Using Micro Learning in Employee Training

We all know how much I vehemently dislike buzzwords, right? Well, I have to say that I consider micro learning to be the epitome of petty buzzwords, for it to be such a defined concept like this. It does in fact actually mean something, I just think for what it is, it is way overhyped. But, what is it, and is it useful, even within the limited capacity I seem to be suggesting so staunchly?

Well, all micro learning is, is a pretentious term for small scale learning groups (or individuals) with very short term, simple learning goals. Basically, it’s like teaching a couple people a couple simple additional, more advanced features in software everyone’s generally used to.

This is the crux of why I think it’s a bit of a buzzword, because frankly, all it is, is a smallest unit of learning and grouping, of which all greater units would need to be built anyhow. So, I think the whole craze about this, with people thinking it’s some new homeopathic learning model like gamification or flipped classrooms is just crazy.

But, is this concept useful? Well, are atoms useful to you? Matter certainly is, and matter needs molecules, which need atoms. So, yeah, atoms are useful to you.

In a similar way, this concept is useful, because it is a small step unit of learning, and if you set big goals, they will break down to a series of these smaller units in some manner of ordering and level.

But, beyond that, well, if you’re not actively pursuing a learning and training project, but want to cultivate a constant learning mindset of perpetual growth, then harnessing these small step units of this idea to see to it that employees learn something new daily or weekly is a good philosophy to adopt. It keeps the mind sharp, and it gets them to appreciate the power earned from learning more.

You can gamify this and incentivize it, with rewards for learning something, such as points or just enjoyable, tangible rewards, that would be entirely up to you.

However, above all of this, it’s not really something that is changing anything, nor is it an alternative to anything else. It’s just a unit of progress for training and learning, plain and simple.

It is true that this concept is important, because no smaller units to break things down into would mean that a training project could never be completed, because the steps within a phase wouldn’t be unitized steps. That would of course be a severe problem, now wouldn’t it?

I can’t really impart any advice on this beyond that, unfortunately, because it’s not a technique, model or other such thing, it’s just a measurement and a study of phenomena laid out in said units.

So, hopefully I’ve demystified micro learning, and while it’s something that has a legit meaning, and it thus deserves a name, I still have to say it’s a buzzword, because people chase this thinking it’s something it isn’t. But, that happens all the time. Either way, now you know of an important component to learning and training that you should be aware of if you want to succeed.

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Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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