A lot has changed at the workplace in the past decade. Mobile devices have become ubiquitous. Connectivity has improved enough to make virtual teams commonplace. Employees are connected 24/7 through e-mail, social media, and messaging apps. As a result, the average attention span of the millennials in the workforce is at 90 secs. While the need for constant learning has never been higher, the time available for learning is fragmented and shrinking. What’s worse, traditional classroom and e-learning is just not effective anymore.
This is the paradox of our times – on the one hand, rapid technological advances are making job skills obsolete every 3-5 years, which makes re-skilling a top priority; on the other hand, information overload through devices and constant connectivity is reducing the average uninterrupted time available for meaningful learning.
The answer could be Micro-learning – delivering short, targeted, just-in-time learning bytes for easy assimilation and application. Some of the defining characteristics of micro-learning are:
- Content is designed as short outcome-focused learning units of 3-7 minutes.
- Each learning unit addresses a single learning objective and builds a micro-skill. Several of these micro-skills build up to a competence.
- Learning units are used for just-in-time learning, performance support, and reactivation of learning.
- Learning units are short, easily searchable and facilitate on-demand learning.
- Learning units are platform agnostic and optimized for mobile devices.
- Learning units may be available in multiple formats, including videos, podcasts, job aids/step lists, quick reference guides etc. However, video is the most popular format.
- Micro-learning is quick to develop and easy to update.