What is Microlearning – Advice For Associations

May 1, 2024


Have you ever fixed a dryer after watching a bit of YouTube without being a certified Electrician’s Journeyman? Modern education has changed its methods of application. A corporation or association may have previously leveraged the “War & Peace” version of training or certification. In this article, Jonathan explores the benefits of “chunking” and the positive reaction modern learners may have to it. 

Benefits of Microlearning: Boost Engagement and Retention in Membership Learning

In today’s fast-paced world, microlearning has emerged as a highly effective strategy for talent development, enabling learners to acquire new skills and knowledge quickly. Microlearning consists of short, focused segments that target specific learning objectives, often ranging from two to five minutes in length. This approach allows learners to access training materials conveniently, making it ideal for just-in-time, on-the-job training and professional development.

Microlearning offers numerous benefits compared to traditional training methods. These include increased learner engagement and retention and the ability to create customized learning experiences suited to each individual’s unique needs. Examples of microlearning include short videos, interactive games, and engaging quizzes, which can be easily accessed through learning management systems (LMS) and other digital platforms.

Adopting a microlearning strategy provides a flexible and efficient approach to workplace learning, allowing learners to access training materials anytime and anywhere, thus contributing to better employee development and overall performance improvement.

Key Takeaways

  • Microlearning is a focused, bite-sized learning approach, ideal for on-the-job training and professional development.
  • This strategy increases learner engagement and retention, making it an efficient alternative to traditional training methods.
  • By adopting microlearning, organizations can provide customized, convenient, and practical training experiences.

How Microlearning Can Help Your Association Members?

How Microlearning Can Help Your Association Members?

Microlearning is a powerful tool that can significantly benefit association members. By providing short bursts of learning content, microlearning enables members to develop their skills and knowledge without becoming overwhelmed efficiently.

Members can access microlearning materials anytime, anywhere, making it a highly convenient and flexible option for learning. They can easily fit these bite-sized modules into their busy schedules, improving retention and engagement. Furthermore, microlearning allows for just-in-time learning, ideal for on-the-job training and reinforcement of crucial information.

Some examples of microlearning include:

  • Videos: Short, informative videos on specific topics that members can watch at their convenience.
  • Quizzes: Brief quizzes to test members’ understanding of a subject and reinforce learning.
  • Infographics: Visually appealing graphics that provide concise information on a particular topic.

Implementing best practices in microlearning will ensure a more effective training experience for members. These may include:

  1. Focusing on a single learning objective per microlearning segment.
  2. Keeping content engaging and interactive.
  3. Ensuring that the content is concise and easily digestible.
  4. Providing opportunities for members to practice and reinforce newly acquired skills.

Adopting a microlearning strategy benefits members and helps associations reduce costs associated with traditional training programs and eLearning courses. In contrast, microlearning courses are generally quicker and less expensive to create and maintain while delivering significant value to members.



Microlearning: A Bite-Sized Learning

Microlearning: A Bite-Sized Learning

Microlearning is an effective learning strategy that delivers short, bite-sized content modules for easy consumption and retention. These modules, typically lasting between 2 and 5 minutes, can be accessed anytime and anywhere, making them ideal for busy professionals.

One of the primary benefits of microlearning is its flexibility. With a microlearning strategy, learners can access just-in-time training, allowing them to apply new knowledge immediately to their workplace. Examples of microlearning formats include videos, quizzes, infographics, and interactive scenarios.

In a study conducted by Talent Development Professionals, 60% of respondents claimed their preferred length for microlearning segments to be between 2 and 5 minutes. This approach results in increased learner engagement and retention by preventing information overload.

Microlearning is also easily adapted for on-the-job training, acting as a powerful tool for employee development. Traditional training methods may require lengthy, dedicated sessions, while microlearning can be accessed on-demand and fitted around the employees’ schedules.

To create a successful microlearning program, consider the following best practices:

  • Focus on a single learning objective for each microlearning module to ensure clarity.
  • Use various formats (e.g., videos, quizzes, infographics) to cater to different learning styles.
  • Ensure the learning material is easily accessible through multiple devices (computer, smartphone, tablet).
  • Integrate microlearning activities with the Learning Management System (LMS) for seamless tracking and reporting.
  • Allow learners to revisit and practice the material repeatedly, ensuring long-term retention.

Adopting a microlearning strategy enables learners to access concise, relevant content when convenient, resulting in higher engagement and more effective knowledge application. With microlearning, professionals can continuously refine and develop their skills to excel in the ever-changing workplace.

Easy Methods for Developing Microlearning Opportunities

Easy Methods for Developing Microlearning Opportunities

When designing microlearning opportunities, following best practices is essential to ensure learners achieve their desired outcomes engagingly and efficiently. Here are a few easy methods for developing impactful microlearning opportunities.

1. Determine the specific learning objectives

You should clearly understand the target learning objectives when starting any microlearning project. Determine what knowledge, skills, or abilities employees need to develop and ensure the microlearning content focuses on these objectives.

2. Design bite-sized pieces of content

Microlearning modules should typically be between two and five minutes long, allowing learners to retain information more effectively. Develop targeted, bite-sized training content focusing on one or two learning objectives per module.

3. Utilize a variety of formats

Use various formats such as videos, interactive games, and quizzes to keep learners engaged and reduce monotony. This variety helps learners explore complex concepts and provides them with more opportunities for engagement and retention.

Format Examples
Videos Instructional videos, animations, demonstrations
Interactive Games Simulations, role-plays, scenario-based games
Quizzes Multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, drag-and-drop

4. Offer on-demand access

A key element of microlearning is that learners can access it when it’s convenient for them. Use a learning management system (LMS) or mobile platform to present microlearning modules, making them easily accessible anytime, anywhere.

5. Monitor and reassess

Lastly, it’s crucial to track the effectiveness of the microlearning opportunities and make any necessary adjustments. Identify areas of improvement and continuously refine the material to meet the evolving needs of the learners and the organization. Additionally, consider providing just-in-time feedback, allowing employees to fine-tune their skills as they progress through the training.

These easy methods for developing microlearning opportunities will lead your organization to success. By addressing learning objectives concisely and effectively, you’re enabling employees to develop their skills engaging and time-efficiently.

Why Associations Should Offer Micro-Learning

Microcredentialing: Elevating Professional Recognition

Associations worldwide increasingly recognize the value of microlearning as an essential tool in delivering effective and engaging training programs to their members. This innovative learning approach offers many benefits that significantly enhance the learning experience.

Flexibility and Accessibility: Microlearning allows learners to access training materials anywhere, anytime, on any device. This convenience leads to higher completion rates and better knowledge retention. Moreover, microlearning’s just-in-time nature enables learners to quickly find and consume the information they need when they need it.

Higher Engagement and Retention: With today’s diminishing attention spans, microlearning offers short, focused bursts of content that target specific learning objectives. These bite-sized training modules cater to the preferences of modern learners, resulting in higher engagement and improved material retention.

Cost-effectiveness: Microlearning enables associations to create training programs and eLearning courses at a fraction of traditional training costs. By eliminating the need for physical training materials and utilizing digital delivery methods, associations can save resources that can be allocated to other initiatives.

Adaptability and Scalability: One of the most significant benefits of microlearning is its adaptability and scalability. Associations can easily update or modify training materials to address industry changes, evolving learner needs, and technological advancements, ensuring that knowledge remains current and relevant.

Personalized Learning Paths: By breaking down content into smaller segments, microlearning allows for customized learning paths that cater to the unique needs of various learners. It empowers associations to create targeted learning experiences, helping members to focus on specific skill gaps and achieve personal goals.

In summary, incorporating microlearning into an association’s training strategy offers substantial flexibility, learner engagement, cost efficiency, adaptability, and customization advantages. By embracing this innovative approach, associations can effectively support their members’ professional development and growth in today’s fast-paced world.

Microcredentialing: Elevating Professional Recognition

How Microcredentialing + Microlearning Work Together

Microlearning reshapes how employees learn and develop professionally and helps them gain recognition for their acquired skills through microcredentialing. This approach offers a promising way to track employees’ progress and validate their knowledge, making them more competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.

Microcredentials vs. Traditional Credentials

Microcredentials differ from traditional credentials, such as degrees and certifications, primarily in two ways: they are narrower in scope and quicker to earn. With microcredentialing, learners acquire specialized skills and demonstrate mastery in specific areas rather than more general subjects covered by traditional courses. They can obtain these credentials through various microlearning formats, such as online courses, video series, or quizzes.

Microcredentialing Best Practices

To ensure the effectiveness of microcredentialing, organizations should adhere to the following best practices:

  1. Align with industry standards: Partnerships with professional organizations can help companies develop microcredentials that employers accept and add value to learners’ professional development.
  2. Create clear criteria: To maintain credibility, it is crucial to define specific learning objectives, performance criteria, and evidence requirements for each microcredential.
  3. Use effective assessment methods: Incorporate multiple types of assessments, such as quizzes, simulations, or peer evaluations to ensure a comprehensive review of the learners’ performance.

Microcredentialing Benefits for Employees and Employers

For employees, microcredentialing offers:

  • Flexibility: Employees can pursue their learning paths at their own pace and address specific needs or interests.
  • Recognition: Microcredentials can boost employees’ competitiveness by showcasing their achievements and newly acquired skills.
  • Motivation: As employees progress through bite-sized accomplishments, their motivation to continue learning increases.

For employers, microcredentialing provides:

  • Workforce upskilling: Employers can upgrade their workforce and address skills gaps by offering targeted, on-demand training materials that align with organizational goals.
  • Talent retention: Companies that foster a learning culture and recognize employee achievements are more likely to retain talent.
  • Measurable results: Microcredentialing allows managers to track employees’ progress and identify areas for improvement or further training.

By leveraging microcredentialing with a microlearning strategy, organizations can effectively address their talent development needs while empowering their workforce with more targeted, valuable skill sets.

How Microcredentialing + Microlearning Work Together

Microcredentialing and microlearning are two powerful approaches to developing skills and knowledge. By combining these strategies, organizations can create a highly effective learning ecosystem that positively impacts employee development. Let’s explore how these two work together.

Microlearning is a learning approach that breaks down complex topics into smaller, digestible pieces of content. It typically consists of short bursts of training or instruction, usually lasting between two and five minutes. This method caters to shorter attention spans and helps improve engagement, retention, and just-in-time learning.

On the other hand, microcredentialing is a system of validating and recognizing the acquisition of specific skills or knowledge. It involves earning digital badges or certifications that prove the individual’s competence in particular areas. Microcredentialing can motivate employees and make learning more targeted and relevant to their professional development goals.

When combined, micro-learning and micro-credentialing provide a comprehensive learning strategy. The table below illustrates the ways they complement each other:

Microlearning Microcredentialing
Short, focused learning modules Validates and recognizes specific skills
Addresses short attention spans Motivates and aligns with professional development goals
Supports just-in-time learning Offers tangible evidence of skill acquisition
Improves engagement and retention Enhances credibility and career advancement opportunities

Microlearning can serve as the foundation of a microcredentialing program by providing concise, digestible modules that encourage skill development. The measurable nature of microlearning courses makes evaluating the progress and performance of learners easier, which aids in the awarding of microcredentials.

Furthermore, microcredentials can serve as milestones within a microlearning training program, giving the learners a sense of achievement and motivation to continue. By incorporating microcredentialing into microlearning programs, organizations can create a learner-centric experience that supports employee development and enhances performance.

Microcredentialing + Microlearning: Practical Instances

Microlearning and microcredentialing create an excellent combination for enhancing employee and professional development. Here are a few practical instances of the collaboration between these two learning approaches:

  1. Microlearning Videos: Short, bite-sized video content can be created for specific learning objectives. These videos can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, and supplement traditional training programs. By completing these videos, learners can obtain microcredentials to recognize their improved skill set and knowledge.

  2. Just-in-Time Learning: Microlearning modules can deliver necessary training materials when and where needed, providing quick, targeted training. Employees can access these short bursts of learning right before they perform a task or deal with a unique situation. Completing these modules can earn them microcredentials, showcasing their quick learning and adaptability.

  3. Interactive Quizzes and Tests: Microlearning techniques can provide interactive assessments to help learners develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and enhance their skills. After participants complete these short, impactful quizzes or tests, they can earn microcredentials to demonstrate their mastery of the subject.

  4. Digital Badges and Certificates: Combining microlearning with microcredentialing facilitates using digital badges and certificates. Upon completing a specific course segment or reaching particular milestones, learners can acquire a digital badge or certificate representing their achievements.

  5. Mobile Apps and LMS Integration: Microlearning activities can be accessed through mobile apps or learning management systems. This enhances flexibility and ease of access while providing users personalized learning experiences. Integrating microcredentialing systems allows for seamless recognition and tracking of learners’ progress and accomplishments.

The combination of Microcredentialing and Microlearning enables professionals to showcase their expertise while learning more efficiently, engaging, and flexibly. These practical instances illustrate how organizations can leverage these learning approaches to create dynamic and meaningful employee development opportunities.

Brief Presentations Encourage Discussion

In microlearning, brief presentations are critical in fostering an interactive learning environment. They allow learners to digest smaller chunks of information quickly and encourage discussion, thus enhancing overall comprehension and engagement. This section highlights two key formats of brief presentations: Step-by-Step Demonstrations and Bite-Sized Courses Within a Course.

Step-by-Step Demonstrations

Step-by-step demonstrations are an effective microlearning technique that breaks down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-follow steps. By doing so, learners can grasp the process more efficiently as it caters to their attention spans. These demonstrations often come in short videos or animations focusing on one primary learning objective.

The visual aspect of step-by-step demonstrations allows learners to understand the process more effectively. Moreover, these demonstrations can also be saved and accessed later, enabling learners to revisit the material whenever needed, which aids in retaining and applying knowledge in real-life scenarios.

Bite-Sized Courses Within a Course

Another beneficial microlearning format is the concept of “bite-sized courses within a course.” These self-contained modules cover one specific topic or skill within a broader subject. Each module serves as a separate learning segment, allowing learners to feel a sense of accomplishment after completing each one and motivating them to continue the entire course.

This approach enables a customizable learning experience for each learner as they can choose the modules relevant to their specific needs and goals. Additionally, these modules’ short, focused nature aids in excellently retaining and applying the learned material professionally. By incorporating such engaging and targeted formats, microlearning increases the effectiveness of training programs and enriches the overall professional development experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is microlearning, and how can associations benefit from it?

A: Microlearning is a teaching method that delivers short bursts of focused content to learners. Associations can benefit from microlearning by providing members with quick and easily digestible information, enhancing engagement and knowledge retention.

Q: What are some examples of microlearning techniques that associations can use?

A: Examples of microlearning techniques include interactive quizzes, short videos, infographics, and flashcards, all of which are designed to deliver information efficiently.

Q: What are the 5 benefits of implementing microlearning in association training programs?

A: The benefits of microlearning in association training programs include increased engagement, higher knowledge retention, improved accessibility for remote learners, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility in learning pace.

Q: How can associations start incorporating microlearning into their training strategies?

A: Associations can start by identifying key learning objectives, selecting appropriate microlearning tools and technologies, creating bite-sized learning modules, and ensuring easy access for members.

Q: What are some best practices for using microlearning effectively in association learning and development programs?

A: Best practices for using microlearning in association programs include keeping content concise and focused, incorporating multimedia elements for engagement, providing regular feedback, and measuring the impact of microlearning on learning outcomes.

Q: How can associations use microlearning to train employees effectively, following ATD guidelines?

A: Associations can use microlearning to train employees by aligning content with ATD guidelines, customizing training courses to specific needs, incorporating gamification elements for motivation, and offering mobile learning options for flexibility.

Final Thoughts

Microlearning has emerged as a popular learning strategy that benefits learners and organizations. Let’s recap the key points:

Key Benefits:

  1. Flexibility: Microlearning allows learners to access it when it’s convenient, anywhere at any time, and on any device.
  2. Higher engagement: Due to its short format, microlearning keeps learners engaged by catering to their attention spans.
  3. Better retention: Bite-sized training materials enable learners to grasp and retain information more effectively.
  4. Just-in-time learning: Microlearning offers on-the-job training, which is quick and relevant to learners’ immediate needs.
  5. Cost-effective: Short microlearning segments are less expensive to create, update, and maintain than traditional training programs.

Best Practices:

  • Microlearning segments should be between 2 and 13 minutes; the ideal length is around 10 minutes.
  • Include a variety of content formats such as videos, text, quizzes, and interactive activities.
  • Align microlearning content with specific learning objectives to ensure the material is focused and relevant.
  • Track learner progress using a learning management system (LMS) to identify improvement areas and measure the microlearning strategy’s effectiveness.

Examples of Microlearning:

  • Short instructional videos demonstrating a specific task
  • Interactive quizzes for knowledge assessments
  • Software simulations for practicing new skills
  • Infographics and fact sheets for quick reference

As talent development professionals continue to recognize the value of microlearning, more organizations will likely adopt this effective strategy for employee development and skill improvement. Companies must follow best practices and create engaging, efficient, and results-driven microlearning programs that cater to the needs of their workforce.

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