Microlearning: Learning in the Flow of Work
When organizations come to us for custom training solutions, they often have a preconceived notion of training: it’s easy, is scheduled, has a start and an end, and can be measured.
Consider the following Situation
A new software platform is being introduced to the team. A classroom training course can teach all the functions, and at the end of the session, learners will undoubtedly be able to complete all of the tasks used to measure learning transfer. Success, right?
Not necessarily. What happens when a learner goes to perform a function they haven’t had to complete since training two weeks ago?
Here are the learner’s options to solve their problem:
1. Pull out the training manual and search for the instructions
2. Find someone else who knows and ask for help
3. Trial and error until they figure out a solution
What do you notice about these three options?
Each of the above options takes the employee away from their task and requires them to search for answers.
At the Learning Solutions Conference 2023, I was inundated with bright ideas, aha moments and a mess of notes to take back, internalize, and implement. One of the most significant and implemented was ensuring we are developing solutions that incorporate learning into the flow of work.
Where can microlearning fit into this scenerio?
Whereas learning in the flow of work is a concept, microlearning is the product. We create microlearning to enable someone to learn in the flow of work.
Let’s return to our example of a classroom course for a new software program—introducing some in the flow of work microlearning options:
- a job aid with key processes mapped out that they keep handy on their desktops
- a help file built into the software, including process maps
- info buttons at the main fields or screens to prompt a user as to what goes in that field
The above examples are microlearning solutions that provide learners with quick answers, saving time and not distracting them from tasks.
Below is an illustration of microlearning solutions being implemented instead of, or alongside of, traditional learning:
|Microlearning assets |
(individual job aids, explainer videos, help file, etc.
|5 assets accessed in one month x 1000 employees = 5000 assets|
|Number of hours saved in productivity versus seeking out training documents, asking someone else, or using trial and error||5000 x 15 minutes = 1,250 hours|
|Money saved in productivity costs||1,250 x $30 (average hourly salary) = $37,500 saved each month|
Here are (even) more benefits of microlearning solutions:
Just-in-time learning is an approach to learning and training development. Custom just-in-time solutions promote need-related training to be readily available when and how the learner needs it.
When a worker or employee references learning, it supports ongoing skill development and adapting to changing work requirements.
3Accuracy of Performance
When employees seek answers from a verified source, they are more likely to complete the task correctly (vs. asking someone else or trial and error).
4Reduced Training Time
Microlearning as job support enables custom learning developers to create shorter formal learning events, leaving some learning for ‘on the job.’ Microlearning also contributes to significant cost savings and better use of your training budget.
This is the one I love – we can create custom job aids or instruction sets for the various job tasks or work areas. Learners see tasks on their screens and know someone cares that they get the correct answers quickly.
Need help developing microlearning solutions?
Is there a skill, task, or performance issue you are struggling with and would like to get back on track? Call us. We can work with you to get there quickly—with solutions that are fun, effortless and efficient.