5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Do Microlearning

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Microlearning benefits and drawbacks. Reasons why you may not want to adopt microlearning despite the hype

Despite the hype about microlearning, is there really any ‘there’ there? Let’s consider, then, some reasons why you might not want to do microlearning. Take this guidance, let us add, with the proverbial grain of salt.

1. You want to keep throwing courses at everything

Let’s face it; you do what you do and you do it well. You know how to mount a training course that people will rate highly at the end. Further, you know how to take PowerPoint decks and PDF documents, and put them up on the web with a quiz that people will pass. You’ve got a staff that can execute, and a management that has faith that what you’re doing is valuable.

Why would you want to upset the status quo? Taking advantage of microlearning means getting out of your comfort zone; you’d have to do something different! The spaced learning approach risks making visible the lack of effect your existing approaches provide. Worse, the stretch to the performance support version would add additional responsibility to your organization. Let’s not get silly here.

2. You don’t want more efficient outcomes

Sure, microlearning may seem like the latest bandwagon to jump on, but wait. Developing resources that actually help people in the moment might reduce the demand for courses, and that might reduce your budget. It’s also out of your comfort zone.

Worse, the improvement might catalyze a greater interest in outcomes. Folks might actually get interested in improving performance, not just attending courses. Who knows where that might lead? It could mean having to do deeper analyses to find out the causes and align support to the need. That’s clearly unsustainable.

3. You don’t want more effective learning

Why would we want to take on that spaced learning? Our courses work because we follow proper approaches. Breaking them up appropriately sounds complex, and would upset our existing design processes. We’re really very comfortable doing what we do, and learning to do new things seems contrary to our charter as the agency for learning in the organization.

Moreover, if it’s successful, it might mean we have to change what we do. If the learning sticks better, folks could want more. Then we’d have to change not only our design but our approach to work in general. We might have to rearrange our priorities to work on the most pressing organizational imperatives, instead of just what people bring to us.

4. You would rather chase the shiny object

As long as we’re spending money, why would we spend it on something as mundane as performance support or ‘drip’ learning? There’re so many more intriguing applications. The latest bandwagons such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality are far sexier.

If we’re to be seen doing something, let’s do something that uses impressive (and expensive) new technology. We could bolster our budget this way! We’re not going to get executive attention generating cost-effective results, we need to be seen to be engaged with something exciting.

5. You don’t want to rock the boat

Trying new things is disruptive. It raises our profile, and there’s a potential risk. Why would you want to take the chance? If you experiment with something new, that could set a dangerous trend. What if every business unit started trying to improve things? That much bottom-up change could threaten the executives.

It’s better to play it safe. Don’t check to see if new approaches bring better benefits. What’s working now is working well enough. People like what we do, and no one complains too loudly (except about compliance). Folks are used to what we do, so let’s not cause any trouble.

So, there you have it, five reasons you can avoid microlearning. Why take chances? Play it safe. (Or not!)

Microlearning has the potential to improve learning outcomes, boost performance and increase productivity. But many organizations are still unsure how to implement it effectively.

Our eBook, ‘Microlearning: It’s Not What You Think It Is’, provides a step-by-step guide for planning and executing a successful microlearning strategy.

To learn more about the full potential of microlearning, download our eBook ‘Microlearning: It’s Not What You Think It Is’. Let us know if you found it useful and if you would like a detailed chat on microlearning with me or our team of experts, reach out to elearning@upsidelearning.com.

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