Why Custom Microlearning is Small But Mighty
When it comes to corporate training, the best approach corporate trainers can take is one that aligns with the organization’s needs. However, custom microlearning is applicable and beneficial for almost all kinds of businesses as it is highly targeted and, as the name suggests, custom. Short bursts of training e-learning material that are custom-crafted according to the needs of the individuals is almost always a sure-shot way of ensuring that trainees acquire the skills, knowledge, and information they need.
Furthermore, microlearning is convenient, and learners can approach it at their own pace. They can review the information it repeatedly offers and at their own convenience from virtually anywhere. During the Covid-19 pandemic, when remote working prevailed extensively, custom microlearning proved what it is capable of, and organizations and corporate trainers extracted huge advantages from the method. However, it is crucial for a business to have the right and adequate tools in order to ensure that optimal potential is extracted out of this e-learning approach.
Custom microlearning is small due to its ease for designers and content creators as well as for learners. Delivering, accessing, and handling it is swift. It is mighty due to the high number of benefits pertaining to corporate training it offers. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why custom microlearning is small but mighty before looking at everything corporate trainers should know before crafting a microlearning corporate training program.
Benefits of Custom Microlearning
The word custom in custom microlearning is the first major advantage of this approach. By targeting your trainees in a customized manner and keeping their characteristics and needs in mind, you can ensure that the training material delivers on the requirements in a more efficient and effective manner.
When you create content knowing the schedules, current skill levels, job requirements, and preferences of your learners in mind, the training becomes more targeted towards them. It not only helps you with content creation but with delivery and evaluation methods as well. Questions, such as which devices or platforms your learners are active on the most, how much time they have at hand for e-learning, their comfort levels with different and specific testing methods, how they resonate with the e-learning approach, and what knowledge and skills can enhance their growth as well as the productivity of the overall business, help your training program hit the bull’s eye and be extremely effective.
We all have constraints pertaining to location and time, and your trainees are no exception. We cannot start learning anywhere and everywhere, and if a specific time for training is enforced upon us, it is probable that our engagement levels might be low during that period. Your learners are likely to have a busy schedule, and they should have the opportunity to take up microlearning in their own preferred time so that their interest and engagement remain high.
Compared to other formats of delivering e-learning content, custom microlearning is specifically and intentionally designed with the time that employees have at hand in mind. Microlearning is always short, precise, and to the point, but you can customize it to be even more concise if the situation demands it. This allows learners to learn more with higher engagement levels and in a short time. If the results of your trainee evaluation suggest that the custom microlearning material should be available offline, you can easily design it in such a way that the resources are downloadable and savable so that their access and use become even easier.
When corporate training offers such flexibility to trainees, they are less likely to perceive e-learning as something they are burdened with. Instead, they look at it as something that they can achieve in their spare time. When learners engage more with the training program, their retention rate is higher, consequently making them more productive and your corporate training endeavor a success.
You can gather assessment data for analysis and evaluation on almost every e-learning management system. However, custom microlearning makes assessment easier and more functional as the training program has more focused goals and objectives that you can check in accordance with their accomplishments. For instance, if you create an extensive e-learning training program that covers web development skills, you will have to evaluate the effectiveness of your training by looking at the overall performance of the web development department. That is data that is available to you anyways, and it does not narrow down the available analytics that can be used for assessment purposes.
However, if you impart a custom microlearning training course that focuses on the skills for enhancing the SEO friendliness of a web page, you can easily determine the impact and usefulness of your course as well as how much your learners gained from it by looking at the SEO scores of the web pages that your trainees build following the training. Furthermore, you can also equip your microlearning courses with brief assessment pieces to judge the performance of the participants pertaining to their ability to practice the learned skills and the level of absorption of knowledge and information from the training piece.
This way, custom microlearning allows you to track the progress of your trainees, and you can use your assessments to determine the return on investment that each of your custom microlearning courses offers. Furthermore, the information also helps you to improve and enhance your training programs and tells you if there is a need for new e-learning or microlearning training modules. The assessment opportunities reflect skill gaps as well that you might have missed foreseeing and allow you to make amends for it in your future corporate training programs.
Due to the utility and ease that custom microlearning offers, continuously fostering workforce development is something that is not a mountainous task for corporate trainers anymore. It allows the creation of short training pieces that are highly relevant as and when the need and requirement arise. With frequent deliveries that are spaced at short intervals, specific and targeted topics can be focused, resulting in a boost in the efficiency of learning and productivity and performance of the workforce. It also makes employees embrace a learning culture that is continuous.
Retention and Engagement
A major reason for the increasing popularity of e-learning at a rapid pace is the higher retention it offers in comparison with the traditional classroom approach. Research suggests that e-learning enhances the rates of retention of learners by 25% to 60%. But when it comes to custom microlearning, the rate is increased even more, and unprecedented engagement and retention rates are achieved.
The longer the training material is, the more are the chances for the engagement of trainees to diminish. Short bursts of bite-sized content pieces ensure that the learners’ engagement levels are maintained. Incorporation of audios, videos, mini-games, infographics, and short quizzes, etc., help the cause, even more, making the modules more digestible. When employees know that they do not have to go through lengthy or not-all-relevant pieces to reach their learning goals, they approach the real-life application skills and relevant information with a more open heart and mind. This ensures that they retain the knowledge and skills they obtain for longer periods.
Having the choice of accessing corporate training on their personalized mobile devices, trainers bridge their performance gaps and skills in a better manner. This increases the learning uptake and the benefits that the business derives from the learning as well. The corporate trainers are able to derive more success out of their efforts this way as well, and all the spheres of the overall business benefit.
Best Practices of Custom Microlearning
Determine the Nature of the Required Training
There is no doubt about the effectiveness of custom microlearning, but it might not suit each and every organization or subject matter. Some businesses have training requirements that demand comprehensive or elaborate training pieces, and there are complex topics or tasks that cannot or should not be squeezed into bite-sized pieces. Similarly, slideshows, videos, or even an e-learning approach are not a good fit for some training needs that require person-to-person modules. So your first step as corporate trainers should be to check if the objectives of your training align with offering skills and knowledge in condensed segments.
Redesigning of Existing Training Material
Another advantage that custom microlearning offers is that it allows you to reuse your previous training material after a little design modification. If you have research material related to the subject matter at hand, you can take out the precise content that you require out from it and divide it into smaller segments and add design elements and videos, images, etc., to make it a complete custom microlearning package.
Incorporating mechanics of gaming into your microlearning courses equips your course with high interest and engagement levels, and your trainees achieve a sense of satisfaction and achievement after completing the training. You can also allow the earned points and scores to be available for viewing across your organization. These digital badges and virtual rewards make e-learning endeavors more fun and competitive. Gamification in microlearning offers a solid boost to continual and active learning and an incentive to engage more with training.
Other Interactive Assets
Make sure to incorporate interactive assets, such as videos, quizzes, and infographics, into your custom microlearning module for enhanced engagement. These elements and components not only grab the attention of learners but help them sustain them as well. Through a well-synchronized combination of auditory and visual senses, you can make the information you give out much more memorable. Make sure these assets are concise, to-the-point, and relevant to the topic at hand.
Adding recurring content to your custom microlearning courses is a sure-shot way to optimize retention. When you create long-form e-learning content, it is normal for pieces of information to repeat several times. However, in their efforts to keep the time duration of a module short, it is common for corporate trainers or course designers to skim through information at a quick pace, and that can lead to lower retention. A good way to deal with that is to place either a short quiz or a slide with pointers that reviews the content that the microlearning segment or module offered. These takeaways do not increase the length of the module by much; instead, they help in refreshing the memories of the trainees, resulting in them retaining the knowledge for a longer time period.
Make the Delivery Efficient
One of the most major factors why employees love to learn with custom microlearning courses is the ease of accessing it. They do not require to stay glued to their computers at their workspace after work hours to complete it, and they feel more in control of their training. It is important for you as corporate trainers to ensure that you deliver your custom microlearning courses to the learners in the most efficient way possible.
Most of the employees prefer accessing the training material on their smartphones. You should make your content available on all mobile devices and distribute it on platforms that your trainees are most comfortable with and regularly use. Also, there should be no time restrictions or limitations as to when the employees can and cannot access the material as it is best for the overall efforts that trainees take it up at their preferred times.
The custom microlearning courses that nourish and encourage collaborative learning are most effective. When you embellish your microlearning content with exercises and activities that require the collaborative efforts of your learners, they are able to learn in a much-enhanced manner with the help of each other’s unique and specific takeaways and perspectives.
Compliance, technical, soft, and leadership skills, sales, and onboarding are just some of the subjects that highly benefit from custom microlearning. It helps bridge skill gaps and offers knowledge with high engagement levels and retention rates. By following the above-mentioned best practices while creating microlearning content, corporate trainers can ensure that their learners and trainees extract the optimum potential benefits that e-learning offers.
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