8 Benefits to Microlearning
Don’t worry, you’re not alone if you are not familiar with the term microlearning. It’s not a new concept, but it has been a hot topic trend that is proven to improve employee training including learner retention and adoption of new skills and knowledge. While chunking training content down into short bite size pieces has been around for some time, we are seeing an increased focus on microlearning as a significant element of an organization’s overall sales training strategy and delivery model.
Below I share with you a brief overview of microlearning including 8 benefits to microlearning.What Is Microlearning?
Microlearning is a training term that refers to a short, focused piece of content often 3-5 minutes in duration or shorter deployed via a learning management system that is designed to meet a specific learning outcome. Typically designed in rich media such as video, it is a learner-centric approach that provides just-in-time training that is made available on multiple devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones. Each of these aspects ensure that training can be easily accessed, quickly completed, and applied by the learners. After all, this is where your people (sales reps and recruiters) live!
Why is Microlearning Important?
Not familiar with the “Forgetting Curve?” The forgetting curve hypothesizes the decline of memory retention in time. This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. A typical graph of the forgetting curve purports to show that humans tend to halve their memory of newly learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless they consciously review the learned material. As you see from the diagram featuring the “Forgetting Curve” (by Hermann Ebbinghaus), we forget 80% of what we learned in just 30 days!
Microlearning is used to create sticky learning experiences and to thereby remove the “Forgetting Curve.” Think of microlearning as kryptonite to the “Forgetting Curve,” as it acts as “retention adhesive.”
8 Benefits to Microlearning Based Training For Learners
Microlearning is appealing to learners because it empowers them by giving them a higher level of control in defining their learning path. Microlearning allows for the learning to be personalized and flexible, two ingredients all learners, especially millennial's, covet. Reading static documents and participating in instructor led training doesn’t provide learners with this level of autonomy.
Microlearning makes training available to learners at exactly the right time the learning is needed. Think of this as training on demand where learners can access the content when they need it rather it being “force-fed” down their throat when they don’t need it. A perfect example of this is with sales onboarding. For most sales organizations, the first thing they they train their salespeople on is their CRM or ATS system including all bells and whistles. While this is good training and needed, does a new hire really need to know how to enter a deal in their first week or first month on the job? Do they need to understand time card workflow and getting consultants paid? Probably not. Microlearning can provide this flexibility.
Microlearning works for for multi-device delivery including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones which gives users greater flexibility to consume training when and where they please. Equally important, employers don’t have to pay the travel expenses (and hefty bar tab!) to bring learners into corporate for training and risk opportunity cost.
Rich Video Media Training Content
As I have written previously, there are many benefits to online video based over instructor-led classroom training, most notably the design format of microlearning drives retention. Ask any teacher how well the lessons they teach day after day, year after year "stick" with their learners. Microlearning is ideal for adult learners with a shorter attention span and appeals to millennial learners. Microlearning is ideal for mobile learning.
Affordable and Agile
Due to the brevity of microlearning, costs are much lower to create and consume than traditional eLearning and even instructor led training. They can also be created and deployed much quicker than traditional eLearning.
Shorter Development Cycle
On account of the duration and design formats used to develop microlearning, development and deployment is a much shorter development cycle than traditional training assets. This makes it quick and easy to get new product or service updates out the door to educate and inform your sales team!
Microlearning is Agile
Microlearning can be applied for formal learning or as performance support job aid(s). You can use these nuggets as stand-alone assets or they could be part a series of microlearning courses (as we do in our training programs).
By definition, microlearning content is designed to teach a specific behavior, skill or piece of knowledge and produce a specific outcome which positively impacts the learning and application of what has been learned by quickly bringing about behavioral change.
What do you think of the benefits of microlearning? You can download our eBook below and learn more about how we have incorporated microlearning into our training program and how microlearning can impact your organization.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.