Four and a half minutes. Just enough time to listen to a song or two on Spotify or heat up your lunch in the office microwave. According to a 2017 study by Deloitte , modern employees only have 1% of their working week to focus on training and development. That’s 24 minutes per typical working week, and you guessed it, four and a half minutes per working day!
The rise of micro-learning
How does corporate learning have to change to meet today’s time challenged employees? One way is by utilizing micro-learning – short bursts of learning, three to five minutes long, doing away with long-winded explanations and focusing on key practical tips. Today’s learner is well used to gaining knowledge this way. Think about this scenario: if the wheel on your bike was broken, what would you do? Enroll yourself in a bike repair course at your local college? Unlikely. Drive to the library and rent a book on bike repair? Maybe…15 years ago. You’d probably more likely go to YouTube and look at a two-minute video of someone showing you how to fix the problem.
How do you implement micro-learning in your organization?
Micro-learning comes in all shapes and sizes, from animated videos to flash cards. If you want to implement micro-learning in your organization, you can create your own micro-learning, either from scratch using an authoring tool like Articulate Storyline or Vyond, or by cutting down longer modules and videos into shorter parts. If you are cutting down learning, here’re some tips:
- Make sure that you’re “trimming the fat”. There’s not much benefit in splitting an hour-long elearning into six 10-minute modules.
- Find the top three key points of the longer piece of learning; what are the three things you’d want the learner to walk away knowing even if they don’t remember anything else? Make each of these points the focus of an individual piece of micro-learning.
- If there’s a process or series of steps include a take-away performance support resource as part of your micro-learning package – this could be a one-page PDF or PNG with key steps. The learner can then print or save this to their phone’s camera roll for reference later.
Off-the-shelf gives you both a deployment and coverage advantage
You could also consider purchasing relevant micro-learning off-the-shelf instead. OpenSesame has many micro-learning courses created by micro-learning companies that specialize in creating these types of courses, like the course publisher Mind Channel who covers popular topics such as Time Management Tips or Qualities of Great Leaders. Purchasing courses off the shelf often speeds up deployment and gives you huge topic coverage; important if you are planning on a company-wide roll out of microlearning.
And don’t forget you can use micro-learning both standalone and by incorporating it into larger blended learning offers. You could use a short micro-learning video at the start of a face to face classroom session or print performance support posters for the office. And there you have it – micro-learning explained in under four and a half minutes!
About the author: Claudia McFarlane is a Director at Mind Channel with over 15 years’ experience in digital learning, scrum master and agile learning design. Her experience spans from both consultant and management roles within learning and development for public and private sectors.