Our contemporary digital world is a constant bombardment of short-form content, as entertainment or information, this has robbed learners of longer attention spans. A study by Alorica finds that, by 2025, the workforce will comprise 75% of millennials with an average attention span of approximately 90 seconds.
Shortening attention spans leave employees struggling to engage with long-form content necessary for the advancement of their product knowledge, sales skills, and careers. Poor product knowledge can lead to reduced productivity that can ultimately put a larger burden on both employees and the organization. Employees of today often feel overburdened with targets and under-supported with training intervention. Product training can leverage microlearning to remedy this challenge. In this blog post, we explore a few important tips that can make your microlearning strategy successful.
Table of Contents
Know your audience
Building a profile of your intended audience should be the first step in creating effective product training, this holds especially true in the case of microlearning modules. To build product knowledge, your microlearning content should cut through the noise and make a lasting impression, through better retention and improved course completion. Understanding your target audience involves ascertaining their current skill level and their knowledge gaps. This step also helps make sense of different learning styles which further dictates the type of microlearning content to be delivered. Training is transforming from “courses to resources”, deploying content in different formats to ensure that there is something for everyone. While some learning styles absorb video content, others may prefer an “audio-only” form of content. This can ensure that your content does not sit unused, which as some surveys indicate, is the plight of 50-60% of training content.
Start with specific microlearning challenges
The length of a microlearning module is typically between 3-5 minutes. Choosing a precise and focused learning objective makes the module more effective at driving the desired outcome. It is important to not lose sight of the context within which the module is fitted. In the case of a product training exercise, if the objective is to leverage a particular feature of your product, set the context and make it clear what advantage the feature provides to the particular type of user. Setting clear contexts can maximize the learners’ perceived value of the training, and ultimately the overall level of engagement.
For example, when creating a training module for sales enablement, ensure that the sales executives can view the product (or a specific feature) through the eyes of a potential customer. This creates an opportunity for empathy, which is the foundation of a good sales pitch.
Identify the moment of need
Thought leaders Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson, in their ‘Moment of Need’ model provide five specific situations to learn. The ‘Moments of Need’ model is a useful tool in corporate product training strategy to create microlearning modules.
Effectively, there are five Moments of Need that can be addressed with microlearning:
- Learning for the first time: creating modules to fit first-time learners with no prior knowledge of the product.
- Learning additional information: creating modules that provide advanced information about the product.
- Remembering and/or application of learning: modules to reinforce learning and applications of knowledge or features.
- Learning when things go wrong: modules that address faulty behavior
- Learning when things change: modules that disseminate updated information about the product or its features.
Add elements of interactivity
Interactions help learners to engage more readily and focus more on the content. Considering the typical length of a microlearning module, there aren’t vast opportunities for interactions as opposed to a longer program. However, even a short and specific learning module can have micro-interactions that remove a sense of passivity on the learner’s part. Examples of micro-interactions are the “heart” button on Twitter or “react” buttons on Facebook. Similarly, if one objective is completed in your microlearning module, learners can tick a box or move it away by swiping. These simple interactions can go a long way in improving the engagement rate with your microlearning modules.
Gamified elements in microlearning modules can supercharge product training. Often, there is a clear rise in the competency of users in maximizing product features. This competency can be rewarded with milestones and achievements. Consider awarding scores, badges, and other rewards to learners when they complete a training objective. Peer-to-peer incentives and leaderboards are also effective.
Incorporate practice through spaced repetition
Low Learning recall is one of the most important challenges faced by many learners. The superior advantage of implementing microlearning shines through in light of this challenge. Cognitive research has consistently shown that for many types of learning, spaced training, which means repeated long intervals between training sessions, leads to more robust learning, memory formation, and knowledge retention. Research shows learning between intervals that are too short can also be disadvantageous.
To maximize learning recall, spread out training modules to recur over a few weeks. Testing through assessments is an effective way to ascertain product knowledge competency and reinforce learning.
The effectiveness of microlearning stems from the fact that it resonates with learners because it makes content easy to be consumed on the go. Sales executives in the field, for example, can learn anywhere and in their preferred format, to achieve specific product knowledge. Consequently, microlearning is seen as a quick and hands-on learning method.
Together, the six tips for creating microlearning will get employees into the habit of learning all the time. Are you excited to see how microlearning can aid your product training and sales enablement goals? Sign up for a demo with Origin Learning here to learn more.