Government Elearning! Magazine

FALL 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Last Word The Myth of Micro-Learning BY SHARON BOLLER T oday's workers and "modern learners" only have 1 percent of their work week to devote to professional development and learning. Te concern I have is that we make an as- sumption that we can and should winnow down all learning initiatives to ft into this 4.8 minutes per day or 24 minutes per week. Most defnitely, reinforcement of a skill or re- inforcement of a specifc body of knowledge can be handled in 4.8 minutes a day. Learning science- based platforms such as Knowledge Guru, qStream or Axonify can be very useful in delivering micro reinforcement in this context. Micro-learning is NOT useful when people need to acquire/learn complex skills, processes or behav- iors. Imagine trying to learn any of these behaviors or skills in 4.8 minutes per day: >> A musical instrument >> Project management >> Agile sofware development and processes >> Instructional design >> Any sofware tool >> Teamwork skills >> Sales >> A [new] product What our industry needs is better clarity on when we need to formally train people, when we need to reinforce knowledge or skills people are building on their own, and when we simply need to keep key principles or practices front and center (e.g. safety and security practices). A few years ago, we opted to create a "learning lab" environment in our own organization. We wanted a means of building technical and project management skills — and we recognized that if we want innovation to happen, we have to give it time to happen. Tis sparked the idea of "skill-builders," which are formal side projects that employees can do ON COMPANY TIME. Tis year, we formalized this to the point of letting an employee allocate fve full work days of time on a skill builder. Criteria for doing a skill-builder: 1) Te skill-builder needs to link tightly to a competency the company has agreed is important to us. (For example, we use AferEfects quite a bit. So if a graphic designer wants to learn AferEfects, he or she can craf a skill-builder around it.) 2) We need to make sure employees have sufficient time to do it; ideally, they will be able to work in one-half to full-day "chunks" on the skill-builder as it is too hard to stop/start when you are in learning mode. 3) A formal document needs to be created that describes the project, what skills it will build, what resources are required, and how it links to our business needs. — Sharon Boller is the president of Bottom-Line Performance. Established in 1995, the company creates award-winning learning solutions for a variety of corporate clients. To read the rest of this blog post, visit www.bottomlineperformance.com/the-myth-of-micro-learning. 50 Fall 2015 Government Elearning!

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