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What Is Microlearning? Benefits and How to Get Started

Strategy, Video

Have you ever thought of the power of using videos for your internal teams like you do for customers? When we heard about the trend of microlearning, particularly when utilizing videos, our gears immediately started turning. Videos with targeted, compact information could be helpful for HR departments onboarding and training new employees, internal communications teams disseminating updates with coworkers, or sales and marketing teams sharing training and product overviews with dealers and distributors. That’s a lot of potential! So, what is microlearning? Is it right for your business or department? Let’s take a deeper look together at what microlearning is all about.

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning, sometimes called microtraining, is any kind of learning that is delivered in bite-sized pieces so that it can be absorbed and completed in just a few minutes. Each piece of training should also require little effort to complete and focus on a simple or narrow topic.  Information could be delivered through a variety of formats including videos, flashcards, audio podcasts, presentations or assessments.

The Benefits of Microlearning

Microlearning has started to be increasingly utilized in corporate training as it offers many benefits to both the employees and employers. However, many of these same benefits can apply to internal communications or external training for sales staff, dealers or distributors. Here are five of the biggest benefits to implementing a microlearning format for training of any kind.

1. Improved learning retention

As humans, when we learn something, we immediately start to forget it unless our brains make the effort to move the information into our long-term memory. In fact, the average learner forgets 50% of what he or she learned within one day, and 90% of what was learned after a month.

Scientists believe that repetition is more likely to help us remember. Microlearning is well set up to help people learn and retain as the short stints of learning don’t fatigue our brains and keep us from getting distracted. Similarly, short units can repeat the most pertinent information occasionally to keep it top of mind.

2. More Engagement

Microlearning helps boost engagement not only with the training itself but can help improve motivation levels overall. Having tutorials that are easy to understand and that pique your interest mean you are more likely to want to continue the training, as it starts to feel valuable and worth your time.

Microlearning videos can also foster employee engagement as a whole, which can help increase retention and productivity. Microlearning is set up to provide employees information in the way they want it—in quick bursts of useful information. When employees have access to the information they need quickly, it helps to increase motivation and prevent boredom.

3. Increased Learner Efficiency

A recent study from LinkedIn showed that the biggest barrier to workplace learning is time. Employees are busy, and don’t routinely have extra hours of work time to complete training. Microlearning lets them quickly learn new processes or skills and get right back to their work. Well placed microlearning can even help employees learn specific knowledge right when it’s applicable to them, so they can learn what they need to know to keep getting work done.

4. Faster for everyone

Not only does microlearning speed up onboarding and learning new tasks for employees, but it is also faster for the employer to update. When something needs to change in your training course, it is easier to switch out just the relevant pieces in one or two short, focused modules, instead of having to retool an entire onboarding course.

5. Mobile-Friendly

Microlearning is well suited to mobile formats and can easily be completed on the go. This flexibility is great for employees and is especially useful for companies who have team members or distributors spread across a large geography. Being able to send useful, effective digital training materials can also cut down on travel expenses previously spent sending employees or distributors to physical training sessions.

Where to Start with Microlearning?

A great place to start with a microlearning curriculum is with bite sized videos. Video is a great format to start with since many people are already used to engaging with YouTube videos, so turning to a video to look for answers to questions or to learn new processes will feel natural to your employees and distributors.

When getting started outlining or creating the training videos, remember to keep them “micro.” This means they should be between 30 seconds and 5 minutes, focused on a single narrow topic, direct and free from fluff.

Microlearning has so many benefits to both employers and employees that it feels like a true win/win scenario. Most employees are genuinely eager to learn, so why not provide them the opportunity, in a format that is convenient and effective?

Ready to give microlearning a try in your organization? B&Y can partner with you to create high-quality microlearning videos that will have an immediate impact for your team. Reach out to us today to get started.