Microlearning is a buzzy word throughout the elearning industry right now, and most people think they understand what it means. Unfortunately, most of your preconceived notions of microlearning are incorrect. Microlearning doesn’t have to be a short video, and there’s no magic length of time differentiating microlearning from other forms of elearning content. Likewise, microlearning modules can be optional or mandatory, and nearly any information can be conveyed through microlearning in some way. Microlearning isn’t a new phenomenon either, as its theoretical underpinnings emerged in the 19th century while modern microlearning was included in elearning content in 1999.
Microlearning doesn’t have to be your organization’s sole form of learning. In fact, microlearning works best when combined with other methodologies. If you want to help your employees build the knowledge needed to propel your organization toward the future, you’ll need a learning management system (or LMS) capable of making the most of microlearning.
Of course, finding the right platform can be difficult when LMS vendors call themselves talent development platforms and utilize complex jargon to land you as a customer. Luckily, elearning expert Craig Weiss has created FindAnLMS.com as a free resource to help people like you find a great online learning platform. When you create a free account on FindAnLMS.com, you’ll immediately gain access to a curated list of top-rated LMS vendors you can compare head-to-head based on whatever criteria you choose. Keep reading to learn more about microlearning and how the right platform can facilitate it!
What is microlearning and how does it support learning?
There is no universal definition of microlearning, but it’s differentiated from other types of elearning content by focusing on small, bite-sized chunks of information. Examples include a short YouTube video on a practical topic, short “how-to” lectures, and simple educational games.
Microlearning supports learning by taking advantage of how most learners are wired. Since most people have a limited attention span for things like compliance training, breaking content into small chunks makes it more digestible, improving knowledge retention. Bite-sized information is also easier to revisit than a three-hour video or lecture, allowing learners to commit it to long-term memory through repetition more easily.
Furthermore, microlearning supports just-in-time learning, allowing employees to access content when they need it. This bridges the gap between learning and its practical applications, incentivizing learners to engage with the content you provide. Examples include mobile-friendly diagrams illustrating how to use equipment and courses on seldom-seen aspects of the job.
How much time should it take to complete microlearning modules?
Experts disagree on how much time it may take employees to complete microlearning courses, with estimates ranging from one to 20 minutes. The key is to create streamlined content that doesn’t require more or less time than necessary. You want to trim the fat so your content is highly focused on a specific topic, but a different format entirely may prove superior for difficult or in-depth topics that cannot be broken into small chunks. Microlearning is a great supplement to other forms of learning as well.
Ultimately, microlearning is designed for brevity. Helping learners gain actionable knowledge is more important than any specific length of time.
What LMS features are needed to incorporate microlearning in an elearning campaign?
The rise of elearning has made microlearning easier to administer for organizations, but that doesn’t mean every online learning platform is equipped to handle it. Below, five of the most important features for microlearning are listed for your convenience.
- Multimedia elements
One of the biggest benefits of microlearning is its ability to engage learners, but you cannot always do that with text alone. If your elearning platform allows you to add video, images, infographics, and other multimedia resources to courses, you’ll provide your employees with a more valuable learning experience.
- Personalized learning paths
Employees get more out of professional development when the content directly aligns with their responsibilities and career aspirations, but manually signing learners up for courses is too much of a time commitment. Many online learning platforms leverage machine learning to automate enrollment, giving employees access to courses they’re interested in quickly and easily.
- Easy course management
Your learners might have dozens of microlearning courses to choose from, and keeping track of all of them by hand would quickly prove overwhelming. Many elearning platforms have intuitive dashboards with data such as popular courses and learner performance, helping admins view all of the information they need to monitor the success of your online learning program.
- Mobile elearning capabilities
If your employees can only access microlearning content on their work computer, you aren’t taking full advantage of microlearning. Giving learners control over when and how they take courses promotes engagement, boosts knowledge retention, and encourages participation. Social learning is also something your software should support to optimize microlearning.
Microlearning is something that your learners should incorporate into their daily routines, and that might require an incentive. Choosing a learning platform with gamification elements allows employees to earn and share points, badges, certificates, and other accolades for completing each module. Such immediate gratification is the perfect compliment to microlearning.
Can I get expert help finding an LMS supporting microlearning?
Microlearning may not be a new thing in the elearning world, but that doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. Breaking content into small bits of information helps learners learn, and companies of all sizes are increasingly looking for microlearning features when shopping for online learning platforms. If your company doesn’t incorporate microlearning in your employee development program, you’ll find yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
Fortunately, you don’t have to look for an elearning platform with microlearning capabilities alone. Instead, you can create a free account on FindAnLMS.com and utilize Craig Weiss’s online learning expertise to guide your decision-making process. You’ll get access to exclusive ratings, reviews, and unbiased search tools to expedite your search and help your team learn more effectively. Why not try it today and remove the mystery from microlearning?