Is microlearning the key to your development?
When twitter first came out, avid internet users couldn't quite grasp the idea of microblogging. "How can I get my messages across in only 140 characters," they thought. However, people became obsessed with the service and now it is one of the most used social media platforms in the world with almost 3 million users in Australia alone according to SocialMediaNews.
People can't seem to get enough of snippets of information, consuming media in bite-sizes rather than entire meals. Just like the microblogging revolution, a new style of education has risen in congruence with the new preference for communication. And with a number of advantages to offer workers, job seekers and employers alike, do you seek to benefit from the microlearning movement?
Continuous learning is an essential part of staying competitive in today's economy.
Personal and professional development in today's economy
The pace of change in our lives hasn't slowed – in fact, quite the opposite – and this is proving problematic. For instance, a CEO survey from The Conference Board in the United States conducted in early 2016 revealed that many business leaders do not feel their workers have the skills needed in today's industry.
Continuous learning is an essential part of staying competitive in today's economy – whether you are a restaurant manager priming your staff or a job seeker polishing up on your skills, ensuring that your skill set is relevant is a top priority in such a dynamic world. At all levels, workers' skills are going stale faster than ever before, creating a need for both continual learning and ongoing self-improvement for virtually everyone, suggests the 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report from Deloitte. However, billed hours are becoming more precious and work-life boundaries blurred, so the old school ways of training are becoming less and less viable.
With technological advancements, changing employee priorities and employer expectations, companies are moving away from implementing traditional internal training programs and are beginning to dabble in the microlearning format. Unlike traditional teaching approaches, where lessons are taught in long format usually taking a highly theoretical approach, microlearning shaves back the fluff so that the education is streamlined, simple, memorable, practical and, most importantly, palatable. Instead of focusing on a broad range of ideas and objectives, microlearning is pointedly refined and usable.
A new paradigm of education for development training
The very nature of professional learning is dramatically shifting, and the micolearning format is incredibly beneficial, says Coach, Consultant and Trainer, Shona Glentworth. With microlearning, students and trainees can apply the brief lessons immediately by consuming the education when, where and how they need it. Moreover, as they can use the knowledge immediately, this education is far more likely to stick and deliver a real return on investment than a more expensive and labour-intensive training course. In fact, that is the whole point – to ensure that the education doesn't gather dust and get lost in the vast hallways of the brain
"Employers need to think about training differently than they have done in the past."
"We can only hold so much stuff in our heads," says Shona, "so learning what you need to know when you need to know it is a good way to make sure your skills stay fresh and relevant."
While it can seem like a good idea to send employees off on a comprehensive full-time course, much of the cognitive connections won't be strengthened until the knowledge is used practically. However, when the time comes, if it's been too long, it can be difficult to recall if not entirely lost.
"Adults learn best when they can relate the lesson to something specific in their lives," says Shona, "so microlearning is one way to exploit that tendency. Employers need to think about training differently than they have done in the past," says Shona. "Some employers just see training as going off on a course, but nowadays, there are far more fitting alternatives."
"Microlearning is far more flexible and dynamic than traditional courses. A trainee could complete a programme in a matter of minutes or over several months – it all depends on the needs and goals of the learner or employer."
Getting the most out of e-learning development courses
While microlearning may be far more cost-effective and less time-consuming than other education courses, it is important to recognise that employers as well as their workers need to make an effort to ensure that their investment pays off. Shona says that this means giving the right incentives to the workers, even if this is just articulating the value education.
"I firmly believe that training is a shared responsibility, both between the employee and the employer," says Shona. "It's going to be a win-win, as long as employers do their part. This includes setting aside some time for workers to talk about and share what they have learned so they can implement it into the workplace."
Delivered in an easy-to-follow and easy-to-consume format, the microlearning courses available with Implement Online are optimised for adult learners who want a quick brush up on the skills necessary for adaptation in todays fast-changing environment. Both for personal and professional development, Implement Online's courses can equip workers with the key skills needed adapt in today's workforce.