From legal requirements to a minor software problem – various search engines and a correctly worded question allow you to find an answer to virtually any question within minutes or even seconds these days. The World Wide Web is getting smarter every day, with an ever greater range of knowledge on offer. Alongside online courses such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses), the Net is also registering huge growth in informative articles, blogs, videos, tutorials, tools and platforms for professional exchange of knowledge and experience. E-learning – as online learning is also known – is in fashion and complements traditional education and training in the corporate arena with innovative offerings and learning methods.
Macrolearning or microlearning? That is the question!
The Californian leadership expert Josh Bersin is observing the rapid development of the digital educational landscape and has already reported on it in various articles. His division of e-learning into macro- and microlearning is interesting: while macrolearning is about learning something new from experts in a course, seminar, workshop or MOOC that, depending on the schedule, may take several hours, days, weeks or even months, in microlearning the focus is on a desire to gain quick knowledge, support or short-term assistance. Tutorials, videos, tools, articles and tips are in demand – bite-sized digital nuggets of knowledge that can be found in minutes and the content of which is designed in such a good and comprehensible way that they can be consumed and digested in next to no time.
Whether it is bite-sized digital knowledge in the form of microlearning or complex knowledge transfer through macrolearning – the future belongs to e-learning.
Corporate microlearning – knowledge management with a fun factor
How this can be pictured in practice is demonstrated by the example of the Canadian microlearning platform Axonify, which developed an innovative knowledge game in the area of logistics for the American company Walmart, in order to reduce the risk of accidents when loading and unloading and to strengthen the safety culture within the company. The game can be accessed throughout the US in over 150 distribution centres; around 75,000 employees can log in to the Axonify platform for a few minutes at any time during their shift and answer various safety questions, on which the system provides immediate feedback, while they play. The microlearning with a fun factor has been very well received by the employees. On average, around 90% make use of the opportunity, and since then the number of accidents has reduced considerably: as much as 55% fewer ‘safety incidents’ have been recorded and 72% of colleagues and employees felt safer at work. This example shows how company-internal platforms for clearly defined projects or problems can offer innovative opportunities to learn with and from each other in a quick and simple way, even in very large teams and companies.
On the rise: e-learning via tutorial or video
Another example of how well received by employees training and education in short, digital formats are is provided by the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), which owns over 5,000 hotels worldwide. The microlearning platform Grovo produced small, entertaining onboarding learning units for the hotel chain, thanks to which the induction phases of new employees can be designed far more effectively. The company can now work with an induction period of two weeks rather than five weeks, thus saving a lot of time and money. An informative video on the Grovo website provides a good insight into the microlearning project. Company-internal training with the help of virtual reality and assistants is on the rise and makes targeted and up-to-date training and education of employees possible.
Inspiring: e-learning generates positive learning experiences
There is no doubt: new forms of knowledge management and entertaining corporate learning within companies have a lot of future potential – with the prospect that learning and acquiring job-related knowledge can certainly be fun. Companies not only save a lot of time and money through the use of clever, needs-oriented e-learning formats, but employees and teams are also motivated and encouraged to get involved with new content, facts and information, or to update existing knowledge, such as first aid. Finally, the small, appetising nuggets of knowledge provide interesting topics of discussion, and both managers and employees can experience new content, processes and methods together within the company in an active way through microlearning.