Microlearning delivers focused, bitesize content, where, when and how your staff and customers want it. That makes learners happy, leading to strong engagement and high completion rates. That’s it in a nutshell, but there’s way more to it than that.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for a while (and we wouldn’t blame you) you’ll have heard the buzz around microlearning. And with good reason – microlearning offers huge value for content consumers and creators alike, while delivering proven ROI for businesses, along with many other tangible benefits.
If you Google ‘what is microlearning?’ you’ll get plenty of definitions. So we won’t dwell on all that. Instead, we’ll explain it by listing the biggest business benefits you can expect from implementing microlearning. Here goes…
7 business benefits of microlearning
1. Quicker to create and consume content
Building bitesize content is quicker. That’s not to say it’s easy – conveying information within a restricted space, timeframe or word count can be challenging. But once you get to grips with the format, it’s a breeze. You can develop a real focus, concentrating on key themes and concepts, distilling content to what’s absolutely necessary and using images, audio and video to support your messaging. Deployment is fast too, meaning you can be extremely agile, providing instant notifications and topical content. Best of all, concise content matches human memory capacity, as this University of California study notes.
“Learning in stretches of 3-7 minutes matches the working memory capacity and attention span. The human brain learns better when content is delivered in short bursts.”
University of California, Irvine
2. More freedom and flexibility
Not only do people want information quickly, they want to decide where, when and how they consume it. Microlearning can be delivered on any device but is best suited to mobile, giving users the flexibility to learn at their own pace, in their chosen environment; be that an office, train, cafe or lounge. Flexibility also extends to content creators. Provided the content platform allows, you can be extremely creative, playing with design, format and content, to create real impact. You can also tailor your content to specific user groups and purposes, rather than being forced to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.
3. Stronger user engagement
Designing content to fit your audience and delivering it to suit their preferences makes them comfortable and naturally more receptive to learning. Focused, short-form content ensures users don’t suffer fatigue (death by PowerPoint, anyone?) and stay sharper during the learning process. Creating visual interest and adding gamification elements can further enhance the learning experience, creating a level of enjoyment and positive mental associations. All these factors and devices positively impact user experience, leading to stronger engagement and encouraging repeat use.
4. Higher completion and compliance rates
And so it follows, when users are happy they are less likely to abandon learning, leading to higher completion rates than traditional methods. This makes microlearning the perfect vehicle for staff induction and employment training, particularly when much of your workforce may be working remotely. Microlearning platforms are also ideal for disseminating critical business information and notifications, where ensuring staff or customer compliance is key. Clearly, your delivery platform needs in-built analytics, to complete the loop on this process. See point 6 for more on that.
5. Better retention of information
In addition to being quickly digested, bitesize chunks and nuggets of content are easily retained. Typically, microlearning courses are focused on one topic or learning objective, leading to greater clarity and understanding. And the format helps too – video clips, soundbites and thought-provoking images are far more memorable than endless screens of bullet-points. Not only that, better retention leads to more effective application of learned skills in the workplace, with obvious performance benefits. And if workers need a quick refresher, they’re just a screen tap away from the latest content.
6. Easier to measure and monitor
How are your teams performing? Are your staff and customers engaged? How effective is your content and messaging? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to make microlearning part of your plan. But delivering great content is just part of the puzzle here. A good microlearning platform will include detailed analytics, enabling you to track app activity, course completions and duration, time spent viewing specific content, questions answered and more. You can even set goals for specific groups and track their progress and performance over time. Measuring and analysing user behaviour is key to any successful microlearning strategy and can be a real game-changer.
7. Little by little, you get BIG results
Making microlearning part of your company culture paves the way for future success. From induction and training, to performance tracking and wellbeing, building bitesize content into your programmes and processes has a positive impact across your organisation. Externally, microlearning provides a powerful two-way dialogue with your customers. You can deliver information, launch products, test messaging, conduct surveys and more. Your customers will consume and react, express their preferences and, ultimately, vote with their feet. All the while, you are measuring and analysing, to gain valuable customer insights. And this isn’t ‘fit and forget’, more ‘rinse-and-repeat’, evolving over time to produce a stream of quality data that feeds your business information systems. When you truly understand your audience, you can make smart business decisions and tailor future content and messaging accordingly. All you need is the right delivery vehicle.
“More than two-thirds of companies in our global survey microlearning as urgent or important, yet only 5% believe they have mastered the content and technology capabilities needed.”
And that’s where we come in. If you haven’t guessed, we’re not simply microlearning evangelists – we do have a dog in this fight. We just built a digital engagement platform, called Plasmo, which enables businesses to harness the power of microlearning and reap all the benefits we’ve described.
Plasmo is the new way to build dynamic multimedia content, share it with your staff and customers, then measure and analyse their engagement. You can create single and double-sided multimedia content cards containing video, animation, audio, image, text and deep links, to deliver training courses, surveys, tests, and more. We’re excited about the future of Plasmo – we think you should be too. Get in touch or follow the link below for more.