01 Jun 5 Reasons Microlearning Is More Effective For Systems Training
The biggest challenge organisations face when ensuring that their employees have the skills and knowledge required for use in their role is providing access to learning material that is current and easily accessible. The recent and necessary shift from face-to-face training to on-line methods has also added to the difficulty of providing information to employees but the use of microlearning is one way to address these issues.
Systems training is one area that is not exempt from this challenge and most employees, both new and existing, face difficulties in gaining the ability to effectively utilise workplace systems.
One way to overcome this challenge is the provision of microlearning to deliver systems training and knowledge requirements.
What is microlearning?
Microlearning is the use of small learning units to deliver information to learners for skill development. Each learning unit targets a specific learning objective and learners can access when required.
Systems training is extremely well-suited to microlearning as the learner can build on their knowledge, implement and cement the learning as they go, as each topic or unit is covered. This results in a comprehensive understanding of the systems that are vital tools within the workplace.
The benefits of microlearning for systems training are:
Increased learning uptake.
Studies reported in the Journal of applied psychology report an increase of 17% in the transfer from learning to implementation in the workplace. This is due to the fact that when given smaller amounts of relevant information the brain finds it much easier to process and retain the details. This results in an increased transfer from short term memory to long term memory and learners can then draw on this knowledge later when it is required. This results in increased skills level when required – particularly with system use. Learners can take the information in and then put it to use.
If learning is accessible in “bit-sized” pieces learners are more likely to access when required and this results in “Just in time” learning which is proven to be the most effective type of learning for the human brain. BUT – This is only the case is the learning is relevant. Studies show that learner uptake is increase by 40% if the learning is bite sized and the adult learner considers it to be relevant which is one of the adult learning principles which state that adult learners need to know that the learning is relevant. If a learner is accessing material as it is needed, they will definitely consider the material to be relevant and uptake is automatically increased.
If the learner has the opportunity to access the learning where and when they require it the results are hugely improved and the learner experience improved.
In the current work environment and workplace, the average worker values time as one of their most coveted resources. Richard Branson summarised this accurately with his quote that “Time is the new money” and studies show that the average worker has less than 25 minutes per week available for training.
Time is the one finite resource that most of the working world would like more of but the fact is: we will never “get time” – we need to “make time”! With limited time and a seemingly endless “to-do” list the average learner is sometimes hesitant to undertake learning and it is for this reason that it is important to respect adult learners and the time they are allocated to learning. Efficient and effective delivery of material which is short makes for a better learning experience and one that is likely to be repeated.
Ease of production and maintenance of current material.
Smaller microlearning bites for system education can be easily created and require minimal design input to create a realistic and professional product for learners to engage with. Content can be regularly updated as changes occur with the availability of a huge range of rapid authoring tools which are both accessible and easy to use. This gives the ability for organisations to maintain up to date and engaging material for learners.
Consistent, comprehensive and trackable learning.
A common complaint for organisations when examining system use by team members is the fact that a large percentage of users do not utilise the systems correctly or fail to utlise the system to its full capacity. Often systems are in place but are extremely underutilised due to a lack of knowledge by users.
Learning is usually passed on from one user to another which results in inconsistent information, bad habits and gaps in required learning material. Microlearning on the required topics, and system requirements, can effectively negate this issue and result in the ability for all learners to gain the required information in a consistent and uniform manner which can also be tracked by the use of an effective learning management system (LMS). An organisation can be confident in the knowledge of what material has been covered by which users.
In summary, the use of microlearning for systems training will results in more engaged learners with an increased rate of retention and uptake of knowledge which can only mean positive results for the organisation as a whole.