Microlearning – A Paradigm Shift In The Way We Learn

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I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~ Winston Churchill

Many of my friends and ex-colleagues usually dislike training. They dread entering the training room, the way they would dread entering a torture chamber. In most cases, Training is reduced to an exercise in futility and the prevailing emotion is “Let’s just get this over with!”

There are numerous reasons as to why this happens. In my previous job as an Insurance Sales trainer, I realized that one of the main reasons for people to hate training is that they think that it is simply not worth their time. Amidst today’s hectic schedules and tight deadlines, who has the time for training anyway?

Another very important reason is that most people have been through some very boring training, be it instructor-led or computer based. They have had to sit for long hours at a computer or in a training room and have been subjected to tons of information being dished out at them. No wonder they gradually start hating it.

Microlearning – Learning, not Training

I was reading a blog-post by Amit Garg on the Upside Learning blog which led me to agree that Microlearning is the future of workplace learning. This blog post was published way back in 2009, so I’ll include a quick summary.

Microlearning is best used as a part of a blended learning solution and is suitable for:

  • Activating knowledge before a classroom (or virtual classroom or even and eLearning session);
  • Summarizing (after one of those sessions – delivered soon after the session);
  • Recall (or reactivating knowledge – probably a week or two after the session. This ensures key concepts are revisited and helps in transferring the new knowledge to long term memory – especially for learners who may not get a chance to apply new knowledge immediately after the sessions);
  • Providing application opportunities (through pop quizzes or learning games on mobile);
  • Just-in-time search support by letting employees search in company’s knowledge databases (wikis, blogs, forums) using their mobiles.

By creating microlearning courses compatible with mobile devices, we can bring about a paradigm shift in the way we learn at the workplace.

Afterall, learning ain’t training.

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