From sunrise to sunset: that’s how long the average adult spends in front of a screen – about 11 hours a day.
Simultaneously, corporate trainers try to capture their employees’ attention long enough to train them and ensure the information sticks. Tools like EJ4 allow viewers to watch five- to 10-minute training videos, while Google Primer offers five-minute interactive lessons on the go. Each of these bite-sized, easy-to-use tools takes into account users’ limited time (and attention).
This redesign of content through microlearning can be effortlessly applied to any training program. Instead of lengthy, constantly interrupted courses, microlearning is easy to digest and short. It is highly targeted and has precise, measurable objectives. Most importantly, microlearning makes training fun and easy.
Microlearning is based on cognitive science. It uses space-based repetition, a proven method for increasing memory, in which learning topics are broken down into manageable chunks and repeated with appropriate spacing between lessons. This learning technique taps into the learner’s working memory, making microlearning worth considering for any employer who teaches difficult skills.
Let’s have a glance at the industries that have adopted microlearning:
Transportation and Manufacturing
Through a combination of rapidly advancing technologies, retiring experts and insufficiently skilled newcomers, these industries have a difficult time when it comes to training. Keurig Dr. Pepper has acquired several distributors and bottlers over the years, resulting in a geographically dispersed workforce and different business standards. In an effort to teach employees a consistent approach, the company has developed a series of short training videos available on mobile devices and desktop that cover a variety of topics, including communication skills, sales techniques and HR compliance.
As an industry leader on the cutting edge, it’s easy to see why Google has entered the microlearning space. In 2014, the tech giant launched Google Primer, a free mobile app with five-minute interactive lessons designed to teach startups and small businesses knowledge about audience measurement, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), business planning, branding and many other topics. Courses can be taken on the go, on a plane, on the subway, at a coffee shop or just about anywhere else. Today, over 10 million learners downloaded the app.
Pharmaceutical and Healthcare
Healthcare professionals face high demands every day: patients in distress, long working hours and sometimes life and death situations. Dr. Neb is a game designed to help physicians treating patients with uncontrolled COPD find the best prescription solution.
This game features a series of branching dialogues, virtual conversations between doctors and patients that are narrated much like a comic book with speech bubbles.
Merek, a multinational pharmaceutical company, used Axonify’s microlearning, gamification and adaptive learning platform across 52 global manufacturing sites to improve its safety culture. With a voluntary participation rate of 80%, the company saw a decrease in reportable incidents and the frequency of lost-time accidents.
In addition to videos and games, there are other solutions to consider when developing your microlearning strategy.
Animation is a valuable tool. In a recent study published in the journal Neuron, researchers found that the brain absorbs about 80% of the sensory information in an environment. This over-digestion is why government entities and businesses like Cleveland Water use video creation services like Moovly, Powtoon or Vyond to produce studio-level videos.
Learners are easily distracted by instant messages, texts, emails, fitness trackers, phone calls, social media, etc. That means every second counts. In the battle for attention and retention, you can distract your audience from daily distractions and deliver memorable content with a well-designed video. By creating videos with relatable situations, environment and characters, training managers can help learners remember concepts and details they might otherwise forget.
Infographics help learners digest information, illustrate a point in a condensed visual way and show data hierarchy. In addition to training, IBM uses infographics to streamline recruiting. Recruiters can use infographic tools like Visme and Piktochart to build a stronger company culture.
When it’s time to train employees and reinforce their education, some teams balk. Other methods – like the dreaded compliance meetings – can feel condescending or, worse, like a big waste of time. Chatbot platforms like Mobile Coach create chatbots for valuable conversations with employees and meaningful contact.
As consumers, most of us are accustomed with chatbots but the technology has evolved and is increasingly being used for customer service, diversity training, sales training, new employee onboarding and various other topics.
Developing a chatbot is both a science and an art but when done right, it can be a very effective tool for providing reminders, tracking goals, assessing knowledge and introducing new concepts.
Let us know in the comments below your thoughts about microlearning.