Don’t Be Seduced by What’s Trendy in Training
Today it’s microlearning. A number of years ago it was avatars. Before that, e-learning.
It’s easy to get excited about what’s new.
However, just because everyone is talking about a hot new method doesn’t mean it’s right for every situation.
Microlearning, which refers to the strategy of delivering content in short bursts to fill very specific gaps in skills and knowledge, is getting a lot of attention right now. However, you should keep in mind that microlearning is more of a content delivery method than a learning and performance strategy.
A good training plan starts by considering the four levels in reverse:
The Four Levels in Reverse
Level 4 Results
- What organizational outcomes are important, or perhaps need to be improved?
Level 3 Behavior
- What do people need to do (or do differently) to bring about the desired results?
Level 2 Learning
- What do people need to know, and know how to do, to perform well on the job?
Level 1 Reaction
- What type of learning environment or intervention will help learners to obtain the required knowledge?
Once you are clear about what you are truly trying to accomplish, then you can consider if microlearning, or any type of learning method, is going to be appropriate. If your initiative would benefit from small chunks of knowledge being delivered over a period of time, then microlearning might be an appropriate part of a Level 3 required driver package that helps training graduates perform well on the job.
You can also capitalize on the popularity of microlearning by moving it to a higher level, with what Jim Kirkpatrick calls a micro performance boost. These are short bursts that support and enhance performance on the job. This elevates your involvement from training and development to performance enhancement, which is closer to the results that organizations value.