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Why is microlearning the most powerful tool in your learning content strategy?

What is microlearning?

The official definition of microlearning is “small learning units” that are usually used to teach skills-based training.

There’s no official cut-off for exactly how long it can be, but at THRIVE we’ve decided not to make any content that’s longer than ten minutes to complete (and many of our learning resources are much shorter than that).
Microlearning comes in many different formats. Of course, there’s elearning modules, but also resources such as videos, PDFs, infographics, personality quizzes, songs, you name it, we’ve done it and here’s some of the benefits of leveraging microlearning.

Microlearning isn’t a trend nor a quick fix.

Some might see it as a quick fix they can tag onto their existing learning offering without changing any approaches. But that’s not the case, we’ve found it actually takes more time and thought to create shorter content. 

Take mental health training, for example, it’s not about culling & splitting up your current mental health content without any regard for the total overall learner time.

It’s not just continually churning out new micro-content on mental health that overlaps and confuses people and doesn’t formulate natural leader journeys.

It’s all about understanding what good mental health content looks like overall and building discrete items of content that contribute to this consistent messaging around mental health and from which you can create personalised and meaningful learner journeys which reduce a learner’s seat time overall.

Why is it so powerful?

Limited time – Microlearning makes the most of the limited time that learners have. Studies have found that the average employee spends just 11 minutes working on something before they’re interrupted. Alongside this, you may not be able to afford to have your learners spend hours on end on one piece of training.

Bite-Sized – When content is in small chunks, it’s easier to find specifics when you need it. We call this just in time learning and it’s something microlearning does really well.

Attention spans –  Whether or not they’re getting worse, it certainly seems like we’re getting more choosy about what we pay attention to. Shorter content means less demand for extended focus.

It’s about strategy. One which allows you to strip out the fluff and focus on the content that will have the most impact on changing the behaviours of your learners.

How to get started?

The three key steps you want to take before getting started are:

  • Identify a content or skills gap
  • Establish a goal
  • Identify the changes you want to see in your learners

Let’s take the mental health training example again and show you how it’s done at THRIVE…

How to get people excited?

Microlearning is only powerful if people actually use it right? Here’s some tips to mobile your users.

Make it useful within the stream of work or learning pathway. Your learning platform will play a large role here too, it’s all about just-in time learning, searchability, tagging and linking to other relevant content where you can.

Treat learning like marketing. Run campaigns, stagger content and make it relevant to what’s going on in the world around them.
Think outside the box a bit.  Figure out what they really want to learn about, make it topical and relevant, and ask for their feedback.  Any data you have on your LXP can be invaluable about what modules and resources are going down well with your learners. 

How to integrate microlearning with your existing training offering 

We teamed up with one of our clients, Michael Brown, Digitial Learning Manager at Vanquis Bank to share how they integrated THRIVE’s off-the-shelf content into their learning strategy. Here’s some of the initiatives they took:

Improved access to content – microlearning is all about people being able to access the content just in time and on any device. We chose THRIVE because of the mobile-friendly responsive design.

Utilising awareness events and celebration days  – Times like learning at work week, mental health awareness week, International Women’s Day are all excellent opportunities to promote valuable content that aligns with relevant events.

More blended learning programs – Bake digital content into classroom training too, we’ve continued to encourage peer to peer development discussions.

After implementing microlearning Vanquis saw a huge 460% increase in engagement with optional learning content. How? Through the upgrade in quality microlearning and the techniques showcased in this article.

Interested to find out more about THRIVE’s microlearning content and how Vanquis integrated our microlearning content? View the entire webinar for here.

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