Microlearning: Bricks to a Tower of Lifelong Learning

"Small and frequent"- Numerous trends are spun around this idea. Among the most famous are the advantages of small frequent meals, and multiple small payments, where the concept of credit cards have sprouted. Small and frequent can also describe learning, hence the term ‘microlearning.'

What is microlearning and what is its relevance to healthcare? 

Microlearning came about because of micro-content, which are small bits of information that are relevant, concise, and single-themed, and are circulated in real time electronically, or quickly done face to face. It is in line with the findings that distributed learning, or small learning sessions done in intervals over time is more effective than massed training approach where knowledge is crammed in one or two sessions done in a day or two. The reason for its success in helping employees retain knowledge is that intense, densely-packed information delivered in a single event is boring, tiring, and leads to inattentiveness, and then to disinterest.

From this downside of massed training, microlearning became an increasingly popular way to drive employees' knowledge enhancement. E-microlearning, in particular, which are small bits of educational materials delivered electronically is gaining momentum because of its ability to provide relevant and customized information in real-time. Instead of pulling staff away from patient care, information is received by employees at any time without any inconvenience to both patient and nurse. A form of evaluation could be made readily available at the end of the concisely delivered information. In healthcare, microlearning becomes highly relevant in a workplace where fast employee turnover, ultrafast-paced work, and heavy workload are typical scenarios.

Does your organization need the advantages of e-microlearning?

Let's build the case, and you decide. 
  • Google it!

The internet made it possible for extensive information to flow and to become available at a fraction of a second. Updates relevant in the clinical setting or performance management, for example, are continually being made, and the hassle of scheduling a learning session for everyone in the org concerned can take a long time, making information outdated before it can benefit the intended recipients. Moreover, using search engines for answers related to the task may be helpful, but may not be entirely applicable or accurate to meet learning needs of an employee.

  • It's just hard to put all staff in one room at a given time for an extended period.

When HR tells a manager that a training session is to commence at a specified date, the manager becomes frantic thinking of ways to cover for temporary unavailability of manpower and disruption of service. He is concerned of possible discontent of clients because of the arrangement. In decentralized or distributed type of workforce, this issue becomes more apparent.

  • Microlearning is both an active and a passive way to learn.

Information under microlearning is not just a passive databank ready to be accessed. Technology has enabled delivery of customized learning needs to intended recipients as needed. An HR employee receives information regarding performance management updates, while a staff nurse receives a video file on the latest clinical update. A manager receives tips on the subject of leadership. It is active because it could include an evaluation tool to gauge learning such as in the form of a simple questionnaire.

  • It enables tracking of access.

Technology makes a recording of every hit and downloads possible. It also allows determination of who among the intended recipients have responded to the learning mode.

  • It is a powerful tool to reinforce learning brought by face-to-face training or seminar.

Microlearning may not replace all training needed for a workforce, especially if the need is about skill improvement. But receiving information digitally to reinforce lessons in real-time rather than convening again to emphasize and enhance knowledge is convenient, time efficient and practical.

  • It can drive behavioral change.

For employees to improve in their tasks, there is a need to change behavior. Active learning can change behavior. Microlearning strategies produce small wins and gains. Over time, these little enhancements add up to improve overall performance.

  • It leads to employee engagement

In a survey, 58% prefer small bits of content learning over one to two-sitting long and intense sessions. A strong third considers learning as a real reward in their career. The implication of this is that knowledge adds to achievements and becomes a source of engagement.

  • It helps build high-reliability organizations

Since active learning leads to positive behavioral change and employee engagement, two factors that lead to peak performance, the road to being a high-reliability organization becomes more within reach.

The advantage of microlearning provides leverage in numerous aspects. Should you invest in this endeavor? Talk to us, and we can help you determine your organization's need for learning.

  

 

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