Learning & Development

Using Microlearning to Fill Learning Gaps

In an ideal world, organizations would provide in-depth and ongoing training to employees throughout their careers, ensuring that all employees have extensive time dedicated to learning the skills that will help them thrive.


Source: hocus-focus / iStock / Getty Images

But in reality, time is very scarce, and short-term necessities often take precedence over less immediate needs with long-term benefits like training. For this reason, many companies offer microlearning, smaller incremental trainings that can be conducted in under an hour—and even in as little as a few minutes.

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning can be done with company-created videos or written information. It can also leverage existing materials from companies like Coursera that offer short, often free training for adults.

YouTube also contains a wealth of information in the form of videos—some obviously more useful than others—that can be leveraged to provide training. The idea is for employees to have access to real-time or just-in-time training that can be consumed quickly and efficiently.

Anytime, Anywhere Learning

Another benefit of microlearning is participants’ being able to learn on the go and from virtually anywhere they can use a smart device. For example, an employee waiting at the gate to board a flight for a business trip could spend 15 minutes watching a microlearning course on giving effective presentations. Or, someone could read about strategies for holding productive meetings while on the subway heading to work.

Maximizing the Effectiveness of Microlearning

To maximize the effectiveness of microlearning, training departments should consider a couple of key strategies. First, they should plan out the types of skills they want employees to develop and start building a library of microtraining materials, either internally generated or from existing external content that has been reviewed and approved by the training department.

Second, it’s critical to make the information easy to access. Employees should know exactly where to look for a training boost and how to easily sort through the available materials to find what’s relevant to them.

Microlearning offers opportunities for employees to learn on the go, in real time, and in short bursts that can accommodate even the busiest of schedules.

Take a deep dive into how some of the newest and most popular technologies—such as microlearning, blended learning, and extended reality—can be used to improve e-Learning and engagement when you attend the session “Digital and Mobile Content: Today’s Frontier for Delivering Cost-Effective, Convenient e-Learning Solutions” at Workforce L&D 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Register for this November event here.