There are design strategies available to avoid the bookend bloat we discussed in Part 2, it’s not inevitable, but a focus on Seat Time alone ignores the under-leveraged benefits of Micro Learning: flexibility and digestibility.
The power of Micro Learning isn’t necessarily that it reduces Seat Time, but that by leveraging flexibility and digestibility it increases adoption of learning content and drives higher completion percentages than traditional eLearning models. No one felt they had time for your 30-minute lesson, but they feel confident they can complete a few 6-minute lessons here and there as business allows.
In this way, Micro Learning pivots your lessons from burdensome chores that distract from business to a welcome breather from the hectic day-to-day. This shift in mindset creates exponential benefits in satisfaction and retention throughout the lesson itself and might even leave your employees looking forward to their next learning break.
So how do learning teams unintentionally subvert this seemingly innate benefit of Micro Learning? Well first, they don’t correct for the first two pitfalls discussed in parts one and two, but then they don’t adjust their deployment model, messaging, and scheduling of training.
Consider a hypothetical scenario from the Learner’s point of view: a manager is informed that in order to support a new initiative, she’ll need to provide her staff 30 minutes to complete a series of trainings next week. She is to factor this into her scheduling and ensure that each associate has adequate time to complete the learning.
Through our deployment model we just turned our multiple Micro-Learning lessons into a 30-minute monolith in the minds of our Learners. Additionally, we also:
- Created a scheduling headache for management
- Removed the flexibility that is inherent to Micro Learning
- Set our learners up for inevitable fatigue as they take six lessons back to back.
We’ve lost Micro Learning’s innate flexibility by deploying our multiple Micro Learning lessons as a block and requiring completion in one sitting, but we’ve also negated the digestibility of Micro Learning as we’ve maintained the same cognitive load as our traditional 30-minute lesson would have carried. Worse still, unless your LMS has great UX to move Learners from one lesson to the next seamlessly, we’ve added additional time and friction in forcing the Learner to navigate the LMS 6 times over for no real benefit.
Takeaway: Don’t blow it on the last step. Micro Learning requires an implementation and deployment method that leverages its strengths. Consider deploying a smaller chunk of lessons each week and allowing associates to embrace the flexibility that Micro Learning brings by extending completion timeline targets. If your LMS doesn’t make this easy, take a look at ours.