Here are some steps you can take to ensure you’re facilitating micro-learning in the workplace.
1. Be Learner-Focused
How would you feel if your mentor/trainer pushes you to learn what he/she wants you to learn? Allowing the learner to drive their learning makes the experience more engaging and immersive. The learner absorbs knowledge faster this way.
Bottom line: Place learners in the driver’s seat. Wear your learners’ glasses.
2. Create Micro-Lessons
Overloading learners with massive amounts of data (data dump) within a short period will slow down learning. Learners will get bored.
On the other hand, breaking down lessons into bite-sized portions can grease the wheels. Thus, a training nugget for each objective can accelerate learning.
Related Tip: Tip #108 - How to Create 5-Slide Micro-Learning - Tiny, Succinct, Fast
3. Leverage Learning Videos
English philosopher and physician John Locke once said that knowledge comes from our sensory experiences. In other words, we learn faster and remember lessons better when our senses are engaged.
One way to activate our senses is through watching videos. Learning videos not only activate our senses but also stimulate our imagination and enable us to create mental imagery.
Related Tip: Tip #63 - Five Best Videos on the Story-Based Design Approach
4. Embed Affective Context, Meaningful Scenarios
In a previous tip, I mentioned that unless you connect with the learner’s context, there is no connection, no learning. Creating this sense of relatability for the learners keeps them engaged. When they are emotionally involved, they care and this persuades them to act or apply the lessons learned.
Related Tip: Tip #86 - Is your content out of context or in context?
5. Use Real-World Examples and Tackle Real-World Problems
It’s also imperative for trainers and designers to align content with real-life scenarios, such as real-life blunders and fiascos, so learners can access it as needed. When examples have connection to the real world, learners are mentally and emotionally engaged and see the immediate need to act.
Related Tip: Tip #95 - Adding Provocative Stories to Really Boring eLearning
6. Implement Simple Rules
Simple rules help workers know what to do on the job and perform their tasks effectively. Unlike traditional on-the-job support, simple rules are easily accessible and immediately useful.
Examples of simple rules include Rule of Thumb, Stopping Rules, and Boundary Rules. Read more about simple rules and their role and application in instant learning or micro-learning here.
Consider the two images below. In Image 1, we see the PVC Extruder operational guide and schematic, which takes time to read and understand. Now take a look at Image 2; it’s a short instruction on when to stop the PVC extruder. Which of these would learners easily understand and apply on the job?
Image 1. PVC Extruder operational guide and schematic. (Click here for enlarged view.)
Image 2. PVC Extruder stopping rule.
In a rapidly changing and highly competitive environment, tasks become complex yet need to be completed immediately and effectively. It is therefore imperative that workers learn instantly and develop skills they can use precisely at the moment of need. This is the primary goal of micro-learning.
Nick Shackleton-Jones. Towards a Working Theory of Learning: The Affective Context Model. aconventional, May 5, 2010.
Ray Jimenez. Instant Learning: How it works and how to make it happen?. Vignettes Learning Blog, April 21, 2011
Tip #50 - Have You Worn the Learners' Glasses?
Ray Jimenez, PhD
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"