Microlearning Techniques: What You Need To Know About Microlearning

What is microlearning and what are its critical components? Is the microlearning approach right for your organization? And, finally, how can you develop a successful microlearning strategy? Read on to find out.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 Examples of How To Use Mobile Learning In Retail To Maximize Your Training Impact

Ways To Use Mobile Learning In Retail Industry And Face Challenges In Employees Skill Development

Skill development in retail industry is challenging. The key challenge is the rapidly changing product offerings and a pressing need to offer “just-in-time” training to the employees. There is the challenge of high employee turn-over and the need for new employees to be trained very quickly to meet the targets.

Employees often work under pressure of stiff targets and deadlines. They need learning solutions that are easily accessible and available precisely at the moment of their need.

While certain training needs can be met through classroom or Instructor-Led trainings, mLearning (or mobile learning) is the most efficient and effective way to mitigate these challenges.

What Is mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) And What Is Pushing Its Adoption?

Just look at the way mobile devices are an integral part of our life today, and it comes as no surprise that learning on these devices is a natural extension.

mLearning is an extension of the traditional eLearning and features training that is available to the learners on devices of their choice (read: tablets and smartphones). These solutions are designed for multi-device support and run seamlessly on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

The push for mobile learning is coming from the learners, primarily on account of the following aspects:

  • Change in learner profiles.
    Globally, the workforce has an increasing number of Millennials. As digital natives, this generation is addicted to using mobile devices.
  • Learners’ view on how they want to learn.
    The training deployment is no more limited by the way L&D teams want learners to go through it. Instead, learners ask for learning at their moment of need. The push for “just-in-time” learning aids that are available on learners’ mobile devices is very high.
  • Learning device of learner’s choice.
    Rather than be told how to consume training, today’s learners want the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice.

Not convinced? Take a look at these statistics (and plenty more that aren’t stated here) which clearly indicate the need to integrate mobile learning in your learning strategy:

  • Come 2018, 7 out of 10 professionals would be working on the go, using their personal smartphones.
  • A whopping 60% of employees feel mobile devices are their “most critical work device”.
  • Almost all the workers surveyed admitted to completing the training in mobile format.
  • Close to 47% organizations across the world have already adopted mobile learning solutions to train their workforce.

How Can mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) Help Increase The Impact Of Workforce Training In Retail?

Mobile learning is an effective approach in achieving the training goals with quality and efficiency.

Furthermore, mLearning delivered in microlearning format is probably the ideal approach to adopt, as it provides learning available to the employees on the floor, in short, bite-sized format that are easy to review, internalize, and apply.

How Can You Use mLearning (Or Mobile Learning) To Design Training Programs That Map To Retail Industry Dynamics?

mLearning is primarily known for the flexibility it offers to learners, in being able to access the training on the go, at the precise time when they need it. In addition, presenting information in a format that learners can easily understand, internalize, and apply on the job is crucial to further enhancing the value of training to both, the learners as well as the organization. Employee performance improvement is directly connected to:

  1. Easy access to the training (at the time of need).
  2. Presenting the training in an engaging format that is easy to relate to, learn, and apply in these 2 ways:
  • Using strategies that increase the learnability (or learning effectiveness) of the training.
  • Using strategies that reinforce primary training and help learners apply the learning on the job.

Once all these aspects are in place, the learning would not be acquired quickly but would be internalized for effective on-the-job application. It would be highly beneficial for the learners and will bring the required impact the business seeks.

If we look at retail industry dynamics, the need for flexibility in learning and being able to learn on the move (including within work premises) are critical factors that make mobile learning the ideal training delivery format.

You can use mLearning or mobile learning to train employees in retail industry through the following 3 approaches:

  1. For formal training.
    Do not limit your approach to traditional, structured training delivery formats. Take a step further and offer the learners flexibility through learning paths. Instead of holding discrete sessions, foster a culture that promotes learning as a continuum. This would encourage the learners to invest on learning over an extended period of time, be abreast of the latest updates, and apply the learning to attain a demonstrable gain. You can also evaluate learning portals that integrate microlearning, mobile apps, gamification, and social learning elements to double the impact of formal training.
  2. As Performance Support Tools (PSTs).
    Offering job aids (or just-in-time learning aids) for learners’ access within their workflow is a great way to trigger the desired behavioral change. You can also use PSTs to engage the learners post the formal training and facilitate reinforcement of learning.
  3. To digitize ILT.
    Blending mLearning components with the traditional ILT training format is another effective means to achieving the impact you seek. This can include pre-workshop collaterals, and/or simulations, exercises, and role-plays in the workshop, and workshop assessments. This approach lets you establish and maintain strong relations between the learners as well as between learners and instructors to provide learning nuggets post the workshop. The combination of all these elements is bound to have a direct and lasting impact on learning and application and will help you bring about the desired behavioral change in learners.

At EI Design, we have been crafting mobile learning solutions for the retail industry for over 4 years now. Let me showcase a few examples on how we have used mobile learning for formal training and as Performance Support Tools.

Our retail training solutions have been designed for the following learner profiles:

  • Store management team.
  • Store staff, including sales representatives.
  • Customer care team.
  • Sales team.

The range of our solutions cover:

  1. Induction and onboarding.
  2. Compliance training.
  3. Sales training.
  4. Specific training programs to promote key campaigns.

Here are examples that demonstrate how you can use mobile learning to mitigate training challenges in retail and create high-impact training programs that meet the training mandates.

Example 1: Induction cum Compliance Program For Apparel Retail Employees, Integrating Gamification Elements And Supplemented By Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

The course was a learning journey through 6 interactive eLearning courses, supplemented with Performance Support Tools (PSTs) in the form of interactive PDFs that promoted deep, exploratory learning in all (new and existing) employees.

For immersive learning, each module contained interactive content and a key challenge the learners must complete before moving to the next module. It also included gamification elements like points, challenges, and levels for an engaging experience and for motivating the leaners to learn effectively.

EI Design - Induction cum Compliance program for Apparel Retail employees

Example 2: Gamified Product Training For Cosmetics Retail Employees

This standard product training was converted into a highly interactive, gamified solution to make the learning sticky and experiential. Featuring multi-device compatibility, the complete learning journey was divided into two sections – learn and practice. Learners were given store-like experiences to learn the key aspects of the products and then put in customer situations to handle queries.

To make the course motivating and challenging, the exercises and activities were time based and offered bonus points for finishing the course in lesser time. Upon completing each topic, learners would earn a star, which let them advance to the next level (topic) and finally become a star salesman.

EI Design - Gamified Product Training for Cosmetics Retail employees

Example 3: Induction Program For An eCommerce Fashion Company – Designed Using Millennial-Centric Strategies

This course was designed to train new joiners within an eCommerce fashion company to get them acquainted about the company, its business drivers, and leadership competencies. Since the audience was predominantly Millennials, we used a colorful and responsive user experience, with a fashion theme to match the organization’s primary mission – to “democratize fashion”.

The course comprised three modules that could be taken independently, though they were tied together by a visual menu that depicted a journey through a gallery, a retail space, and an office. At the end of each module, learners were given a fun game that let them check their understanding of the topics covered.

EI Design - Induction program for an eCommerce Fashion company

Example 4: Retailer Engagement Platform For Product Training – Featuring Gamification And Social Learning Elements

This course was designed as a retailer engagement platform that engaged trade partners. It was a meaningful learning journey on products and categories to engage and motivate retailers to come back to it and even share it with peers.

The content of the course was transformed into a gamified learning journey across various product facilities worldwide, and it was called the “Open Tour”. It included real stories from existing content delivered through animations and videos and through stories built and shared by users. Gamification and social learning elements were embedded to promote active collaboration with peers in social media and to impart a sense of social recognition as users earned rewards and feedbacks for activities they performed.

EI Design - Retailer engagement platform for Product Training

Example 5: Interactive Food Safety Compliance Course For Food Retail Employees

This course was designed to spread awareness of the best practices in food safety for a large food retail entity. It used rich, vibrant visuals, interactivities wherever relevant, and animations for processes related to food safety and compliance procedures, to make the training lively and engaging. Questions and activities were used at strategic intervals to test the learners’ understanding of the key processes and best practices.

EI Design - Interactive Food Safety Compliance course for Food Retail

I hope this article gives you insights on how to use mobile learning (with microlearning, social learning, and gamification elements) to create highly effective training programs for employees in the retail industry. If you have further queries or need any specific support, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/5-examples-use-mobile-learning-retail-maximize-training-impact/

4 Ways Microlearning Improves Compliance Training

One major hurdle organizations face with compliance training programs is lack of interest from learners. To counter this challenge, put microlearning to use. Read on to know how microlearning can boost compliance training.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How To Use Microlearning To Promote Informal Learning At The Workplace

Informal Learning At The Workplace: How To Foster It Using Microlearning

As we know, formal learning is structured, training developed, and deployed by Learning and Development (L&D) teams. It features:

  • Fully online training (eLearning or mLearning).
  • Facilitated training, that is, Instructor-Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT).
  • Blended training (featuring a combination of both, online training as well as facilitated training).

Typically, the control in these rollouts is with L&D teams on how they will be made available to the learners, and over what period of time they should be consumed. L&D teams also determine how learner performance should be tracked.

In contrast, informal learning is driven by the learner’s passion and motivation to learn and grow.

What Is Informal Learning?

Informal learning is learner-centric, triggered by the learner’s motivation. It provides control to the learners to choose the learning content (from various sources), based on their interest, preferences, and relevance. These can be consumed at the learner’s pace.

It is worthwhile to note here that successful use of informal learning rests on the learners. Typically, a learner who invests in informal learning is an individual who is goal-oriented, and is always on the lookout to explore, experiment, and learn.

  • Unlike formal learning, informal learning does not follow any set methodology.
  • Informal learning not only happens from structured content or programs, but also during the day as leaners interact with colleagues and seniors at (or even outside) work.
  • As mentioned earlier, informal learning is typically spontaneous, and is triggered whenever the learner encounters something that tickles their curiosity and is relevant to their personal or professional interests.
  • Informal learning rewards the learners with a sense of satisfaction by addressing and acknowledging their curiosity, subsequently expanding their knowledge base, helping them learn a new technique, or sharpen a set of skills they currently possess.

What Is The 70:20:10 Model For Learning And Development, And Where Does Informal Learning Fit In This Model?

The 70:20:10 model for Learning and Development is a commonly used approach to enhance the effectiveness of training. It is used globally to create successful learning ecosystems that boost employee performance and help create more value for business.

As per this model:

  1. 70% of the learning is experiential and happens on the job.
  2. 20% is through social or collaborative learning, that is, learning with or from others.
  3. The remaining 10% learning is delivered through formal training programs.

Undoubtedly,

  • Informal learning constitutes to the major chunk of learning that happens through the first two ways.
  • Furthermore, since informal learning is self-driven, it can be used to support formal learning, in particular, eLearning.

How Can Informal Learning Find Its Place In And Benefit Your eLearning Programs?

You can promote informal learning at your workplace by blending components of informal learning with eLearning. In this exercise, you are leveraging learner motivation to enhance the impact of your formal training (that is, eLearning, facilitated or blended training).

Here are some ways to meet this mandate:

  1. Use informal learning to prep the learners for the formal online training or ILT sessions.
  2. Use it post the formal training to help reconnect and reinforce the learning.
  3. Organize and conduct group discussions (peer-to-peer or peers-to-seniors), as part of the formal training schedule.
  4. Conduct design thinking workshops to encourage on-the-job-application.
  5. Include coaching, mentoring, or incidental support as part of your formal training.
  6. Promote collaborative and social learning using the collaboration features of your LMS and facilitating online discussions, and content curation.

This way, you can use informal learning to support your online training, or ILT sessions, as well. This will work to boost learner engagement and motivation levels, and thereby double the impact of your formal training.

How Can You Use Microlearning To Promote Informal Learning At Workplace?

If you look at the possible ways you can leverage on informal learning for eLearning programs, the first 2 aspects map to using microlearning.

Essentially, microlearning nuggets can be used to supplement and add value to both, online training or facilitated sessions, as follows:

  • For pre-learning or prepping for online training or ILT sessions.
  • For reconnecting and reinforcing learning (post online training or ILT sessions).

I have selected 6 different microlearning formats that you can use to enhance learning.

All these formats:

  • Are short and aligned to meet a specific learning outcome.
  • Feature multi-device support (work seamlessly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones).
  • Can be used to support ILT/online training.
  • Can be used to prep or reinforce formal training.

My selection includes the following 6 formats to deliver microlearning-based support for informal learning at workplace:

  1. Interactive PDFs.
  2. eBooks.
  3. Explainer videos.
  4. Whiteboard animations.
  5. Kinetic text animations.
  6. Branching scenario-based simulations.

Let’s look at each option, and see how to use microlearning to promote informal learning at your workplace.

Option 1: Pre-ILT Workshop/Prep For The Online Training

Format 1 – Interactive PDFs

You can structure reams of data into a well-structured interactive PDF format that enables the learner to quickly browse through lengthy information in seconds.

  • These formats offer interactions and layering of information that is similar to eLearning or mLearning courses.
  • They can be developed quickly, updated easily, and can pack a lot of data in a single document.
  • You can also embed audio/video links to make the learning experience more interesting and engaging.

Interactive PDF Sample 1 - EI Design

Interactive PDF Sample 2 - EI Design

Format 2 – eBooks

Like Interactive PDFs, eBook formats also enable you to share lengthy information in bite-sized chunks. However, eBooks don’t offer interactivities and have a linear flow and structure. eBooks are designed to be print-friendly, and can be offered as a job aid that can be made available within the learner’s workflow.

eBook Sample 1 - EI Design

eBook Sample 2 - EI Design

Option 2: Post The Online Training Or ILT Sessions

Format 1 – Explainer videos

Using explainer videos is a great way to recap the primary learning. In a bite-sized format, you can visually showcase highlights of the formal training. More significantly, this can be used as effectively as a job aid that can be made available to the learners within their workflow, on the device of their choice. This flexibility will ensure that learners browse through this, and can use it to reinforce their learning.

Explainer Video Sample 1 - EI Design

Explainer Video Sample 2 - EI Design

Format 2 – Whiteboard animations

Often, complex concepts can be taught through very simple design techniques. Whiteboard animations that feature hand-drawn imagery, can demystify complex learning concepts. Available in short bites, these can be used to recap and reinforce primary learning.

Whiteboard Animation Sample 1 - EI Design

Whiteboard Animation Sample 2 - EI Design

Format 3 – Kinetic text animations

Sometimes, the content of primary training is not amenable to be converted to visual-based concepts. For instance, when we want to highlight a process, checklist, or best practices, using kinetic text-based animations is the right answer. Through text animation accompanied by minor special effects, you can create bite-sized learning nuggets that can be used to recap and reinforce the primary learning.

Kinetic Animation Sample 1 - EI Design

Kinetic Animation Sample 2 - EI Design

Format 4 – Branching scenario-based simulations

When you want to check if the learner can apply the learning of the formal training, you can use this technique to help them practice what they have learned in a safe environment.

This technique can handle simple scenarios to very complex decision-making situations featuring a series of situations.

Branching scenario-based simulation sample 1-EI Design

Branching scenario-based simulation sample 2-EI Design

 

Take a look at this explainer video we have created to summarize the key points (including the 6 examples) covered in this article.

 

I hope this article provides the required perspective on how to use microlearning to promote informal learning at your workplace. If you have any queries, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/use-microlearning-to-promote-informal-learning-at-workplace/

Microdistilleries And Microlearning: 8 Ways For Capturing Millennial Employee Attention

Capture the attention of your millennial employees by knowing what drives them, what you can learn from them, and how to keep their attention in a world where we work from anywhere. And, it all starts with microdistilleries and microlearning. Seriously.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.