Efficacy of Microlearning Using Mobile Devices for Developing New “Frontline” Employees

HRD and training managers must revolutionize training practices to contribute to the digital transformation of their company and meet the needs of frontline employees. Like businesses, the world is also experiencing its digital transformation! This fact no longer needs to be proven.

A study by ITU (International Telecommunications Union) provides very telling figures.

“There are 3 billion Internet users, 3.6 billion mobile phone users, and 2 billion active social network users in the world today. Unsurprisingly, Facebook has the most users (1.2 billion).”

According to OECD, digital technology is the “mother tongue” of 21st Century learners. New hires expect development strategies that speak to them and improve innovation capacities. To be competitive, digital must be the heart of business processes, customer service, and employee development.

Frontline employees can also suffer negative effects caused by technologies that accelerate the pace of life and work. In its “Research Bulletin” of November 2014, Bersin by Deloitte describes the modern learner as a stressed, versatile, impatient, overworked, mobile… and connected person.

What they desire – expect– is bite-sized coursework on a flexible schedule, accessible from desktop and mobile platforms. Micro-learning meets the needs of a just-in-time knowledge grazer.

What is Micro-Learning?

Micro-Learning is an online training concept based on an educational performance approach, based on short video modules of 5 minutes at most, using text, images, and sounds. It responds to the constraints of overworked learners who have little time to devote to their training. This short format allows you to work and learn simultaneously, making the most of the learner’s ability to concentrate. Most frontline employees one will easily allow 5 minutes in his work schedule, not an hour! And yet, Micro-Learning is not limited to the short format. It is also characterized by other essential attributes that increase its efficacy tenfold:

These attributes includes:

  1. Online on PC, tablet, smartphone… Instant access, unlike the face-to-face format, where you have to move around and waste time.
  2. Autonomous: Each module is independent of the other, even if it is part of a more global training course. The possibility of consulting a module without having to go through modules before frees the learner from a constraint felt as heavy. To draw a parallel, I can open a dictionary on any page to understand a word, but I cannot start a novel on page 200!
  3. Granular: one skill per module. Each learner can thus organize and personalize his training according to his own needs.
  4. In video: this is the most efficient medium for transmitting information in a short period.
  5. Concentrated: Micro-Learning modules should only convey the essentials on a specific subject. Introduction, comments, conclusion… all this is superfluous and counterproductive.
  6. Updated: the short format facilitates updating by the service provider. Therefore, learners are assured of having current training modules, unlike the face-to-face form, which quickly becomes obsolete.

As you will have understood, these are all of the components that define Micro-Learning, making this concept, which has become a reality, an effective tool to train frontline employees.

How COVID is Changing the Way Corporates Train Employees

In the first half of 2020, corporate training has changed. This is not to say that old methods and tools have become unnecessary. But we can say for sure that it is now necessary to teach employees differently. Because employees are no longer confined to the office building and workplace properties and can be located anywhere.
Most conference rooms are still closed, and traditional classroom teaching has been suspended since spring. Nevertheless, corporate training and professional development have not lost their relevance. Considering how many people were left without work and how many jobs and industries need radical transformation, such formats as retraining have come to the fore. Companies began to rethink tools, methods, practices, and training priorities.

The world has changed, and corporate learning has changed.

During the quarantine, corporate training didn’t just change. It was transformed into a new form. This became noticeable as soon as they announced the relaxation of quarantine measures: the training remained the same as during the quarantine. No one was in a hurry to return to the pre-quarantine period. Everyone learns as if the quarantine continues. Companies have appreciated the benefits of new training. So the Covid-19 virus launched an irreversible process in corporate education. Good or bad – time will tell. Now it seems that it’s gotten better. We went to this before, and the quarantine just forced us to accelerate. Currently, the channel for communicating knowledge and competencies is not just changing – there is a complete redesign of training programs and their implementation methods. The dynamics, group activity and practical study of tools have become identical to traditional training as if it has always been so. In our opinion, there are no results in losses.

Factors influencing learning

The concept and forms of training are influenced by four groups of factors, around which the educational process is built:

  • Technology and online channels
  • Demography
  • The nature of the workplace
  • Digital marketing

If we talk about corporate training, then this is a systemic process, which is influenced by three different groups of factors:

  • The changing nature of labor force demographics. Learning becomes different because people become different. And classroom teaching methods are not suitable for everyone and not always.
  • Changing the nature of the workplace. This factor became especially important during the quarantine. People started working remotely. For many, this turned out to be unusual, unpleasant and difficult. But it was impossible to change this, so the staff had to adapt.
  • The impact of digital marketing. Marketing has become a must in training. HR must understand its laws, and external and internal marketing rules are very similar. Taking advantage of this, some companies have even combined two positions into one – “director of external and internal communications”. The external function is marketing, and the internal one is PR and HR. And this dramatically affects the organization of training.

The Bottom Line

The world continues to change. Every day we read the news and see that everything is moving, transforming. Somewhere it is abrupt and painful for someone, somewhere – smoothly and imperceptibly. But change is inevitable. And it makes sense to use them for the benefit of your business!

Benefits of Micro Learning in Corporate Training

Over the past two years, micro-learning has gained recognition for good reasons.
In a digital environment filled with distractions, average attention spans decrease. Therefore, it becomes essential to offer specific and targeted training content to capture the attention of learners. This is precisely what micro-learning offers.

What is micro-learning?

Micro-learning is a digital learning method based on an educational path made up of short modules (30 seconds to 5 minutes). Each micro-learning content is devoted to an exact notion or concept. At any time, available to the learner, micro-learning allows employees to access training content when they need it, at their workstation or on the move, and all devices. Here are five essential benefits of micro-learning:

  1. Straight to the point!
    Micro learning allows a long training to be broken down into short units (or modules). It is used to provide information on a specific subject and aim for a determined result (behavior, competence, etc.) based on repetition and participation. Its sessions can vary from a 30 seconds to 10 minutes, but they usually last from 2 to 7 minutes. For example, they can take various forms: short demonstration videos, multiple-choice quizzes submitted by text message or even reminder of concepts sent by email. This form of learning is suitable for providing a precise response to the learner’s immediate need, finding a solution to a given problem, or updating specific knowledge.
  2. Better retention of concepts
    Knowledge retention performance differs depending on the formats offered and the type of content. The memorization results improve by combining several media, but retention rate improves significantly when the module deals with a single subject. Therefore, by offering the learner multimedia content centered on a single concept processed in a concise format, micro-learning ensures excellent retention of ideas and an efficient training process. The retention performance is also due to the 24/7 availability of micro-learning content, which allows the learner to return to the module and review it to refresh his memory.
  3. Better application of learned concepts
    As the micro-learning modules progress, the learner integrates new ideas to apply in his daily work. Micro-learning modules promote understanding of concepts and their application in real life because they are designed to be taken when the learner needs them on-the-job. The application is, therefore, immediate and also participates in the excellent retention of information.
  4. Micro-learning and Mobile-learning
    Lightweight, targeted and short, micro-learning training is a format perfectly suited to a smartphone consultation. Deploying multi-device micro-learning courses can prove to be an excellent way to test the adoption of mobile-learning uses by employees and their appetite for this training medium. Micro-learning offers a high-performance training mechanism based on many criteria: learner engagement and retention, cost of implementation and deployment time, etc. Short just-in-time formats available everywhere, on all media and at any time are also popular with learners because they correspond to their daily uses of digital content.
  5. A winning formula for the company
    Quicker to design and update than lengthy training, micro-learning can be a smart choice for companies. Whether it is to inform the new employee in small doses about internal policies, stimulate team spirit, or explain machines’ operation.

The bottom line
Micro-learning has everything to appeal to millennial, who will soon be in the majority in the job market and other workers. This is because everyone has more or less the same pace of life and uses the same mobile technologies and web 2.0 daily. Adopt micro learning in your organization training today

Is eLearning the Future of Education in the Workplace?

If you work in HR and L&D, you’re probably on the fence about introducing eLearning as a primary method for educating staff. Though eLearning will never completely replace traditional teaching, embracing change is critical for success. It’s your organization’s willingness to adapt to change that defines its character, and in today’s technological age, it’s difficult imagining a business landscape without eLearning.

There are various advantages of eLearning which will encourage you to unlock its true potential, but what exactly are they? Read on to find out why eLearning is the future of L&D, and how it can be leveraged to meet customer and employer needs.

Better Engagement
Have you ever dreaded the thought of enduring long lectures with instructors? Keeping the attention of learners is half the battle, however eLearning addresses this issue with a combination of text, animation, and videos. Increasing the variety of resources leads to better engagement, which can be leveraged for better results. If learners are engaged, they stand a far better chance of retaining information, compared with if they’re in an environment where they’re prone to switch off.

Convenient and Flexible
Employees can access eLearning materials from any device that has an internet connection. This eliminates the difficulties of coordinating a large team in one location, offering a level of flexibility that’s highly convenient for your organization. Because staff can participate in eLearning whenever they like, this frees up time for employees to focus on their core competencies, and even creates an option for them to learn outside work hours.

Your eLearning requirements will grow with your organization. Today’s digital learning resources quickly accommodate new users, and are easily scaled to match your objectives for organizational growth. Staff can embrace the principles of eLearning from day one, adopting it as one of their everyday tasks. There is greater scale for improvement, which is a continual process that never ends. By implementing these foundations as part of your business philosophy, your organization will flourish and experience exponential growth.

Every organization’s learning requirements are unique, and internal learning needs fluctuate depending on the department in question. eLearning platforms can be leveraged to adapt to the circumstances in question, accounting for individual differences. This is useful when you consider everyone isn’t at the same level of education, because every staff member can access a different level of teaching. eLearning provides a contextual learning environment, accounting for diverse educational needs.

After absorbing the organizational advantages of eLearning, you’ll appreciate it’s not just the future, but the present of education. Failing to recognize its capabilities makes it easy to get left behind. Embrace eLearning today and you’ll be astonished by the long term results. Though it’s difficult knowing where to begin, you can gradually introduce eLearning alongside conventional learning methods. This will make its implementation less drastic, and more adaptable.

Mobile Technology and Adaptive Learning

The concepts underlying adaptive technology are nothing new. It has long been recognized that different people learn in different ways. We all have different learning styles and preferences, different levels of skills and prior knowledge, different interest levels and attitudes, different learning goals and purposes. Accommodating these differences has long been the aim of differentiated classroom instruction, in which teachers tailor content, learning activities, assignments, and assessments to meet individual needs. Adaptive learning is essentially differentiated instruction delivered and supported by intelligent digital technology.

Beyond the Classroom
The advent of smart phones and other mobile devices has made it possible to individualize instruction and learning in a way that can’t be achieved within the confines of a classroom or corporate training venue. Technology can eliminate the need for the physical presence of a teacher or instructor to make the decisions involved in teaching the right content in the right way to meet the individual needs of learners. In adaptive learning, that role is played by the algorithms built into a learning management system (LMS) or the instructional modules or apps accessed through an LMS.

An Evolving Technology
Adaptive mobile learning is still an emerging science. Examples range from simple using computer-based pre-testing to determine which course or program a given learner should take to more sophisticated models employing artificial intelligence to build learner profiles that support a greater degree of adaptation to the needs of a given learner. Over time, as a learner interacts with an intelligent, adaptive LMS and the various instructional programs accessed through it, the system acquires and analyzes data regarding the individual’s:
• Motivation level (reluctant, determined, etc.)
• Learning style (e.g., visual, auditory, experiential, etc.)
• Materials preferences (e.g., text, images, audio, video, etc.)
• Knowledge level (e.g., beginner, medium, advanced, expert)
• Achievement (based on test results)
This degree of sophistication in learner profiling maximizes student engagement, which is essential to effective learning. It ensures that learners are presented material at a customized difficulty level that will neither bore them nor frustrate and discourage them. Instruction that hits this “sweet spot” between too easy and too difficult (the Zone of Proximal Development, or ZPD), encourages creative problem-solving that carries over into the real world.

Benefits of Mobile Adaptive Learning
Mobile adaptive learning yields proven benefits in both K-12 and higher education and employee training. The business impact for companies that successfully adopt mobile adaptive learning can be substantial.
Mobile adaptive learning increases training effectiveness, as seen in the improved learner retention of newly acquired knowledge that results from a high degree of learner engagement. Adult learners are particularly averse to engaging with training that is not relevant to their immediate earning needs. In self-instructional situations they tend to focus on what they need to know but blast through or over everything else. With an LMS that delivers mobile adaptive learning, employees get exactly the information they need, when and where they need it.
Mobile adaptive learning also increases efficiency in the use of training resources – namely time, money, and materials. It holds great promise for the large-scale reskilling of workers in industries undergoing rapid technological transformation.

The Future of Mobile Adaptive Learning
In short, mobile adaptive learning has the potential to reshape education and training in a wide variety of organizations. Embedded analytics that allow the continuous collection of data can provide the basis for in-depth profiling of LMS users. More sophisticated algorithms and smarter AI tools can enable an LMS not only to maximize the differentiation of instruction but also to provide individualized insights, feedback, error correction, and enrichment to learners. While some view mobile adaptive learning as the current instructional fad “de jour,” enthusiasts envision a scalable cloud-based architecture capable of providing unique learning experiences and real-time feedback simultaneously to vast numbers of users—potentially millions. What do you think?