The world of professional education is in the midst of the biggest transition in my lifetime. We’re moving from a world of highly produced (costly), time-consuming, top-down, check the box training and towards microlearning. We define Microlearning as quick, short educational experiences driven by the learner. What’s powering this movement? It’s a cheaper, faster, more effective way to produce the desired results.
The top three things that drive successful microlearning experiences are:
1. Alignment. Today’s professional learner have an average attention span of approximately 10 minutes....wait what were we talking about?
With this knowledge, we can see what’s currently going on in most organizations isn’t going to stick. An average webinar is 6 times the average attention span. Not to mention, an eLearning course that clocks in at 24 times longer and then there’s the multi-day in-person courses. I’ll let you do the math on that one. The point is, it’s critical to keep the length of content within a learner’s attention span. If you can get your content across in under half the time (5 minutes or less), you’ll have the highest potential for success.
2. Engagement. Engagement is a huge part of the learner experience. My favorite way to get learners engaged is through social learning. What's interesting is you don't have to recreate Facebook to be a part of social learning. It's as simple as allowing learners to see who has taken a course and sharing how they’ve put ideas from the educational material into action in the real world. All of a sudden you have knowledge transfer taking place from the content and their peers!
3. Results. I know it's all about the results so the question is “Did anyone really learn?” To answer this question, learners need to be able to do or apply what was taught. And they need to be able to show how they do it. Microlearning experiences are the future (or the now) of professional education because those great experiences allow for new ways to measure results. Think about a learner uploading a video of themselves (right from their mobile device) doing a task to prove they’re able to apply concepts. Certainly every piece of educational content won't have this potential payoff at the end so it's critical that the learner be able to get back to this content right when they need it. Going 10 clicks deep into an LMS or CRM just isn't going to cut it.
When you bring alignment, engagement and results together to create amazing microlearning experiences, everyone wins.
John is the CEO of LearnLoft, author of, F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader and host of the 'Follow My Lead' Podcast. He writes or has been featured on Inc.com, LinkedIn Pulse, TrainingIndustry.com, eLearningIndustry.com, CNBC Money, and more. John completed his education at the University of Maryland College.