Microlearning is a hot topic in training today, but like all methods, it can be misused. So, what are some mistakes that trainers make when deploying microlearning? We get the answers from Stephen J. Meyer, president and CEO of Rapid Learning® Institute (rapidlearninginstitute.com).
“By far the biggest mistake is deploying it as an event, not a process,” says Meyer. For example, “if you give learners access to [a] microlearning library and say, ‘Go utilize,’ they probably won’t.” When microlearning is deployed as a process rather than as an event, however, you have “a great opportunity to create a single-concept learning process, where through individual or even group coaching, you revisit a single learning concept repeatedly and help people move the needle on a single skill.”
It also is important to hold managers accountable for making training stick, Meyer says. “More and more HR and learning professionals are seeing ‘learning embedded in the work’ as the key to creating a successful learning culture. Microlearning enables that in a way that legacy models never could. So there’s an opportunity to do something revolutionary,” he says.
For example, think about what a sales manager would have to do to make learning stick for a 2-day classroom-style sales training course, Meyer says. The sales manager would “have to attend the session and listen very carefully. Take copious notes. Return to the office and review those notes. Prepare for and conduct group refresher meetings. Then follow up individually with each person to make sure the learning is being deployed correctly. Few managers have the discipline to follow up, and we all know that learning without follow-up doesn’t stick.”
With microlearning, it is easier for managers to make learning stick, Meyer says. Using the example above, the sales manager can “deploy a library of single-concept learning modules as coaching tools. When a rep is struggling with a tactical selling skill … [the manager can] introduce the concept in a 15-minute, one-on-one coaching session” or “do the same with an entire team in a group coaching session.” Then, the sales manager can “revisit the learning once or twice more in the coming days or weeks.”