Snacking through job trainings: Microlearning as a motivating tool

E-learning trends Annika Willers · 3 jaar geleden

Reading large texts after work and visiting extensive seminars – a strain to many employees. Short “snackable” sequences take hold in everyday life and increasingly also in working life. Companies adapt to this development: microlearning is a new way of interactive job training that motivates and guides staff step by step.

Snacks

An apple during the break and some candy for new energy? Or rather check for new tweets and Instagram photos? Snacking, consuming information in small bits and pieces, is an upcoming trend. Next to social media, news is getting more and more snacked on, rather than read at full length as in newspapers. Companies are aware of this development and adjust their communication behaviour accordingly. Short texts are catchy and not necessarily superficial. Even short notes can transmit information, they trigger curiosity and stick in the mind. They are fun to read and re-arrange in your mind. You even like sharing them.

This effect holds opportunities for companies who want to improve their employees’ training. Many employees wish for more information about procedures and innovations and would like to keep their knowledge up to date. However, long texts and tutorials are quite discouraging. Trainings dictate the user’s pace: one finds them too fast, another one too slow. Furthermore, they cost money and time and need to be planned months ahead.

In small units, however, as snacks, training sequences enhance staff motivation. Independent of location and time, employees can read small texts, watch videos and test their knowledge. Figures and developments get imprinted in their memory easily and progress is made visible. Companies supply diverse learning material and leave it to the staff, where and when to retrieve it.

Watch Companies should keep in mind:
  • Compact phrasing: keywords, short sentences and illustrative examples improve reading experience
  • Including video: short interviews and stop motion films are very popular
  • Asking questions: What sticks better to the mind than self-given answers?
  • Stimulating exchange about results and questions
  • Enabling access via mobile and tablet: ideal for the upcoming business trip

Microlearning is offered in various forms. Cloud-based services can be handled without special software skills and enable access from various devices. Companies can implement those tools for rather cheap prices by upgrading existing PowerPoint sheets to interactive trainings. This way, learning content can easily be prepared and archived.