This morning, as I was browsing through Facebook, I stumbled upon one of those “life hack” videos on the right way to peel fruits.
It is a neat 1.5 minutes video and it goes through half a dozen most commonly eaten and commonly confounding fruits, peeling which is usually messy. It is simple and instructionally sound—it “shows and tells” the right way and uses the wrong way to drive the point home. It is so effective that it doesn’t even need a voice over.
It was surprising how much this video appealed to me. Because I am definitely not a millennial—I am one of those who do an “on receipt-delete” of most videos I get. I prefer to learn the old fashioned way—by reading, DIY or by asking someone.
I guess the content (I am a fruit fiendJ), duration and mode of delivery (Facebook) all made it interesting for me.
While it showed me that micro-learning can work for any age group, I am not the intended target audience.
The Advent of the “I want it now!” Generation
The digital age is shaping new user behaviours across domains augmented by rapid technological evolution. This, taken together with the increasing number of millennials joining the workforce, makes it imperative for us to examine our approach to learning design.
Some of the trends that we need to consider are
- Users prefer variety, immediacy and making choices in line with their personal values
- Increasingly, learning time is not rigid – users prefer anytime, anywhere learning, probably on their smart devices and not on computers
- “Learning on the go” will work only if the content is snackable
- Theory of Connectivism and use of social media in learning
Is Micro-learning enough?
However, while we are all excited by the possibilities of micro-learning, is it enough to build deep skills? For example, would we be confident about being in a plane whose pilot learned her skills using 5-minute nuggets?
Here’s a great article that talks about advantages and disadvantages of micro-learning: http://elearningindustry.com/microlearning-in-online-training-5-advantages-and-3-disadvantages
Clearly, micro-learning is not here to replace some of our time-and-tested approaches, but it has created its space in a changing world. If you want quick and silver bullet knowledge updates that is easy to assimilate, can be accessed on a smart device, and is cost efficient, then micro-learning Nuggets is your answer.
- By Priya Thiagarajan, VP & Chief Learning Designer, Tata Interactive Systems