Microlearning: How to learn effectively during a global pandemic

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Microlearning: How to learn effectively during a global pandemic

This is a guest post from Hayley Biggs, marketing coordinator at Ocasta. Ocasta is an employee-focused technology agency and their mission is to transform how people work. They’ve helped the likes of Virgin Media, Next and Tesco Mobile with their employee knowledge platform.

Microlearning isn’t just a nice thing to have, it should be a crucial element of your eLearning strategy, especially during a pandemic. A global pandemic can put an incredible strain on your employee’s attention span, ability to concentrate and the amount of time that they actually have available to train and develop their knowledge.

Below, we are going to list the main benefits of using a microlearning platform during the pandemic and why it is so much more effective than other learning methods out there.

Easy access and flexible nature

The recent pandemic has tipped normal working and training routines on their head. In fact, a survey by Arlo found that 40% of people have deferred or cancelled face to face training sessions and 58% of employees are still working from home. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you offer training which is easy to access and easy to start and stop.

Microlearning has been so popular because employees can jump in and out of learning modules when they have time. Unlike traditional learning management systems, employees don’t have to completely finish a module before they can progress, they can complete half and then come back to it at a later time. Perfect for when urgent work comes up or home commitments get in the way of them moving to the end of their training playlist. These modules are short in length and are usually around 3-5 minutes long making them incredibly easy to fit around an employee’s busy work schedule. Flexibility is paramount during a global crisis because nobody knows what’s around the corner or what the next day may bring.

Improved knowledge retention during a time when concentration levels are low

During a global pandemic, people’s minds struggle to focus on single tasks. They are constantly being bombarded with new and scary information which makes it very difficult to concentrate. Dr Amy Arnsten – a professor of Neuroscience and psychology at Yale University explains that the pandemic has resulted in us cutting off the part of our brain that helps us think beyond the primitive – for extended periods of time. This has meant that our ability to focus is significantly affected which is why it’s essential to choose a learning method that doesn’t overload the brain.

Microlearning content is delivered in small bite-sized chunks which are targeted around highly-focused units of information. These bite-sized chunks are crucial for knowledge retention because the brain can only hold up to seven items at a time in the short-term memory space, microlearning helps the brain remember the information and then eventually transfer it to the long-term memory space. Because learning is only 3-5 minutes long it also means that employees can learn at the point of need. This makes learning much more focused and succinct making employees more likely to remember the knowledge which they have learnt.

Microlearning boosts morale during a global pandemic

During a global pandemic, moods can be low and self-esteem can be down due to lack of social contact, too much or too little work and a change in normal working routines. Traditional learning management systems work by taking employees through a long set of questions and then giving them their final score no matter how good or bad it is. If the score is low, it will deplete the employee’s self-confidence making them feel like they are no good at training and deterring them from wanting to do it again.

Microlearning breaks this negative cycle by giving the learner instant scoring, they’ll be able to see what answers they have gotten correct as they go. It will also reinforce knowledge through repetition so the learner won’t be able to complete the training module until they have got all the questions right. This helps to keep them motivated and makes them feel more knowledgeable and confident about the topic at hand. They will be sent encouraging messages and nudges after every short module which sends their motivation levels soaring.

Tip: Create your own microlearning courses with LearnED, which comes with pre-made courses and assessments.

Microlearning is agile and moves with the speed of the pandemic

The global pandemic has been a steep learning curve for everyone, especially businesses. The constantly changing rules and regulations have been a nightmare for business owners who need to try and keep their staff knowledgeable and informed about the new regulations. This can be exceptionally hard to do when your employees are already busy trying to get on with their day to day tasks.

Microlearning has been so well received during the global pandemic because of its ability to speed up learning. If you have a new cleaning procedure which you need staff to follow you can simply send out a learning playlists under five minutes long and you know that it will be completed on the day or in the same week.

Most importantly, you know that the key information will be embedded in your employee’s mind so the chances of them forgetting your new procedure will be highly unlikely. The other benefit is that a microlearning platform is exceptionally quick to deploy. The pandemic has resulted in 94% of L&D professionals having to change their L&D strategy with their being a major and urgent swing to digital learning. Because of this quick turnaround, it’s been crucial to deploy a learning platform which is quick and easy to use. Microlearning requires minimal training because it is usually mobile-friendly and thus has to be exceptionally simple in it’s design. It’s quick, easy and prides itself on being effortless to pick up and use immediately.

If you are serious about strengthening employee knowledge and are struggling to build up a consistent training routine in these uncertain times then microlearning could be the answer to your prayers.


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