November 13, 2017 | Blog

Microlearning Tips for Trainers: Nos. 2 & 3

Let’s continue our top takeaways conversation with 2 more microlearning tips for trainers.

Microlearning Takeaway No. 2: Focus on one objective. What sets apart microlearning from other types of learning is that each microlesson focuses on one—and only one—learning or performance objective, said Chris Webb, senior instructional designer at CMR Institute.

In this way, microlearning helps to reduce information overload, so learners receive only what they truly need to know and then gain a sense of satisfaction for acquiring a new skill or knowledge.

Most experts suggest two to five minutes per microlesson as optimal, although any lesson shorter than 15 minutes can be classified as microlearning as long as it covers just one learning objective.

Microlearning Takeaway No. 3: Build microlessons that fit into your overall learning strategy. Microlearning can be one slice or portion of a blended learning approach of assigned courses, modules, or classes, Webb said. However, microlearning also can be standalone, being consumed as just-in-time training.

 Many biopharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, are moving away from lengthy, paper-based learning modules toward digital microlearning content. “We had 50- to 80-page modules that our learners would have to read in a home-based environment before they came in for their live training,” said Laura Last, director of global learning and performance.

Her team decided to take on microlearning as a challenge. They broke down some of their existing content into smaller chunks of training, each with a single learning objective. They transferred these microlessons into a new platform that allowed learners to access the pieces of learning that were most relevant and interesting to them. They also included engaging videos that allowed learners to walk in the footsteps of a patient with a particular disease state—a strategy that promoted what Last called “binge learning.” “We wanted learners to wonder what would happen next with the patient,” Last said.

Last said this training strategy was incredibly effective at preparing their sales team for live training before an important launch. Now, her team plans to apply a similar “learning library” approach for another launch in a new disease state. They also have incorporated lessons from their self-study microlearning into classroom learning as well. “We don’t have hour-long presentations for people sitting in their seats anymore,” she said. “We’ve really scaled things down to 10-20 minute live presentations and are utilizing technology, gaming, or ‘workshopping’ within the live training as well.”

Last’s team also is applying microlearning principles to their onboarding content for new hires.

Check out last week’s tip HERE.

Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog as we continue the microlearning conversation with more tips for trainers in the coming weeks. 

To hear the full recorded webinar click HERE.

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