Client Resource Center

Q: What Do Candy Bars and
Employee Training Have in Common?

A: Sometimes "bite size" is the best size!

Ever tried leading a day of employee training, only to find yourself speaking to a sea of blank faces after the first hour? It's pretty frustrating, right?

You know that continual employee training is paramount to the success of the company. You probably also realize that keeping your employees interested and confident in the industry and their roles will keep them happy and motivated.

But hour upon hour of boring training modules aren't likely to inspire your team to greatness.

Try microlearning.

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a way of transferring information -- an instructional theory -- led by the premise that shorter is better. Long-winded lectures are replaced by chopped up, bite-size info sessions and longer reads are broken into digestible clumps of facts, tips, and tools.

Microlearning is more than just breaking up what's already written and calling it new. Ideally, lessons using the microlearning model are also delivered:

  • Online
  • Through video and other media
  • To each student individually
  • On each focused topic, one by one

Put simply, microlearning reimagines the way we organize and present information so that it reaches the learner. We do away with gimmicky entertainment and learning games, in favor of something that takes less time, demands less arbitrary attention, and gets to the point.

Why Microlearning Matters

This approach isn't new at all, but its popularity has increased in recent years as technology has supercharged the pace and brevity of everything we do. Paragraphs became 140 character blips, and blips of words are still less preferred to images or video. We digest information -- entertaining or not -- in short quips, quotes, and bullets because we're busy. Your employees are trained to skim, skip over, and digest only what is necessary and catching.

To that end, microlearning suits today's learners. Though your millennial employees will naturally benefit from microlearning, all generations are more pace-motivated now than ever before. If you want your employees to learn the information rather than receive it and leave it behind, instruct using a straight-shooting, frills-free method.

Benefits of Microlearning:

  • Employees are engaged and active during training time -- no longer passive recipients.
  • Less time is taken to conduct training sessions.
  • Pace is individualized for each employee's own needs.
  • Employees move through trainings self-sufficiently and accountably.
  • Online modules are cost-effective and learning-effective compared to classroom sessions.
  • Information can be relearned so nothing gets missed or mistaken.

How to Run Tidbit Trainings

As mentioned, microlearning benefits the trainee because it's digestible. When your employee isn't so overwhelmed, the path to understanding is cleared before them. But how can the company instructor pull that off?

  1. Provide information online to cut out the hassles of scheduling and physical space.
  2. Chunk the information given and be sure that each chunk is cohesive. Don't bounce around.
  3. Eliminate frills. Put out what is necessary for the employee to learn and use. Trim anecdotes.
  4. Put it into video. Two pages of text condenses into 3 minutes of audio/visual. The employee is happier and he or she learns more. It's a win-win.

Dispelling Myths about Digestible Instruction

Myth: The end-goal is less information.
Incorrect. The end-goal is digestible, usable information. Length and volume are not the paramount concerns. Organization of information is key. A ten-minute course and a full-day workshop can both be ingested through microlearning techniques if the information is delivered pointedly.

Myth: Instructional design is eliminated with the use of microlearning techniques.
Incorrect. Microlearning is a type of instructional design all its own. The instructor has full license to deliver information using the resources, media, and assessment he or she chooses. Microlearning is an additive to an already well-crafted lesson -- a way to pare down to only the most fundamental and applicable knowledge, and to deliver that knowledge to employees who need it.

Try Microlearning for Your Next Training Session

Your employees are tired of sitting in classroom atmospheres for hours being fed information. They don't respond well to it, and they don't retain it. Microlearning is something that any company training liaison can employ to get right-now results. Reconfigure the information you had already planned to disperse, move it online (even a YouTube video can work wonders!) and watch your trainees transform.