Today, Microlearning based training has become a significant mode for online training delivery and the following stat reaffirms it further:
“The global microlearning market size is expected to grow from USD 1.5 billion in 2019 to USD 2.7 billion by 2024”.
However, organizations will continue to have Macrolearning needs too. Given the value that each one of them offers, it is important to see how the two can be leveraged by arriving at the optimal blend of Microlearning and Macrolearning.
In this article, I begin with the definition of Microlearning, its value for learners and L&D teams, and list where it works well. I highlight areas where Microlearning would not work and Macrolearning would indeed be the better fit. Finally, I outline how you can arrive at the optimal blending of Microlearning and Macrolearning to deliver a high-impact workplace training.
While Microlearning is all about short bites of learning and is the talk of the season, it is not a new concept. For years, Instructional Designers have been chunking content and mapping them to enabling outcomes (much the same way we do for Microlearning). This would map to multiple topics that would then get packaged into a single course (or Macrolearning).
Microlearning features focused learning nuggets ideally designed to be 2-5 minutes long and normally not exceeding 7 minutes. It is supported across all devices – enabling the learners to move across devices (from a desktop/laptop at the office to their tablet/smartphone). Its short seat time enables it to be the preferred training to be consumed “on the go” on their smartphones.
However, Microlearning is not just splicing the bigger chunk of content into shorter nuggets.
Learners love Microlearning based training as:
L&D teams see value in Microlearning based training on account of:
Here are some ways to effectively use Microlearning rather than Macrolearning:
Microlearning may not work in situations where the training program is long and complex (that is, trainings that have complex concepts and nested learning pieces). In such situations, it makes more sense to present the training as a single larger learning unit.
Breaking down such content into multiple nuggets can be counterproductive. It would create a rather disruptive learning experience and will impact the learning takeaways adversely and a Macrolearning based approach would be the right mode, instead of Microlearning.
Courses that are suited for Macrolearning (for instance, Compliance training) can be embellished by Microlearning nuggets. These could include:
As a lot of Mobile Learning courses move from the “Mobile Friendly” to the “Mobile First” approach, learners are consuming this content predominantly on smartphones.
These provide a great opportunity to use Microlearning techniques that can be embedded within Macrolearning courses to create higher engagement.
For instance, you can embed:
I hope this article provides a balanced view on the question of Microlearning vs Macrolearning. Both techniques offer unique values and will continue to co-exist. In the future, you will see a use of blended Macrolearning and Microlearning techniques that can create higher impact workplace trainings.
If you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.
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