A look at corporate training trends reveals that, in many cases, smaller is often better. When you need to deliver high-level, important, and engaging content to a varied group of learners, spreading the content out over a period of time with small, concentrated chunks of information can produce the best training retention.
This shift in training style can be credited to the growing popularity of microlearning, a teaching style that focuses on brevity and focused bits of information spaced out over time.
In an era of short attention spans and overflowing schedules, microlearning is a near-perfect model for employee training and support. So, what exactly is microlearning, and what benefits does it offer when used in employee training programs? And how can including microlearning elements in your training solutions boost retention among users?
In this blog, we’ll get to the bottom of it all.
What Is Microlearning?
Research suggests that when learners are presented small, concentrated bits of information regularly over time, they can greatly improve knowledge retention.
This goes all the way back to the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, first studied in the 1800s by Hermann Ebbinghaus. His theory describes the decrease in retention ability over time unless the information is repeatedly reviewed. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve set the stage for the concept of microlearning, which touts small bits of information repeated and spaced out over time.
Today, microlearning consists of bite-sized pieces of content in a variety of forms, from text and illustrations to videos, games, and quizzes that can simplify complex concepts.
Benefits of Microlearning
Microlearning has grown in popularity over recent years due to the impressive benefits associated with this form of content administration. From reducing training costs to flexibility and engagement, these are some of the most prominent benefits of microlearning:
Faster Course Delivery
Microlearning units are succinct for a reason. Not only does it boost retention of the information, but it also makes it more efficient to train a large number of people in a shorter amount of time. When you’re quickly adapting and evolving as a business, this flexible training style allows you to respond to learning and development changes and circulate the new training material for quick completion.
When it comes to corporate training, companies often spend big bucks on development programs that don’t pan out or produce the results they’re hoping for. With over $87.6 billion spent on corporate training and development across the U.S. in 2018 alone, that’s a lot of money not living up to its potential. Producing bite-sized learning modules may require less resources, resulting in a 50% reduced cost to develop. With less need for instructors, less time commitment, and less material, you’ll improve your bottom line.
Microlearning requires less dedicated screen time than more intensive training styles, making it easier for employees to get their training in when it’s most convenient for them, like in-between meetings or during work commutes.
When done right, microlearning feels closer to a social media platform than a textbook, thus boosting engagement and combating the boredom often associated with traditional learning.
How Microlearning Can Boost Training Retention
The most impactful benefit of microlearning is the increase in training retention. When users have the space and time to digest the material presented to them and revisit the topics as needed, they’re more likely to retain the information down the line. Here’s how you can incorporate microlearning into your training program to boost retention:
- Gamification – Draw upon components of gaming, like a points system, levels, scoreboards, and more to foster an interactive and entertaining learning experience.
- Scenario-Based Learning – Use simulation training that places the learners into a role and tests their responses. Scenario-based learning is helpful because it lets the user apply their learning to an (almost) real-life situation.
- Audiovisual – Videos are easily consumable, but adding voice-over narration to a video component creates more active listening and makes it easier to digest new material.
- Repetition and Spaced Learning – Known as the spacing effect, if humans are constantly reminded of a piece of information over time, they’re more likely to retain the knowledge long-term. Likewise, spaced testing can activate the internal recollection, making it easier to apply the information to real challenges in the workplace.
- Real-Time Feedback – Microlearning gives you the opportunity to provide real-time feedback to the trainee. Within microlearning modules, they may be given some information and then challenged with questions in a quiz. Quick explainers on why the answer was wrong or right initiate reflective learning, which fosters long-term information retention.
Incorporate Microlearning With B-Lynk Training Solutions
Shifting from a traditional training style to a new one with focus on microlearning doesn’t have to be a disruptive undertaking. With training and support solutions from B-Lynk like a managed LMS featuring microlearning elements, you can upgrade your employee training program smoothly while you focus on the core of your business.
B-lynk’s training portal is anchored in the proven concept of microlearning, featuring varied types of bite-sized content like videos, interactive knowledge checks, quizzes, and more.
To learn more about how B-lynk can prove better knowledge retention or get started today, contact the B-Lynk team.