Using Microlearning to Deploy Competency-Based Training

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HR teams globally are on a tight-rope walk when they recruit new employees. They must find candidates with the right skills and ensure that they are able to meet budget constraints. They also must ensure that the new recruits are competent enough to perform in the job that they are hired for. Often we observe employees, both fresh graduates and experienced professionals, taking time to acclimatize to a new job or workplace. When there is the added pressure of learning a new skill or updating existing skills, the onus is on the L&D team to use the right strategy and format to help employees acquire them with ease. This blog post examines the opportunities offered by microlearning as an appropriate strategy to deploy competency-based training to help improve the skills of your workforce.

Using microlearning to deploy competency-based training

What is Competency-Based Training?

Competency-based training is a popular way to train fresh graduates or upskill experienced employees looking to transition into a new role or familiarize themselves with a new technology solution. Competency-based training can be tailored or customized as per the existing skills of the learner. Letting employees learn on the job, conducting guided learning sessions on using new software, interactive assessments, and video-based training are some ways to deploy competency-based training at your workplace.

Competency-Based Training – How is it Different?

Competency-based training or CBT differs from other forms of training in the following ways:

  • It addresses a learner’s specific skill-gap    
  • The onus is on the employee or learner to ensure that they complete the course     
  • It is performance-based and allows employees to try out the skills that they learn    
  • It helps an organization to grow its training capacity    
  • An internally designed CBT can help the organization save on costs and offer appropriate training to the relevant employee.
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Click here to learn more about the aspects that make competency-based training different from other training formats.

Using Competency-Based Training to Meet Specific Learning Outcomes

CBT can be used to meet specific learning outcomes. Some examples are:

  • Learning a new language like Japanese or Arabic for business conversations    
  • Learning a new programming language and using it to code    
  • Learning how to drive a car or to cook.

At the workplace, some examples for competency-based training are:

  • Learning to use an email scheduling software    
  • Learning how to use a CRM tool to capture and store relevant data    
  • Learning how to prepare work-status or project-status reports    
  • Learning how to use software like Photoshop or FIGMA for design    
  • Learning business and office etiquette to function as a professional employee.

Using Microlearning to Deliver Competency-Based Training

Microlearning can work as an effective solution to deliver CBT at the workplace. Some of the factors that work in its favor are:

  • Easy to design and deploy    
  • Boosts learner engagement and improves retention of learning    
  • Works well on different devices or learning delivery platforms    
  • Can be accessed by learners at their convenience    
  • Allows for quick updates to help revise the content based on learner-feedback    
  • Addresses the problem of attention deficit by the virtue of its brief duration    
  • Used in tandem with spaced learning to trigger information nuggets at regular intervals    
  • Works as the ideal solution to solve the challenge of the “Forgetting Curve
  • Can be the ideal way to convert ILT into self-paced microlearning CBT courses    
  • The ideal solution when the turnaround time for training is less    
  • Helps new employees get trained quickly, so that they can start working on actual projects    
  • Fosters “learning on the job” and helps learners correct their mistakes and work efficiently.
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Microlearning in the Flow of Work

Using microlearning in the flow of work helps tackle several challenges. It offers an immediate learning solution to train employees. It helps learners from different teams to collaborate and network when they are learning a new common skill.

They can also challenge each other to complete learning tasks and assessments built into the learning program. Workflow learning or learning in the flow of work also allows managers to assess the performance of employees and verify if they can put the recently acquired skills to good use. By tying up microlearning-based CBT programs with proper learning outcomes or expected improvement in performance at work; organizations and L&D teams can understand if they are on the right track with their training plans; and if the curriculum needs to be updated. This article by Pamela Hogle offers more insights into learning in the flow of work.

Microlearning for Pre-Determined Competencies

Every employee is expected to perform some specific tasks. Candidates are hired based on their skills or in the belief that they have a curious mind and an aptitude for learning, which will help them acquire new skills quickly. Leading technology firms invest heavily in training young graduates and the training is aligned in such a way that they help young employees meet specific predetermined competencies to help them work and perform better.

Using microlearning to design such CBT programs helps firms save on cost, effort, and money. Additionally, it helps them update the curriculum and customize it, as they are able to gauge the progress of their employees. This flexibility to update or modify the learning content is one of the biggest advantages of using microlearning to design and deliver CBT programs. It also gives HR the chance to analyze and figure out which employee meets the predetermined competencies as per plan and who needs additional training. This blog post offers insights on developing better and effective microlearning.

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Sample of Competency or Skill-Based Learning

Microlearning also allows L&D teams to design skill-based learning or competency-based training programs in different and attractive ways to hold the attention of the learners and engage them with ease. A thoughtfully designed CBT program should present to the learners the key goals or learning outcomes and allow them to pick a course that best matches their training needs. The sequence of images below demonstrates how Origin Learning designed a CBT for a client and deployed it on our proprietary, award-winning platform Fractal LXP.

Using Microlearning to Deploy Competency-Based Training

Based on their current role, learners can select a relevant microlearning program from a list of recommendations that are mapped to their learning and professional goals. Microlearning is not just restricted to brief explainers or animated videos. It can be customized and designed to work as an interactive assessment or a milestone-based game wherein the learner answers questions, acquires new information, and is able to collect points that all lead to the completion of the course.

Organizations are trying different ways to deploy CBT programs in their organization. As detailed here, microlearning is one effective way or strategy to deploy CBT in an organization. A skilled and empowered workforce will work towards fulfilling the company’s business and organizational goals.

To learn about the role-based training paradigm, and how it delivers outcomes for all stakeholders, this article here is resourceful.  

Additionally, hear from Shanmugam K., VP Technology at Origin Learning, as he shares his expertise on “What is, and Why role-based training? How does Fractal LXP deliver?”

To learn how microlearning can be effectively deployed for competency-based training that suits your organization’s needs, write to


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