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Microlearning: the New Standard for Staff Training


May 10, 2019



microlearning for staff training

The concepts of microlearning, mobile learning, and gamification have evolved over years, developing into the ideal LMS features for companies to grow and thrive. As microlearning has grown, business evolution has sky-rocketed, meaning that companies have to work harder to keep up with their competitors. According to Credit Suisse, the average age of a company listed on the S&P 500 is now less than 20 years—down from 60 years in 1950.

To remain competitive and agile companies must adopt modern approaches to stay relevant and at the top of their game in their industries. By this, we mean the implementation of microlearning. Surprise!

How is microlearning effective?

According to the Bersin Research Bulletin (fig. 1), traits of the modern employee are predominantly; big information sharers with their team (87%) and often turning to search engines for knowledge (70%).

Bersin Research Bulletin

Fig.1. Bersin Research Bulletin, Meet the Modern Learner, November 26, 2014

There is a growing expectation for employees to become more productive and as quickly as possible. Microlearning facilitates the ease of the connection between knowledge retention and working efficiently. This is due to its ability to remain current and updated, essential for our fast-paced corporate environments and rapid technological change. Microlearning courses are also faster to develop and deploy, therefore allowing companies to train employees quickly and thoroughly.

Kumar (2018) found that new knowledge is better retained when learning from shorter specific modules that address a specific objective, rather than sitting through a 30-minute module with 3 to 4 objectives. Good microlearning platforms implement this through mediums such as short games, quizzes, and videos for an effective learning process. This results in the chain reaction of concepts being better learned and retained, which then leads to learners better performing their job.

It is important to consider cognitive psychology when implementing corporate training, as cognitive overload results in minimal retention of new knowledge. John Sweller (1988) introduced Cognitive Load Theory, where he explored why exactly individuals find it difficult to process complex content. He concluded that to reduce the memory drop after learning, content must be broken down into manageable chunks for long-term memory retention. Sound familiar? That’s because it is the basis of microlearning!

What are the benefits of microlearning?

Aside from the benefits of microlearning for employees, it is beneficial for employers as well. One of the reasons is that courses are quicker and easier to produce. According to the Association for Talent Development, it typically takes instructional designers 28-143 hours to produce only one hour of training. Imagine how many new things you could learn in that time! With microlearning, it takes only minutes, especially if the LMS you use has multiple templates. This is cost-saving, easier, and way quicker! Sounds like the Christmas present we never had but always wanted.

Want to know more about microlearning?

If you’re fed up of dealing with complex authoring practices and ineffective learning, get in touch at enquiries@edapp.com. You can also try SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.


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Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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