What The Mason Jar Can Teach Us About Microlearning

What The Mason Jar Can Teach Us About Microlearning

John Eades 06/09/2019 6

In 1858, Landis Mason invented the Mason jar, designed for home canning and food preservation. Fast-forward to today, and you’ll see the Mason jar used for anything but canning! Herb gardens, adult beverage containers, lighting fixtures, soap dispensers, terrariums, etc. You name it, there’s surly a Mason jar hack for it. Check out 50 creative uses for mason jars: 

So, what does this have to do with learning? Much like the Mason jar, Microlearning should be considered for a wide-range of use cases, as opposed to being a one-trick pony (reinforcing Instructor Led Training).

Why now? There are 3 major trends leading this innovative shift:

  1. Just in Time Learning
  2. Shrinking Attention Spans
  3. Social Engagement

Regardless of your job title, company you work for, or your age, it’s easy to relate to these trends because we live them every day. We want information right when we need, in short bite sized burst and probably want our friends to know about it.  

So, what are the most popular ways to use Microlearning today besides reinforcement?

  1. Mobile Learning. For any workforce that is mobile, getting content to devices is critical to usage and learner engagement.
  2. User-Generated Content. Allow anyone in your organization to create content. It’s a completely different way to think about L&D!
  3. Pull (Not Push) Learning. Create libraries of short content and never assign it to anyone. Studies show over 70% of employees turn to search engines to learn what they need for their jobs. Instead of driving to search engines, what if you could provide a place for people to get professional education specific to your organization, just-in-time?

While all of these use cases for Microlearning might not be for you or your organization right now, it’s always a good idea to have alternative, innovative ways to repurpose the "Mason Jar".

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  • Richard Clough

    There is a huge shift in the profile of employees in organizations today.

  • Peter Parkinson

    Formal training programs are just not enough to keep pace with the need for constant learning

  • Ryan Barnes

    Microlearning has been in existence for a long time

  • Jade Wilson

    Employees take one step at a time so that they clearly understand the learning objectives before moving to the next one.

  • Ian Lincoln

    Micro-learning eliminates the confusion of what is important and what is not

  • Mickey Hodge

    The short duration of the modules makes it feasible for mobile access.

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John Eades

Leadership Expert

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. 

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