Microlearning is the future of on-the-job training. The days of attending seminars and classes or of large group session training courses are over. The new way forward is small units of information consumed as needed by employees without interference in their normal daily workflow.
By 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be made up of millennials according to eLearning Industry, and that cohort of workers is defined by their short attention spans and addiction to technology. Some studies say the average millennial has an attention span as short as 90 seconds, others are even more pessimistic, placing it at just nine seconds. To expect a millennial worker to absorb information from a typical day or week-long training seminar is unreasonable and unfair, their minds just aren't set up to learn that way. This new breed of worker needs training that is designed to meet their specific needs and desires and microlearning is that.
Microlearning is accessible
Microlearning is designed to be consumed in quick short bursts at times that are most convenient to the learner according to Learning Solutions Magazine. It is also designed for devices that facilitate that kind of learning, such as tablets, mobile phones and laptop computers. The short bursts of information can easily be understood and digested in a brief period of time, which makes this type of learning perfect for the millennial generation.
Microlearning is engaging
The old model of a teacher explaining a topic while a class of students listens and takes notes to review later just doesn't work for a millennial audience. They need more engaging types of learning and microlearning provides just the thing. Modules are often set up in varied ways such as videos, games, simulations, quizzes, podcasts and many other modes of transmitting information. The different delivery styles help to keep learners with short attention spans engaged and involved in the training and help to make sure they retain the information presented.
"Millennials are the generation of Google and Wikipedia."
Microlearning is flexible
Millennials are the generation of Google and Wikipedia. They comprise the first generation that doesn't necessarily value having total recall of any specific topic because for them the ability to look up nearly anything is right at their fingertips thanks to their smartphones. Microlearning fits in perfectly with that type of learning. Instead of blanketing an employee with tons of information on their first day or in their first few weeks, a microlearning library can be set up to teach them as they have questions. As a worker finds they need to perform a task for their job, they can look up a microlearning module on how to perform just that specific task allowing them to build their skill set and continue to grow without much interruption to their workday and workflow, according to eLearning Industry. This allows a worker to learn a topic right when they need it the most and in so doing they are learning at a time when they will be most receptive to the new information which will increase retention.
The aim of any company must be to train its workers in the most efficient and best way possible. The newly arrived millennial generation has changed the way that traditionally worked, bringing short attention spans and a desire for engaging, interesting content that is available as needed. Microlearning meets those needs and is the way forward as on-the-job training advances into the future.