4 Common Myths About Microlearning

Hector Correa published a book in 1963, titled The Economics of Human Resources. It attempted to correlate subjects as diverse as sociology, demography, psychology, nutrition, health, and educational sciences. This is considered to be one of the first few attempts at introducing microlearning, as a concept.

Fast forward to the 90s – the internet revolution spread far and wide, turning microlearning into a living, growing creature. Organisations began to digitise learning, stream webinars and panel discussions. This trend was soon followed by mobile applications, that could easily be carried everywhere using personal devices. And In the last decade or so, a large number of microlearning platforms have become available, making learning and training more accessible and easier to digest.

However, the flip side of this growth is the number of myths that have also become prevalent about microlearning. And, it’s time to out these to rest, once and for all.

1. Microlearning means breaking up learning content into smaller parts

Breaking up the learning curriculum of an organization into smaller modules does not result in microlearning. Rather, each microsized learning module needs to cover one complete aspect, independently. Let’s consider negotiation skills, for example.

A training module for negotiation usually comprises of a two-day sales induction program. This is usually divided into theoretical models, training videos, and even some role-playing exercises. What microlearning does is change the instructional design to a bite-sized self-paced offering available for your team on their personal devices. Thus, the key to an effective microlearning module is to not break down the lesson, but rather to make the experience quality rich. It involves simplifying the content and eliminating any unnecessary elements from the overall learning experience.

2. Microlearning only works online

It is common to see microlearning platforms be accessed through a smartphone. This simple phenomenon has lead to the false impression that internet is a prerequisite for the learner journey. But, that’s simply not true. Microlearning modules can also be downloaded for offline access. However, you need to keep in mind that this not an optimal solution, as they may eat up the available storage space. But, the option allows for organisations to enable more impactful learning, even for team members who might not have routine access to the internet.

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3. Microlearning is Uni-dimensional

Nothing could be further from the truth. Microlearning does not only mean a smartphone app with bite sized learning sessions. Rather, microlearning is an umbrella term that covers an impressive array of tools and methodologies. Here’s a run down of some of the most popular microlearning tools available for organisations to use from –

  • Presentations
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Games
  • Infographics
  • Quizzes
  • Customized role plays

Microlearning is a passing fad

The pandemic has made virtual reality, the New way of life. And, microlearning happens to be a key piece of the virtual puzzle that is the current L&D landscape. It is not something that will go away once things are back to the ‘old normal’. Mainly because there is no going back to the ‘old normal.’ Like it or not, but the organisational world has changed. And even with the restrictions on movement easing out slowly, the L&D landscape will look very different from what it was just two years ago.

And that’s the main reason why learning and development leaders across the board need to adapt their learning strategies. In order for you to ensure the best possible learning opportunities for your team, you need to take a hard look at your current structure. Investing time and efforts towards building robust learning practices will yield results in the long run.

Parting thoughts

Winston Churchill once said,

“Personally, I am always ready to learn; although I don’t always like being taught”.

This statement mirrors the training needs of the future. Digital tools like microlearning are not only impactful, but are here to stay. And, it is indeed advisable to hop on the wagon early on.

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