The Modern Learner
Recently, I came across an infographic by Deloitte which illustrates today`s modern learner in the workplace.
According to the study, today`s employees are distracted quickly, overwhelmed and busy meeting deadlines. They are faced with continuous interruptions during the day and need to build new skills quickly.
In fact, modern employees have only 1 percent of the work week to devote to training.
As you can see, learning professionals are faced with a lot of challenges when it comes to delivering effective training opportunities.
Especially, the culture of distraction makes it hard to keep learners focused. The article “Say it Quick, Say it Well – the Attention Span of a Modern Internet Consumer” by the Guardian states that today`s generation of internet consumers live in a world of “instant gratification and quick fixes”, which results in “a loss of patience and a lack of deep thinking.”
So how can learning professionals and organizations meet the needs of the modern learner?
Micro-Learning as the future of modern workplace training
Micro-Learning could provide a training solution that accomodates the modern learner. But what exactly is Micro-Learning?
The term Micro-Learning usually is associated with bite-sized learning units that can be consumed within a short amount of time. However, Micro-Learning is more than just short learning nuggets.
E.G. Margol defines Micro-Learning in the td at work edition (Issue 1701) Microlearning to boost the employee experience as “very focused, practical information to help them (learners) achieve a specific, actionable objective“. Furthermore, Micro-Learning means “just-in-time training that can be used whenever and wherever the learner needs it“.
Thus, in sum, Micro-Learning is:
- specific, i.e. focused on one specific learning objective
- accessible from a variety of devices (tablets, smartphones)
- just-in-time performance support
- on demand; learners can access the information when they need it
Advantages of Micro-Learning
Micro-Learning offers the opportunity to provide meaningful content to the learners that can be easily consumed. But there are a few more advantages:
Employees can schedule learning on their own time
With Micro-Learning, employees can learn whenever they want and do not need to attend seminars that last a whole day just to learn one particular thing they need to know. Micro-Learning is always available, whether it`s just before a meeting or on the go.
Employees are more motivated to learn
Completing short training segments provides immediate success and it is doable. Traditional training is often overwhelming. With Micro-Learning, the employee feels like he is progressing faster.
Learning is more effective
Short bursts of learning align better with how our brain functions. Micro-Learning mitigates cognitive overload and supports long-term retention
Faster Development and affordable
Micro-Learning assets are relatively easy and fast to develop and deploy compared to traditional e-Learning courses. Especially if you use pre-made templates for developing your assets.
Living in the digital world has transformed the way we want to consume knowledge. Micro-Learning could be an effective method to meet the challenges and needs of the modern learner and positively affect the employee experience.
Julia Reischert is an e-Learning designer based in Germany. She is the founder of simple-course.com and helps companies and learning organizations create engaging and visual appealing online courses.