Microlearning is a buzzword in today’s digital learning environment. It is growing not only as a concept but more so as a learning approach in organizations. Content developed using this approach is more likely to be retained by learners in the long run, as compared to conventional learning approaches.
In this blog we would have tried to show how Microlearning can be quick, easy and effective, espcially in terms of learning retention for employees.
What is Microlearning and how does it work?
Microlearning is an approach to learn a skill in which the learning content is:
- bite sized
- about a singular concept &
- skill based (Microskills®)
This concise and comprehensive piece of information is infused into digital, short-term learning activities. These small activities combine to covert a learning concept into a cluster of activities that can be incorporated digitally into an employee’s daily routine.
Therefore, the employee can learn every day without any cognitive overload of information, which also increases the probability of applying the learning on the job. Microlearning also ensures higher engagement of the learner since the digital media environment is second nature for the knowledge workers of today.
How does Microlearning improve retention?
Retention is the capability to hold information. It is characterized by the capacity of memory, attention and complexity of the material one is attempting to retain. Hence, you are more likely to retain information when all these aspects are taken care of.
- Capacity of memory
The human brain has an unlimited information storage capacity. However, our short-term memory (STM), or memory span, can only hold up to 7 items at a time! Microlearning approach ensures ‘bite sized chunks’ of information, which are easier for the STM to retain and eventually transfer to long-term memory causing effective learning.
Information that enters our long-term memory also depends on what we have consciously attended to. Engaging and fun learning content (or Microskills® as we call them), created using the Microlearning approach ensures that the learner’s attention is focused, leading to higher engagement, and hence longer retention.
- Complexity of material
Our memory is a structured entity and organized in a clustered manner where similar concepts are grouped together. Learning content created using the Microlearning approach is based on simple and singular concepts. This implies that a learning activity will never mix two concepts. Moreover, a cluster of activities will be structured around one learning concept. This aspect simplifies the placement of a concept in learner’s memory, thus improving retention.
Microlearning, by default focuses on the design of a learning activity. In this design, the basic aspects of memory retention are given utmost importance to increase effectiveness for the learner. Moreover, this approach can address challenges with employees who are traditionally unable to find time to learn. In that respect, Microlearning emerging as an effective and scalable approach for organizations that struggle to showcase the transfer of learning.
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