Remote working is becoming increasingly popular and telecommuting is gaining more traction than ever before! One study published by the Global Workforce Analytics illustrates that the phenomena of remote working has seen a huge 115% growth in the last ten years.
In fact, the rise of freelance workers is in the top 5 biggest employment trends of the last 5 years. It’s becoming more and more common to work remotely, across borders, and across time zones.
One reason for this is the convenience remote working gives to employees and the employer – both save on travel costs, making it a win-win for everyone involved!
Yet it’s not without problems – whilst trained remote workers demonstrate higher levels of productivity, employers may find it difficult to train their remote workers, and bring them up to speed with what is happening in the company. Poorly trained remote workers are thereby less productive than their on-the-ground counterparts, which defeats the purpose of remote working!
Engaging remote workers so they can retain them as employees is also difficult for businesses, as they find their feet in a freer, online world. Engaging employees with new trainings is particularly important here - that’s why remote worker training using microlearning is so important.
Microlearning refers to the process of learning bite-sized pieces of information, also known as content chunking. This method of learning is commonly accepted as improving retention of learned material. A study of adult learners illustrated that they forget as much as 80% in the first 30 days – the drop in learned materials retention begins on the very first day after learning!
“Providing short, concise snippets of information is also conducive to engaging learners, and preventing them from losing their attention during the training,” says Bobbie Olson, a tutor at Writinity and Lastminutewriting.
Microlearning places importance not on simply completing a course, but on actually understanding and grasping the concepts the course provides. As a consequence, microlearning can really improve an employee’s training and subsequently, their productivity at work. It’s great for distance learners (or remote workers) because they are often working over different time zones. This makes it hard for them to attend live video-based sessions or other real-time events, so microlearning is best as its non-real-time based.
Moreover, microlearning allows distance learners to schedule their lessons around regular working hours. Usually, microlearning sessions do not take more than 20 minutes to complete – so, such lessons can be taken during lunch hours, or before or after work. If remote workers are working remotely for personal reasons (like family), they’ll find these courses much easier to complete.
So, the best microlearning trainings should be short, digestible lessons that are available at any time, and immediately allow learners to apply what they’ve learned.
How To Use Microlearning
Know you know why microlearning is effective. But how do you implement it?
Break up trainings. Take one long course and separate it into a series of smaller courses, covering on topic at a time. This is effectively turning your course into content chunks, making them easier to learn!
Have some video clips. Remote workers could struggle to feel involved in projects due to the distance – try to include them by using real human faces and voices.
Make it interactive. Maybe you can ask learners to share their screen, so that they can ask questions or show what they’re up to in the training. “There’s also less chance they’ll stop paying attention if they’re being watched! Other ways of making training interactive are chat pods, polls, or shared whiteboards,” says Kerrie Mackenzie, an Edtech expert at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk.
Content that matches attention spans. Videos are processed quicker than text by our brains, so this can minimize cognitive overload that long articles or PowerPoints imbue.
Give learners the means to explore further. After each short course is complete, you can provide learners with links or instructions to read more about the topic, either by articles or forums or websites.
Assessments. Assessments are proven to increase learned material retention, and are a great way to check learners have been paying attention during a small course! They also show you, the employer, if your course was good enough to actually teach your employees, and show what parts they struggled with. You can then make courses shorter or longer or edit them as necessary, improving the content for future remote workers!
Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Luckyassignments.com and Gumessays.com. As well as being involved in many projects throughout the country, she is a mom of two children, enjoys traveling, reading and attending business training courses.