Non-Profit

Using Microlearning in Your Non-Profit Development Programs

By June 17, 2019 No Comments

If you’re even a casual follower of Learning and Development trends and best practices, you’ve probably heard of the eLearning training approach that has quickly become the “golden child” of the industry: microlearning.

“Microlearning” may be flirting with buzzword status, but don’t be too quick to dismiss it. It may just be the very thing that your non-profit’s professional development program needs.

So, what exactly is microlearning?

The term refers to segmented learning experiences – small chunks of specialized content and activities given in doses to your volunteers and staff rather than all at once. ATD recommends that microlearning sessions should average 10 minutes at a time.

The concept isn’t a new one, but recently the approach has enjoyed a “moment” in the L&D community as instructional designers and coaches have lauded its effectiveness.

Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons that industry leaders are implementing this approach in their employee training and development.

Man and woman working at computer

Learning while you work

One of the more overlooked benefits of microlearning is that it can take place during the flow of the workday. This perk allows your staff members to instantly apply their learning at the point of need.

In an article for the Association for Talent Development (ATD), an award-winning learning designer argues that “one of the greatest powers of short-form learning is meeting targeted learning and business needs and doing that without disrupting the flow of the business. Instead of pulling people off the job for an hour or two of training, we can give them little bits of content that they can consume when they need it and when they have time for it.”

In other words, bringing the learning to the learner might actually be the best way to get your employees to apply what they’ve learned.

When we learn in the exact environment that our learning will be applied, we are more likely to implement that new knowledge.

Your employees are more likely to remember what you teach them

Microlearning is a prime example of the “less is more” mantra. In fact, learning that occurs in small doses is 20% more likely to be retained than longer-form learning.

This retention rate is a result of two microlearning features: its short duration and its interactive nature.

One example is microlearning lessons that are taught in the form of a video with captions that can be followed by a short quiz, response, or forum discussion. Providing the option for your volunteer to process what he or she was just taught is a tried-and-true instructional strategy, but one that works best with limited amounts of content.

In summary, keep it short and engaging. Your employees and volunteers will thank you, and so will your ROI.

Microlearning allows for a more personalized learning experience

Do you have volunteers who are new to the organization who need basic onboarding training? Assign them a beginner module in your LMS.

Have a seasoned leader who could use a brush up in workplace etiquette? Shoot over a microlearning module they can watch from the privacy of their desk.

What about a new initiative or area of focus for the year? Create a quick lesson and ask your employees to watch and respond by the end of the workday.

Personalization is a powerful tool in our modern workforce. According to Deloitte, employees report that they can only devote 1% of a typical work week to training and development. If this is true, microlearning is the best way to capitalize on their availability.

And in the era of remote workers, digital microlearning will allow you to keep a cohesive identity among your employees, even if they aren’t in the office full time.

Learn how you can incorporate microlearning in your professional development

Remote Learning’s custom LMS offerings can seamlessly integrate microlearning principles into your training solution.

Contact one of our team specialists to learn more about how we can help.