Ideas for employee learning and development

The Growing Case for Microlearning

Posted by Kerry Williams on Jan 11, 2018 9:38:25 AM
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Microlearning may be the buzzword of today but it’s not a new concept. We’ve been hearing about microlearning for quite some time but it has attracted a lot more attention in recent years and continues to increase in popularity. In fact, over the past few years we’ve consistently seen it in top training and development trends.

Why has it become so popular?

The growing trend in microlearning is, in part, due to the growing number of millennials entering the workforce. The concept of micr

olearning almost seems like it was specifically designed for this generation. Yet, millennials have gotten a bad reputation for being lazy, entitled individuals who need instant gratification and have a short attention span, spend all day on social media, and don’t effectively contribute to growing a successful organization.

Ouch! That seems a bit harsh, don’t you think?

From my experiences, this stereotype emphasizes the negative while overlooking the positive. We’re all aware of the statistics on shorter attention spans but is this really a bad thing? With an open mind, short attention spans could be seen as a positive characteristic and may be part of the reason why many millennials are multi-taskers, self-learners and resourceful. Combined with how comfortable they are with technology, these digital natives have shown they are just as dedicated to adding value to the workplace as any generation before them.

Shorter attention spans

But I digress. Getting back to short attention spans, the constant exposure to a continuous flow of information at one’s fingertips is often credited as the main contributor to this trend. A 2015 Microsoft study discovered the average person’s attention span is 8 seconds. Today, we are hearing 6 seconds. This is all the more reason why microlearning has become so popular - its condensed length provides minimal distractions for training.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s predicted that millennials will make up approximately 45 percent of the workforce by 2024. This will soon put pressure on organizations to make relevant accommodations for employees who grew up with fast-paced change and instantaneous exchange of information. Savvy organizations are already doing so in an effort to stay ahead of the competition.

Microlearning delivers training in a manner that keeps our most tech-savvy generation engaged using technology they are comfortable with. By understanding how millennials prefer to learn, we can ensure their continued desire for ongoing, life-long learning that engages and motivates this generation. Read more for some best practices on making microlearning more engaging.

Topics: learning, HRtech, microlearning, learning design, eLearning, millennials, micro learning