Microlearning – It’s still learning!

Microlearning – It’s still learning! | HRDQ-U Blog
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Welcome to the world of microlearning, where the quest for knowledge meets the demands of the modern workplace. When you first delve into the topic of “what is microlearning” you’ll likely encounter many definitions and interpretations. Some view it as bite-sized content, while others see it as a powerful tool for achieving specific outcomes. In this blog, we’ll navigate through the diverse landscape of microlearning and explore its transformative potential in the realm of employee development. So, if you’ve ever wondered what is microlearning – you’re about to find out.

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The many faces of microlearning

When you search “what is microlearning,” you’ll quickly realize that there are various definitions and perspectives on this innovative approach to learning and development. According to the E-Learning Industry, microlearning “could either be small learning units or short-term learning activities.” Meanwhile, thought leader Shannon Tipton describes micro-learning as “short bursts of focused ‘right-sized’ content to help people achieve a specific outcome.” However, my inclination aligns more closely with Ray Jimenez’s perspective, which emphasizes the significance of achieving tangible work results and concentrating on aiding workers in resolving, improving, and streamlining their work-related challenges. Microlearning is a valuable tool for providing immediate support to individuals precisely when and where they need it the most.

Beyond videos and modules

When we think of microlearning, it often conjures images of brief videos and small e-learning modules. However, it’s essential to recognize that the ultimate goal is to bolster job performance. To truly harness the potential of microlearning, we must identify the obstacles and challenges that individuals encounter in their work. This entails scrutinizing internal audit reports, analyzing operational performance metrics, and directly engaging with those actively involved in the work to pinpoint productivity barriers. Once these impediments are identified, the next step is to deliver solutions through the most suitable channels, whether it’s via mobile devices, augmented reality applications, or even job aids that can be easily referenced in the workplace.

Microlearning in action

At its core, microlearning is about seamlessly integrating learning into the daily workflow. It’s a strategic approach that harmoniously merges training content, performance support, coaching, and community connections with knowledgeable experts who can guide individuals toward the solutions they require. Ultimately, this means that users can apply newfound knowledge immediately and have the capability to retrieve it whenever the same task or process needs to be executed.

Empowering independent learning

In essence, microlearning is all about embedding actionable learning directly into the flow of work. We must actively participate in this process because, in the modern world, individuals seeking answers to immediate problems will not necessarily halt their work to enroll in a traditional class. When a challenge arises, people are inclined to search for solutions independently. As advocates of their success, it’s our role to empower them to learn organically without them even realizing they’re engaged in a learning process. Microlearning can play a crucial role in achieving prompt solutions. It’s about providing the answers they need right here, right now! So, let’s champion their success by seamlessly integrating microlearning into their everyday work routines.

Ultimately, what is microlearning?

In conclusion, what is microlearning? It is not just about compact videos and e-learning modules; it’s a dynamic strategy for enhancing job performance. By identifying and addressing real workplace challenges, seamlessly integrating learning into daily workflows, and empowering individuals to find solutions independently, microlearning becomes a catalyst for continuous improvement and success. So, as we embrace this paradigm shift in learning and development, let’s champion the cause of making knowledge accessible when and where it’s needed most. Microlearning isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a gateway to achieving excellence in the modern workplace.

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William J. Ryan, Ph.D.

William J. Ryan, Ph.D., is the Principal Consultant with Ryan Consulting, LLC, using learning as a strategic business tool to develop and impact people to improve retention, engagement, and performance. Bill has a demonstrated record of corporate and industrial management experience leading performance support and instructional design teams globally.

For more information, please contact him via email at wjryan@ix.netcom.com.

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