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Micro-Learning: Why Big isn’t Always Better


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Micro-learning (micro learning, microlearning) is an emerging learning strategy that involves delivery of content to learners in form of highly focused bite-sized units. It is the next-gen training for a new generation of workforce. Known for its ability to quickly close skill and knowledge gaps, micro-learning is being adopted by organizations globally.

This presentation is NIIT’s micro take on micro-learning and provides glimpses on basic implementation principles and the advantages of micro-learning, some examples and use cases along with potential barriers and a micro-learning road-map for your organization.

Published in: Business

Micro-Learning: Why Big isn’t Always Better

  1. 1. MICRO-LEARNING Why big isn’t always better!
  2. 2. What is micro-learning? Micro-learning is the process of learning in short, digestible, well- planned units.
  3. 3. Why do you need micro-learning? Attention spans are falling. Consumption is increasing. Technology is changing. Traditional training isn’t working.
  4. 4. Millennials in our workforce Millennials and attention spans By 2025, millennials alone will make up 75 percent of the workforce. The average attention span of the millennial generation is 90 seconds.
  5. 5. By 2016, we’ll be consuming more than 15 hours of media a day. Even older adults are consuming more online video than ever before. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace – so fast, that training can’t keep up. A digital skills gap has emerged, one that’s costing the US economy over 1.3 trillion dollars annually in lost productivity.
  6. 6. Every year U.S. businesses spend over $160 billion on employee learning and training, yet classroom training is time-consuming, expensive, and often ineffective. Fewer than 15% of participants successfully apply what they learn. Average time spent training is over 30 hours per worker. One hour of training takes 43 -185 hours to create. Within 30 days, 80% of content is forgotten and this figure increases to 90% after a year.
  7. 7. LearnersOrganizations Faster and cheaper – it is estimated that micro-learning can cut development costs by 50% while increasing the speed of development by 300%. More effective – micro-learning allows maximum benefits through minimal input, costs are reduced and the return on investment increases. Engagement – combats learner boredom and disengagement. Short, focused sessions avoid mental burnout. Retention – splitting up content into small, manageable sections makes learning easier to integrate into long- term memory. Application – distributed practice has been proven to increase performance by 17% .
  8. 8. Micro-learning in action NIIT implemented a flashcard based micro- learning module for a client’s sales team to help them memorize complex product specifications which are vital for making a sale in their line of business. Qualcomm utilized Yammer to implement group or social learning around the principles of micro-learning. +
  9. 9. Barriers to micro-learning Prevailing perception of judging learning quality by length and not by outcome. Designing for outliners resulting in bloated, lethargic learning. Questioning the cost advantage by citing the cost of change as a barrier to moving to a bite-size approach. But typically this calculation ignores the most significant cost — the participants’ time.
  10. 10. Getting bite-size right: principles of micro-learning 1. Keep it short, it’s a good idea to never run longer than 90 minutes and getting the trainees actively involved after every 10 minutes. 2. Ensure learning units are small and granular when compared to the total learning objective. 3. If possible utilize a storyboard, It’ll help emphasize critical learning contexts. 4. Make it recursive to allow for a top down understanding. 5. Find and isolate key application points, then build your micro-learning module around them. 6. Develop a mechanism for rapid creation. 7. Use concepts of show, do and tell with lesser emphasis on the latter.
  11. 11. Use cases: where micro-learning works best 1. Learning languages or topics that require repetition. 2. Learning the basics of a software application. 3. Understanding business processes and procedures. 4. Case studies and use cases. 5. Practicing micro skills that build into larger skills. 6. Applying best practices.
  12. 12. Will micro- learning work in all scenarios? In some cases micro-learning might not fit the bill When there is a need to build in depth knowledge rather than awareness. When you need to move form novice to fluency on a particular topic or skill set in a relatively short period of time. In certain scenarios micro-learning needs to be augmented by other learning pedagogies For long term retention needs. If the content is not intended for people to remember, but for use more as performance support.
  13. 13. Your micro-learning roadmap Determine your learning needs. Evaluate if micro- learning can fulfill those needs. Assess if you possess in house capability to deliver it per plan. See our best practices See our best practices Create micro-learning modules utilizing rich media. Deploy, Deliver and Evaluate.
  14. 14. Ready for more effective and faster learning experience? For a demo of our award winning training programs click on the icon below!
  15. 15. References