Microlearning is a method of training that takes place in short, digestible, instructional bursts, and aims to teach content in the most efficient and effective manner possible. In this article, I’ll share some research that’s been done on mobile user behavior, and explain how a microlearning approach can address the needs of your mobile audience.
Micro Learning Moments
In a recent post on Think with Google, Google provided survey data on the ways that smart phones and mobile devices have forever changed the way we live. According to Google, the rise of mobile has “fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time intent-driven micro-moments.” While the post mainly focused on how businesses can use these “micro moments” as a way to market to consumers, I believe much of their research can also be applied to eLearning and mobile learning.
For example, Google’s research on user behavior offers insights that can be directly applied to mobile learners. Of particular significance:
1. Mobile users expect immediate action
Mobile devices let users act on any impulse at any time. Users are used to taking immediate action whenever they want to learn or do something.
2. Mobile users demand relevance
Users have high expectations and little patience. They expect quality, relevance and usefulness at their fingertips.
3. Mobile users are loyal to those who address their needs
Users will return again and again to those who address their in-the-moment needs.
What do these insights mean for elearning designers and developers? I believe a shift toward a learner-centric strategy that effectively addresses microlearning is needed. In fact, our learning audience is already beginning to expect this approach. They want relevant, personalized, on-demand information that gets straight to the point.
Not convinced yet? Here are a few more statistics about mobile users that might show you which way the wind is blowing:
- 64% of American adults own a smartphone, and 42% own a tablet computer
- 90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long-term goal or multi-step process while “out and about”
- 91% of smartphone users seek ideas through these devices at the same time they perform other tasks.
- 91% said they are looking for new ideas on mobile devices while performing routine tasks.
- 30% of smart phone owners use their device to take a class or get educational content
If organizations want to attract, develop and retain talent in this generation, we have to adapt to our audience. And while microlearning may not be the answer to every learning need, it is definitely an approach that should be considered.