Maximize the Benefits of Microlearning through Digital Coaching

It’s the age of digital learning. Advancements in technology and learning design have enabled global businesses to digitize their learning programs, while addressing the challenges of time and cost. It’s little surprise then that digital learning has become the number two topic on the minds of CEOs and HR leaders, according to Josh Bersin in The Disruption of Digital Learning: Ten Things We Have Learned.

One of the most popular aspects of digital learning is that of microlearning. Goodbye lengthy elearning courses. And hello bite-sized, just-in-time learning modules. Available on any device, as and when you need them. Perfect for today’s information-intensive workplaces.

Microlearning is defined primarily by these three characteristics:
Time. It supports short engagements in learning activities.
Content. Learning is usually focused on a specific topic or idea.
Form. Various media are employed, from videos, articles and case studies, to online assessments and discussions.

Is microlearning the solution for your learning needs?

This form of learning has already proven effective during targeted interventions when there are skills and knowledge gaps to bridge. But is it a case of one size fits all?

Not quite. Despite microlearning’s popularity, it’s not without its shortcomings. Especially when it comes to complex skills development, long-term performance improvement and the activation of behavior change. A microlearning approach can help a person master tasks in the now, but how does it measure up over time? Bloat the modules, and you’ll immediately lose your impact. But fail to tie them together with a common thread, and you miss the opportunity to connect with the greater goal of learning.

Enter digital coaching, an innovative tech platform that scales the kinds of conversations CEOs and HR leaders want more of in their organizations. Conversations relating to performance excellence, culture change, soft skills development, and more. It does this through asking a series of coach-like questions that provides new perspectives for the learner and primes them for rich insights.

From my personal experience, microlearning has worked beautifully when delivered through automated coaching. I was part of a pilot group for SpeechSkills, a program created to help employees speak more professionally. It consists of microlearning modules that deliver coaching content – exercises, videos, and articles.

What sets this program apart is that it includes meaningful coaching questions. Questions that tie exercises and practices to each learner’s personal context. Questions that prompt reflection. Not just about the immediate exercise, but about the program’s overall goal. The result is a compelling program that delivers measurable results and activates behavior change.

Digital coaching harnesses all the advantages of microlearning: it’s focused, quick, and appeals to the millennial workforce. And it addresses the key shortcomings too. An automated coaching solution incorporates microlearning into an overarching learning strategy geared toward lasting behavior change.

What performance goal could microlearning through digital coaching help you achieve?