Microlearning: The Tiny Little Secret That Keeps Your Members Coming Back for More Blog Feature

Microlearning: The Tiny Little Secret That Keeps Your Members Coming Back for More

The facts are clear: more than 50 percent of association members cite support for certifications and certification training programs among the membership benefits they value most. So if your learning programs leave members feeling unprepared, it’s going to cost you.

Still, hurdles pop up between even the most comprehensive learning programs and the association members they serve. Today’s learners are already overwhelmed by their work and digital devices. Expectations to prolong screen time for training and exams, after a full day of work, can lead to digital burnout for even the most tech-savvy individuals.

Learning organizations, however, know a small yet significant secret that aids associations and their members: microlearning–learning modules that take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

In this blog post, we’ll explore three key ways microlearning enhances learning programs and boosts member retention.

#1: Microlearning Empowers Members to Upskill as They Work

Association members today expect learning experiences that enable them to upskill effectively and in real-time—say, learning how to craft effective ChatGPT prompts—and enhance the work they’re doing as they do it. Such learning is key to member retention. To retain and increase membership, associations must offer members opportunities to easily acquire knowledge. 

With microlearning, your association has the opportunity to create a dynamic, regularly updated content library encompassing industry standards and practices. Subsequently, through your Learning Management System (LMS), you can offer access to modules that illustrate the practical application of these guidelines in real-world scenarios.Microlearning - The Tiny Little Secret That Keeps Your Members Coming Back for More  inline - microlearningSay a member wants to reference a cost management framework at the end of the fiscal year. With that information saved in a project management professional (PMP) certification library, they can reference it and see how to apply that information with just a few clicks. 

This prevents the member from breaking their flow of work—budgeting is a complex, time-consuming process—and enables efficient learning while increasing confidence. What’s more: your association can rest easy knowing the information members access reflects industry standards.

Of course, having continuous access to learning materials is important. But members want to learn. Microlearning doesn’t just make learning easier to access and more efficient to complete. It helps learners retain information, too. 

#2: Microlearning Helps Combat the Forgetting Curve to Support "Stickier" Learning

The Forgetting Curve refers to the rate at which learners forget acquired information. Consider knowledge, in this regard, like a new car. Cars famously depreciate in value the moment they leave the parking lot. Likewise, knowledge begins to wane as soon as a learner leaves their learning environment.

But each time learners apply (or review) knowledge, they tend to flatten their forgetting curve. That is, applying what’s been learned helps learners forget less over a longer period of time. Microlearning - The Tiny Little Secret That Keeps Your Members Coming Back for More  inline - forgetting curveBy breaking down complex topics into smaller, more manageable segments, microlearning makes it easier for your association members to access practice materials to review what they have learned (and, as we discussed above, reference learning materials during the flow of work, as necessary).

As a sticker learning modality that flattens the forgetting curve, microlearning helps learners…

  • Build a foundation of introductory understanding before moving on to more complex topics.
  • Reduce the cognitive load by presenting all materials in individual parts.
  • Practice learning where and when they are comfortable. This helps members learn, and review what they have learned, increasing recall when information is necessary.

When practice is broken down into smaller units, learners are more likely to review what they’ve learned in a way that fits their individual routines. Likewise, when empowered to practice when and where they’re most comfortable, members may space out microlearning activities, further reducing their forgetting.

When members view your learning program as an easy-to-access resource that supports their certification training and helps them retain what they have learned, it elevates how they think of your association. What’s more: these same microlearning tools make it easier for all learners to acquire knowledge in the first place.

#3: Microlearning Helps Associations Create Equitable Learning Opportunities for All Members

As discussed above, microlearning breaks learning into brief, self-paced units that make it easier for your association’s members to learn and retain the skills and information they need. Moreover, microlearning’s self-paced nature also makes it easier for all individuals to tailor personalized learning paths that accommodate different schedules and learning styles.inline - personalized learning-pngThis approach is especially beneficial in several ways:

  • Accessibility: Content available on mobile devices enables learning from anywhere, with omnichannel delivery ensuring equitable access for members with diverse technological resources or constraints.
  • Personalization: Microlearning's modular design tailors learning paths to individual members' interests and skill levels, facilitating efficient, relevant learning experiences.

Equitable access to learning for all association members not only strengthens the profession as a whole but also enhances your organization's reputation. By offering inclusive opportunities to all members, your association fosters a culture of growth and inclusivity, ultimately expanding its membership base.

Microlearning: The Secret to Engaged Association Members

According to a report by Deloitte, 65 percent of workers say they need ongoing learning experiences. Those experiences help association members stay current in their profession—and committed to the organizations that support them.

However, traditional learning programs, which require learners to enroll in a course that may take hours or days to complete, fail to meet the on-demand nature of today’s workplace.

Microlearning enables associations to offer their members the learning opportunities they need when—and where—they need them. What’s more: you can pair your microlearning program with a refined view of your LMS data to offer members more personalized incentives, further enhancing their engagement. 

Want to learn the 4 key LMS superpowers that associations need to help their candidates prepare for career-changing professional certifications? Check out our eBook, 4 LMS Superpowers Every Association Needs.

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