Written by Amelia Orwick

Without even realizing it, the horde of people born in the early 1980s through the mid 1990s have completely transformed the workplace for those who came before them and those who will come after. Otherwise known as millennials, this generation has shaped the work environment with its habits – centered on the constant consumption of information.

In their free time and on the job, millennials rely heavily on technology as an informational tool. News and entertainment are consumed in bite-sized pieces – whether a 280-character tweet or a mini television series. It seems only logical that workplace instruction would be consumed the same way.

While macro-learning (think open online courses, seminars and lectures) is appropriate for new hires who need to absorb a lot of information quickly, micro-learning techniques are ideal for continued education. Consuming information in short bursts is not only convenient for learners; according to a study in the Journal of Educational Computing Research, it’s proven to drive over 20% more knowledge retention.

What exactly does micro-learning look like? Students typically spend 10 minutes or less on any given assignment. Lessons are often interactive and always specific to the learner’s needs.

Here are a few micro-learning tools that are commonly used within the training and development space:

  • Videos. Research shows that learners have a surprisingly short attention span, which makes communicating big ideas a bit tricky. Luckily, video series are easy to produce and digest. Just make sure each installment is no longer than 8 minutes.
  • Quizzes and surveys. It’s no secret that millennials like to interact with their content. In fact, BuzzFeed offers thousands of targeted quizzes and is ranked the fourth most popular e-zine site in the world. Offering quizzes and surveys as follow-up to your lessons is the perfect way to engage trainees and get a feel for material effectiveness.
  • Infographics and visuals. Graphics can go a long way in communicating a theme or idea. By inserting them into your training guides and videos, you help break up blocks of text and reiterate important concepts from the lesson.

Simply put, micro-learning puts the trainee in control. It’s up to them to decide how, when and what they want to learn.

Over the past few years, companies around the globe have started to incorporate micro-learning into their training and development programs. So, what makes it effective?

Amassing intelligence one bit at a time feels natural to millennials. And as older adults become more comfortable using mobile devices and social media, it begins to feel natural to them, too.

ViaTech’s Active Reader™ was designed with these modern learners in mind. The application supports micro-learning goals by enabling secure electronic delivery and transforming any device into a platform for engaging users with tailored content.

With a personalized bookshelf, full suite of tools and note-taking and annotation capabilities, Active Reader™ offers endless benefits to both learners and administrators. Not to mention, video and interactive file types are fully supported.

ViaTech provides superior training and development support to companies around the globe. For more information about our solutions, visit learnviatech.com.