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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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5 ways microlearning delivers upskilling and reskilling in small bites

In these unprecedented times, companies and individuals are looking for upskilling and reskilling learning solutions to meet the challenges of the new normal and future of work which, frankly, is already here.  

Many teams in Asia are still working remotely. Staffing is a bit thinner with the current economic downturn. How do we foster a growth mindset of continuous learning with a backdrop of a global pandemic?

Upskilling and reskilling through microlearning is one effective solution.

“As companies continue to evolve their internal processes into the digital medium, microlearning has seen steady adoption in corporate learning and development (L&D) practices,” said Lee Marvin, vice president of gamification at Jakarta-based Agate Level Up. 

“The convenience of smartphones, coupled with learning applications that utilize microlearning methods have served to streamline the often-convoluted corporate training processes.”

According to the World Economic Forum in a 2020 study published before the full disruption of COVID-19 was felt globally, both digital and soft skills are driving growth in the professions of tomorrow. 

Players in Southeast Asia’s EdTech startup ecosystem, such as Thailand’s Vonder, have focused learning technologies on gamification as a strategy to work upskilling and reskilling. 

Here are five key ways microlearning delivers upskilling and reskilling learning solutions:

Small Bite
Bite-sized learning. Photo by Jordane Mathieu

Learning in small bites

Microlearning is learning in small chunks. Upskilling and reskilling through microlearning uses small bites of content to train, providing focused information aimed at delivering a specific learning objective.

“The future of work is now. To keep knowledge relevant, universities must extend their learning into the workplace so that curriculum can rapidly adapt to real-world requirements,” said David Yeo, founder of learning networking platform ZilLearn.

“Long-form curriculum must be restructured into micro-components, where microlearning is like creatively stacking, reorganizing, and updating Lego blocks based on skills needs.”

Microlearning doesn’t have to be formal. It can be a short video watched during a lunch break. It can be a game on a mobile device

The two critical features of microlearning are brevity and single idea. The instructional duration can be a few seconds to no more than 15 minutes. Granularity limits the training content to one specific idea or learning outcome.

Engage Learners

Microlearning is more effective in engaging learners.  When it comes to upskilling and reskilling, microlearning is targeted for a specific learning objective using a shorter instructional duration. 

Microlearning content should not be more than five to ten minutes. Any longer and you risk learner fatigue.  A short microlearning course that addresses a specific need to meet a single objective is more effective than a longer training module with three or four objectives. 

Augmented and virtual reality, along with extended reality is being used in microlearning training modules. As institutions look to deploy rapid upskilling and reskilling to engage their workforce, microlearning with AR/VR is one way to deliver their training.

Improved retention

Short microlearning courses for upskilling and reskilling are designed to achieve one learning objective. For example, the use of video or animation — don’t forget content localization for your learners — to create microlearning training content can engage learners with learning outcomes they will remember. Short games or quizzes can also be adapted to microlearning courses to support an effective reskilling and upskilling process.

By employing these teaching strategies, learners understanding the action that needs to be performed will better retain any new concept that is presented to them. 

Image by Mudassar Iqbal

Personalized, scalable learning

Microlearning empowers the learner through personalization. Many microlearning platforms use built-in game-based assessment and on-demand modules that can gauge the learner’s retention and can be completed at the learner’s own pace. 

Microlearning can also be accessible on mobile or desktop devices, allowing learning to be part of the daily workflow. But with learning personalization and portability brings scalability. Deploying upskilling and reskilling through microlearning will allow more learners to be added to an asynchronous online course.

Learning on the move

Microlearning courses for upskilling and reskilling are faster to develop and deploy in contrast to long and unwieldy training modules. Since the training content is in smaller bites, companies can easily tweak and update course modules after training deployment. 

Microlearning courses can be implemented on mobile devices. With the short courses, upskilling and reskilling with microlearning modules can be geared towards smartphone delivery. 

Microlearning through games-based assessment or activity templates through apps, leverages mobile UI/UX that can be experimented with. 

The current pandemic has brought about a global disruption of unprecedented magnitude. As we pivot to meet the future of work and learning today, learning in small chunks through microlearning is one of many tools to upskill and reskill for the roles needed with Industry 4.0 and the jobs of tomorrow.

“Being willing to have that mindset of embracing change, but more importantly, always striving to learn and do better,” said Lawrence Wong, Singapore Minister for Education, at a recent forum on Industry 4.0 and the future of work.

“That must be the mindset to adapt to this new world.”

LEARNTech Asia
LEARNTech Asia is the story of innovation in learning by all communities in Asia, whether through the use of advanced technological applications or innovative practices by educators, non-profit organizations, and industry to enhance human capacity in whatever unique circumstances they are in.

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