Virtual classroom learning and microlearning have become commonplace in corporate training. Both options adapt beautifully to the modern classroom, which strives for adaptability, flexibility, and accessibility. At face-value, though, the connection between this EdTech option and this design model seems ambiguous at best.
As training professionals, we do our best to keep up with current trends in the field. We attend webinars to learn about design thinking, go to conference presentations on the latest thinking about augmented reality and training. And subscribe to blogs that promise to bring is everything we know about hot topics like mobile learning and gamification.
Connecting the Dots Between Microlearning and the Virtual Classroom
Virtual classrooms allow us to deliver live content in short bursts to learners all over the world. The cost of travel and physical classroom maintenance is drastically reduced, and learners have access to a more accessible schedule. However, these strengths are often canceled out by the lecture heavy webinar approach so familiar to all of us.
Microlearning provides tools, job aids, and reminders to learners in all of their moments of learning need. By definition, content is delivered in microbursts and is task specific. Unfortunately, learners are not accustomed to consuming corporate training content in this format, and many individual microlearning assets go underutilized.
The problem is, we are learning in silos. We not learning the design relationships between these different concepts. We are missing so many opportunities to amplify the learner experience and start to maximize the investment we’ve made in all of these technologies. And, by strategically designing content to take advantage of these relationships, we can balance the weaknesses of one approach with the strengths of another.
How do we bridge the gap and integrate micro resources within formal live online training programs?
My article, Use Microlearning Assets to Fuel the Virtual Classroom, in the March 2018 Learning Solutions Magazine connects the dots by addressing the powerful relationship between microlearning and the virtual classroom. In this article, I encourage you to rethink the learning experience by starting to replace the typical “slides and guides” virtual classroom program design to an experience that teaches learners how to access and utilize the various tools you want them to use back on the job.
I propose designing virtual lessons around the microlearning you want employees to use on the job. This provides context, teaches learners how to access and use the tools, and makes the virtual classroom a much more active experience as we encourage learners to access microlearning in the moment and utilize the microlearning in order to complete business tasks. All with the benefit of the facilitator ready to help them succeed.
And, I’ve included several infographics to support your learning:
- How to Incorporate Microlearning Techniques into Virtual Classroom Lessons
This infographic provides ideas on how to use chat, whiteboards, and other virtual classroom tools to deliver microlearning.
- 6 Steps to Designing Virtual Classrooms Using Microlearning
This infographic summarizes the design approach suggested in this article.
Heading to Learning Solutions 2018? Join me onsite at one of my concurrent and panel sessions.
Looking for hands-on practice with this new approach? You're in luck!
Our brand new workshop Creating Virtual Classroom Experiences Using Microlearning has a few open seats for the inaugural April 19th session. Register now for two hours of expert-led, collaborative training, and useful self-directed exercises for a truly blended experience.