learners’ need for short and concise information that can be absorbed “just in time”, and is beneficial as it allows for on-the-go learning and increased knowledge retention.
If implemented effectively, microlearning can propel businesses and its employees to maximum success. These steps should help guide your implementation of microlearning into your learning content.