Microlearning

7 Ways Microlearning Drives Business Value

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Written by Paul Rosevear

A recent survey of learning professionals conducted by ATD found that 92% expect their organization’s use of microlearning to increase in the next year. The idea of enabling employees to quickly and flexibly learn new skills and behaviors in bite-size chunks makes a whole lot of sense in an always-on, ever-changing, 140-character world.

But as learning professionals, we need to go beyond common sense and present substantive cases to business leaders about the direction we want to take our learning programs. With that in mind, let’s dig into 7 ways microlearning drives business value. And true to form, let’s do it micro-style—chunk by chunk.

1. Learning here, there, and everywhere

The modern learner is always on the go. Microlearning makes short bursts of progress possible anywhere today’s employees want to learn—which is everywhere: 52% at the point of need, 47% in evenings and weekends, 42% at their office desk, 30% when alerted to updates, and 27% on the way to and from work.

2. Designed for an age of distraction

Our attention spans are declining—many of us can barely stay focused through a 5-minute YouTube video, let alone a 90-minute lecture. Microlearning gets the point across in a quick and punchy way that’s perfectly matched to the speed and style of how we consume information in the digital age.

3. Perfect for spacing and repetition

According to the famed Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, our brains begin forgetting information as soon as we learn it. That’s why it’s so important to reinforce learning over time. While it’s impractical to repeat a one-off lecture or make someone rewatch a long training video repeatedly, digestible bits of microlearning are ideal for gradually building skills, habits, and behaviors, bit by bit.

4. Bite-sized learning, big-time savings

Organizations pour $140 billion a year into learning programs, but microlearning is one of the best ways to make every dollar really count. It’s estimated to be 50% cheaper than traditional training and 300% faster to develop, making it 100% better for the bottom line.

5. The antidote to disengagement

Many learning programs suffer from low engagement—but research shows today’s employees love engaging with microlearning. In fact, the majority of employees say they’d use their company’s learning software more often if the content was broken up into shorter lessons.

6. Changing the L&D game

The entire learning industry is buzzing about the power and promise of microlearning: Four out of 5 learning professionals say microlearning changing the knowledge acquisition process by effectively delivering it inside the workflow.

7. The perfect dose of learning, every time

According to Miller’s Law, our working memory can only hold around 7 pieces of information at a given time. Well-designed microlearning respects those limits, delivering all the learning our brains can handle—nothing more, and nothing less.

With that, we’ve reached our seventh reason why microlearning is a smart and valuable approach for training today’s employees—and with all due respect to Miller’s Law (and your brain) let’s end this particular microlearning session here.

If you’d like more stats, facts, and figures you can combine to create a compelling argument for microlearning to share with your business leaders, download our latest eBook, Future-Proof Your Workforce with Microlearning, today.

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