Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Why Does Microlearning Mean Better Learning? - Tip #129

Have you ever panicked or felt disconnected because you misplaced your mobile phone? Research shows that 8 out of 10 adult smartphone users “reach for their phone within 15 minutes of waking”.

But as we get connected and stay connected with the rest of the world 24/7, we are thrown into a stressful muddle of information. Helping corporate learners escape from this entanglement becomes the problem of organizational leaders and L&D professionals. Their solution? Microlearning!

While Microlearning may not be a “one size fits all” solution, studies show (e.g. Job and Ogalo, 2012) that “microlearning effectively delivers work-based need for knowledge.”

Learning Can Take Place in Inter-Spaces and “Just-In-Time”

Kim E. Ruyle, PhD, President of Inventive Talent Consulting, LLC in Coral Gables, Florida, recalls a time when thick technical manuals loaded in motorized carts were sent to factories. Learners had to dig through voluminous stacks, so finding one piece of needed information was time-consuming.

Compare that scenario with what’s happening today.

Thanks to ubiquitous mobile devices, learning can take place anytime, anywhere and at any pace. Take for instance Qstream. It’s a Microlearning platform targeted at sales representatives. The software delivers value by helping its audience stay current. By asking a series of questions that requires sales reps to draw on their knowledge, it enhances learners’ understanding and recall.
Responsive to Workers’ Changing Needs

In a rapidly changing work environment, learning tools that can easily be updated are what companies need. Dr. Pieter de Vries, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands developed resources for corporate clients. One of them was a large energy company.

“When this company came to us, they already had a lot of learning resources. The problem is: no one was using them,” de Vries recalls. “Instructional designers would create these wonderful courses, but by the time they became available, they were already outdated. Workers would say, ‘This course addresses problems that aren’t on our list anymore’.”
Accelerates Knowledge Transfer 

In a global economy, it’s not unusual for organizations to have teams consisting of members from different places around the world. Traditional training methods may find it difficult to deal with such decentralized workforces. But Microlearning can bridge this gap.

“The biggest reason our clients turn to microlearning is that they have a distributed workforce, so they can’t put everybody together in the same room,” says Will Holland, founder and president of Akron, Ohio-based e-learning firm Expand Interactive.


Research and various cases have proven that Microlearning liberates learners from the muddle of information. Mobile devices allow them to use inter-spaces to pick up bits and pieces of tightly linked information, and they are able to acquire valuable knowledge that can be easily recalled, retrieved and applied when needed. As a result, they can perform efficiently and effectively.

Rosen LD, Whaling K, Carrier LM, Cheever NA, Rokkum J. The Media and Technology Usage and Attitudes Scale: An Empirical Investigation. Computers in human behavior. 2013;29(6):2501-2511
Job & Ogalo. Micro Learning as Innovative Process of Knowledge Strategy. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research. December 2012, Vol. 1, Issue 11
Annie Murphy Paul. How to Make Microlearning Matter. Society for Human Resource Management. May 2016

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"

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