Webinar: Micro-Learning and the Learning Life Cycle
Author: Stephanie Ivec
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In today’s quick-consumption world, learners are demanding more and more just-in-time learning solutions that provide just the right content when and where they need it. But what’s the best way to create and provide a good micro-learning resource?
In this webinar Richard Harmon, one of our Senior Custom Solutions Consultants, demonstrated real-world micro-learning projects and discussed how the right strategy can elevate the learning life cycle within any organization.
We shared and discussed a real-world example of how an organization used micro-learning to promote brand and cultural change to improve their customer experience (Net Promoter Score). This was achieved through emotionally connecting video and an interactive info graphic addressing learner readiness, knowledge acquisition and deliberate practice through gamification, and on the job transfer through personalizing curriculum recommendations and online action planning tools to personalize their learning experience.
There were several questions that we were not able to answer during the webinar, so Richard answered them here:
Q – Do you have any suggestions around how to organize a long series of micro-learning within an LMS? Our LMS has courses within folder structures and it can be confusing.
A – Building a landing page, that can be launched based on LMS login or accessed through a link in the LMS, can give user friendly access to a curriculum of micro-learning courses. The courses can be presented through a visual curriculum map with hot spots and deep links to launch the courses or a through a list of courses with deep links to launch the courses.
Q – Do you feel we need to evaluate micro-learning a bit differently given micro-learning gives more empowerment to learners?
A – Good question. Let’s look at a definition of terms to make sure we are on common ground in understanding my response. Based on Kirkpatrick’s levels of evaluation, when you use the term evaluate it has different meaning at different levels of evaluation. The further you go up the evaluation chain, the more evaluation applies to the learner and less to the content.
Evaluation can apply to the learner’s perceptions (reaction) about content completeness and accuracy, alignment of the instructional design or learning activities to the required level of learning (think Bloom’s Taxonomy), the production quality and user experience (think UX and engagement), and the content relevance to helping them become proficient at their jobs.
Learning evaluation applies to the measurement of the learner’s knowledge of the content through knowledge-based testing or assessment. Reaction and learning are levels of evaluation found most often in formal learning. Micro-Learning, that is content centered, is a form of formal learning.
Behavior evaluation applies to performance-based assessment where methods and technology are used to see if learners are applying what they have learned while completing on the job tasks that demonstrate proficiency. The path to proficiency includes training content, knowledge acquisition and skill development through learning by doing. Learning by doing means having task assignments, task completion and evidence gathering, coaching and feedback, and learner reflection. If behavior is not observable it can not be evaluated or changed through coaching and feedback. Identifying Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) helps determine paths to proficiency and levels of proficiency in behaviors that drive targeted or business results.
Results evaluation is when measurable targeted or business outcomes are achieved and performance mapping determines that there is a correlation to or connection between training interventions, on the job activities and behaviors and desired business outcomes.
Behavior and results outcomes take place mostly with informal and experiential learning. This is were the 70/20/10 model or rule comes into play. 10% of learning is formal. 20% of learning is informal and 70% of learning takes place experimentally. Yet most of our time and resources are spent on formal learning where we have the least leverage in impacting change in behavior, performance improvement and speed to proficiency.
I believe this takes place because it seems like it is the area where we have the most control. If we don’t see a clear path to greater control (content creation, delivery, and testing) then we are reluctant to invest in alternatives that seem to give us less control (informal learning and experiential learning). With advances in technology there are tools that provide a framework to give structure, measurement and automation to the informal and experiential learning process where the greatest leverage in learning takes place.
The word empowerment also has meaning that we need to consider in the context of formal, informal and experiential learning. With formal learning (micro-learning included) empowerment comes to the learner through being able to choose content they want, when they want it, and how much of it they want. With micro-learning (content in much smaller chunks), learners have the ability (assuming their organization allows it) to determine their own curriculum map, if you will. Either through self-selection or adaptive testing that serves up or recommends just the micro-learning needed to close knowledge or skill gaps, learners are empowered to shorten the amount of time they spend in training by getting just the content they want or need.
If you are ready to implement informal and experiential learning, learner empowerment takes the form of the learner choosing how and how quickly he completes his path to proficiency (through content consumption, activities or tasks, coaching, and reflection) supported by nano-coaching cycles that confirm his skill development through a portfolio of evidence of tasks completed.
Learner empowerment doesn’t necessarily change the evaluation process if you are still measuring perceptions of content, knowledge acquisition, behavior change and business outcomes. What may change for you, evaluation wise, is if you choose to address informal and experiential learning because of its leverage in improving speed to proficiency.
See all the details in the webinar recording below.
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