Rule-breaking is important and necessary to change things that have ceased to work. In the training world, however, it appears safer and far easier to continue following the old rules, even if conditions have changed and their value have diminished.
Micro-Learning will only work if we break adherence to the 10 Training Rules. If we slot in or force Micro-Learning within the confines of these training rules, it will fail. It just becomes a fad and a great marketing hype.
Rule # 1 - Requiring Tests
Training dictates that all learners must complete tests to show proof of knowledge retention. Micro-Learning advocates that immediate application of small ideas at work or in practice is good learning. Testing slows down micro-actions and is anti-micro-learning. (See more about adding depth to micro ideas)
Rule # 2 - Training Away from Work
Training requires that learning is an event, a place and a singular moment. Learners have to wait. It takes away a lot of time from actual work for participants and even tends to be forgotten. Micro-Learning, on the other hand, is learning when there is something to be fixed or changed. It is about instant solutions. (See more about Instant Learning.)
Rule # 3 - Follow All Required Steps
Training implies that to learn means to follow all the steps without missing anything. In the process, much time and resources are wasted since not all required steps are critical. Micro-Learning only uses the steps that are needed to do a task.
Rule # 4 - Cover All Content to Learn Properly
Training requires that learners must learn all content. It is like going back to school. Most content are forgotten after the school year ends. As a result, learning has not been achieved and efforts are wasted. Micro-Learning only requires learning the content needed to solve a problem or make the change. It is incremental learning. (See more about Small Content)
Rule # 5 - Engage the Learner
Training points out that courses and lessons must be engaging. So interactions, multimedia, games and social learning need to be added. The trainer should induce engagement. Consequently, training ends up being costly. Micro-Learning engagement comes from real work problem-solving and trial and error learning. In essence, engagement comes from curiosity and discovery of learners.
Rule # 6 - The Relevancy
Training insists on delivering relevant content. How can this be, if content is not immediately used? Absence of immediate application is the main cause of irrelevant training. Micro-Learning allows learners the freedom to use small content when the moment of need is highest. Then learning becomes relevant because it is useful. (See more.)
Rule # 7 - Sorry, It’s Boring
Training is always boring. It is concerned with theory, principles and ideal situations. It talks about the entire ocean. It is an instruction-led method. When trainers are the center of learning, it ends up being boring. Micro-Learning is driven by the learner and worker. It is “my learning” and not “you ought to learn.” Micro-Learning talks about the gap to be filled.
Rule # 8 - Consistency and Standardization
Training is the source of all knowledge and content. It insists on this dictum due to its need for a semblance of consistency and standardization. Although this goal sounds logical, it focuses on content rather than the ability to look into the relevance of deviations from standards and consistency. Micro-Learning usually aims at how best to handle errors, troubleshooting and critical exceptions at work.
Rule # 9 - LMS Central Training Delivery
LMSs and learning platforms are extensions of Training’s need to control learning. Often, they are rigid and administrative, and usually has nothing to do with learning. Rather,it is focused on delivery and tracking. LMSs are anti-micro-learning. Micro-Learning has to be free, floating objects, flexible, configurable, highly searchable, useful, approachable and responsive.
Rule # 10 - Follow the Curriculum and Certification
Training must follow curriculum to achieve certification. Curriculums and certifications often focus on the eventualities (aimed at the future) when skills and knowledge are needed. They are too costly and slow processes. Micro-Learning is focused on using knowledge and skills now, not in the future. (See more - Cut costs to 30%)
The successful implementation of Micro-Learning means you need to break the top 10 Training Rules. To require Micro-Learning to follow and stick to them, means death to Micro-learning.
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Ray Jimenez, PhD
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"