One of the biggest knocks against the traditional approach to organizational learning is that it often feels separate from people’s jobs. To most employees, learning means some kind of event that is going to take me away from the mountain of things on my to-do list. This has led to a movement to find ways to get learning to fit more into the flow of work. One of the ways to do that is to leverage microlearning.

Even before the pandemic, organizations explored the importance of delivering smaller, more continuous learning experiences to their workforce. Now that a remote workforce is the norm and in-person classes are on hold for the foreseeable future, it has become even more important to find new digital solutions. 

Brandon Hall Group’s recent Learning Strategy Study found that organizations where the learning strategy has a strong positive impact on business results were nearly twice as likely to use microlearning than companies with less-effective strategies. Overall, 70% of companies plan to increase their use of microlearning over the next two years.  

But what exactly is microlearning? The name indicates it is something smaller than “normal” learning, but its size is merely one characteristic. To be effective, there must be focus. Microlearning has to meet an immediate need. It’s not for frontloading a bunch of information for use at a later date, either. It must be easily accessible and seamlessly fit into the workflow so that does not distract from it. Ultimately, a microlearning experience takes whatever shape or form is required by the audience, the context and its ultimate goal.

For a deeper dive into microlearning — what it is and isn’t, and what forms it can take — I highly recommend this eBook  from Upside Learning. It does a great job of detailing the ins and outs of microlearning and takes away much of its mystery. It also provides insights into when and how it can be applied.

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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