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Suresh Kumar DN

Tesseract Learning Pvt Ltd


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How to Improve Training Outcome with Microlearning


Attention spans and the forgetting curve contribute to learning fatigue and less impactful training. The need of the hour is outcomes-based training that helps the learners in the moment of need. What’s better than microlearning to implement this? In this blog, I will focus on how to improve training outcomes through microlearning interventions.

The Forgetting Curve

It has been established that people tend to forget the stuff they learned over a period of time. For example, a training session happens today. After 7 days, the learners retain only about 10% of what they have learned in the session. This is known as the Forgetting Curve. The curve shows how quickly we forget information over a period of time, when there is no attempt to retain it.  

The 70-20-10 model also states that only 10% of the learning is through formal training and the rest is from the informal learning mechanism or from on-the-job training. Then, why do organizations still invest a lot of money and resources on formal training?

The reasons are manifold. But, one of the main reasons is that learning and development (L&D) has stuck to the tried and tested models of training. Moreover, L&D has seen itself as only a support function, rather than as a business enabler.

The L&D professionals set up the training calendar, roll out the training as per the schedule, and their job is done. 

The good news is that L&D is reinventing itself, especially during the COVID-19 induced times. To stay relevant to the times, L&D professionals are coming up with unique ideas and looking at their function more holistically.

Power Of Microlearning In Continuous Learning Journey

In my recent interactions with L&D professionals and customers, I have been advocating for increased usage of microlearning as a great tool to enable better learning, improved retention of concepts, and more importantly, as a tool that helps apply the concepts learned to the job.

Microlearning has become a great tool to ensure that the forgetting curve is taken care of. Let me explain how.

Microlearning mainly focuses on a specific objective, cuts out all the fluff, and supports the main training or learning journey. It is an action-oriented or task-oriented approach of offering bite-sized learning that gets learners to learn and practice. Thus, it helps in better understanding and therefore better retention of the concepts learned. Microlearning can be administered just before an eLearning or VILT session, or a few days after the formal training as a reinforcement of key learnings. It will certainly help the learners to remember the concepts well.

Due to the reinforcement, the learners are subtly encouraged to apply the concepts in their job. This is supported by the famous Pavlov research. With microlearning becoming a part of the continuous learning cycle of the learners, they pay better attention to the subject in hand.

Another major advantage of microlearning is that it can be created and administered in a variety of formats. In my previous article, “5 Microlearning Formats to Use in 2020 for Maximum Impact”, I mentioned some popular formats that can be used as good microlearning interventions. These formats include videos, gamification, quizzes, podcasts, activities, and much more.

In a nutshell, microlearning can be implemented in the following manner:

At Tesseract Learning, we have implemented microlearning as a just-in-time learning intervention.

Given here are a few examples.

1. Drug Discovery – In this course, we have used a decision-tree activity to ensure the employees’ understanding of drug discovery concepts and the process. Learners found it interesting and the course completion rate was 95%. 

2. Compliance – This is a short and engaging scenario-based interactive microlearning course. Learners liked this idea very much and the course completion rate was 100%.

3. Banking Products – We have designed this microlearning course using a variety of interactive templates, sliders, and flip-cards to explain the concepts. Learners found it extremely interesting and the course completion rate was 98%.

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