Training & Development Talk: Microlearning 101
The way people learn is changing, which means that the way continuing education programs approach their courses should be, too. A lengthy lecture followed by homework, with little opportunity for student interaction and discussion, is no longer considered to be the best choice for deep, lasting learning to take place.
Our attention spans are shorter than they used to be, especially (but not exclusively) among Millennials. Also known as Generation Y, these young professionals (born approximately 1982-2004) grew up alongside the internet. Answers were readily available online and their patience for information is notoriously thin.
To adapt to this change, a new approach to teaching and learning has sprung up. Microlearning breaks down lessons and concepts into bite-sized pieces of four minutes or less. Hallmarks of this technique include very narrow learning objectives (only one per “chunk” of content) and frequent, mini-quizzes to test retention.
Printed course books can accompany classes that make use of microlearning practices, but supplemental online resources are another option. Blended learning enhances microlearning—instructors can take complex concepts they learn through a standard lecture or reading in a textbook and break it up into smaller components online. Video is also a particularly good format to use for this purpose.
Many associations offer face-to-face, instructor-led training, though some are also exploring online delivery of content and self-study. No matter how you offer training to your learners, microlearning can be incorporated.
Are you ready to try microlearning with your learners? Start by bouncing your ideas off of someone with an outside perspective who can offer suggestions for content delivery. Reach out to me or leave a comment below to get the conversation started!