Modern employees have a definite wish to acquire information to attain professional growth. But they find the long training sessions, workshops, and huge manuals, a tedious way to attain knowledge. Instead, they want learning in short, crisp and bite-sized chunks, which is easy to consume in a self-paced manner. They want continual training suitable to their requirements, which would be synchronous with their work schedule.
The tremendous growth of mobile technology and its utility for continual learning have made bite-sized learning nuggets an extremely effective way to impart learning, on a variety of topics. As the name suggests, each learning nugget is about three to five minutes long, which is easy to consume at one go. This provides the learner concise and relevant information that is easy to retain and later, apply.
Micro-learning when delivered through the mobile platform, becomes more accessible and provides an opportunity for learning, anywhere and anytime. The merits of micro-learning are many. These are:
• Increased learner engagement: Bite-sized learning modules aim to engage the learner through a short snippet of information, directly or indirectly relevant to the nature of their work. It can be a small soft-skill based module to develop their inter-personal skills, or a short module on the relevance of a particular feature of a new application. This consumes less time, thus the knowledge grasping is greater for the learner. Concise learning: With no additional frills, the short learning modules deliver concise information; this saves the precious time of a learner. A single capsule deals with only a particular topic, so the learner can choose what he or she wants to learn.
• On-demand learning: Bite-sized learning works on the ‘pull’ approach of learning — where learners are encouraged to assess their own learning needs and access learning as per those needs. This encourages learners to focus on their learning and provides an opportunity to learn when required, for instance when going in for a presentation, or when in doubt over a particular topic.
• Aligned for blended learning delivery: The bite-sized structure of the modules makes them a perfect accompaniment for blended learning. Applications or learning courses that are learnt in classrooms, or through e-learning, can be supported by bite-sized learning through mobiles. Summarized topics, important facts, or even graphs and images can be a part of the small learning nuggets to reiterate the lesson taught in the classroom or e-course.
• Assessments: These nuggets can make tests and small assignments available for the learners. The learners can take small quizzes or activity-based tests, which can provide a tool for learner-assessment, and increase learner’s engagement with the content.
Tips for Creating Micro-Learning
Micro-learning does not, however, mean chunking the courses into smaller modules.
• With only three to five minutes in hand, a sound instructional strategy needs to be in place to determine what can be imparted in that time, and the best way of doing so.
• Design should be light and effective, to ensure that it consumes less time to access on the learner’s mobile device. Using HTML5 for developing the content can be a good idea, though it limits interactivity.
• Audio should be judiciously used to counter the frugality of design. It need not be just a voice-over. It can be interactive – providing interesting anecdotes or facts along with the on-screen text.
• The modules should be easy to navigate to provide the learner a hassle-free experience.
Training is most effective if aligned with the needs and preferences of the learners. Thus for the modern learner, micro-learning is definitely the way to go!