Modern Training

If your learning isn’t micro and adaptive you’re only halfway there

Posted on: July 29, 2016Updated on: June 20, 2023By: Jen Buchanan, VP of Product Management

There’s a reason so many Dilbert comics poke fun at the corporate training experience. We’ve all endured mind-numbing hours of training only to realize a week later, we can’t quite recall more than a few details (and not necessarily the important ones).


Enter the concept of microlearning. In a nutshell, this is a technique for delivering learning content in short, bite-sized bursts.

Brain science (and our own experience) tells us we can only absorb four to five pieces of information into short-term memory at any given time. So by breaking content into short chunks and delivering it continuously over time, learnings are easier to digest, understand and apply. And, most importantly, we stay engaged.

It’s no wonder that with the recent popularity of microlearning, cheers have been heard in offices around the world. Technology is finally being used to do more than digitize classroom training or bring heavy training binders online. Microlearning is aligning with employees right within their work stream, serving up learning topics in short, bite-sized bursts and letting them get on with the task at hand.

Micro-content is only part of the solution

But making content easier to digest is only half the battle. What do you think employees dislike almost as much as endless hours of training in a classroom or in front of a computer? The answer, quite simply, is that they hate wasting time. They hate being forced to take training on topics that they already know. And they hate content that has no relevancy to their job.

This means that breaking up information into micro chunks isn’t enough. What if employees could not only learn through bite-sized learning, but the training content could adapt automatically to each individual’s unique learning path, ensuring time spent on learning was highly focused and relevant?

With adaptive learning, it’s possible. Adaptive learning is the only way to ensure employees are using their time the most efficiently and remaining engaged.

That’s because a true adaptive learning solution delivers content in small, focused, bite-sized chunks and adapts continuously to what the learner knows and doesn’t know. Specifically, it:

  • Evaluates employee knowledge ongoing during learning sessions
  • Compares learner data to initial benchmark knowledge levels, plus target knowledge levels
  • Adapts the learning path automatically with modifications being made on the fly to subject matter, level of difficulty, learning resources and even methods of knowledge delivery

Adaptive learning saves employees time, boosts performance

Today’s employees need to know more than ever before, and they have less time to do it. Despite the fact that employees are committed to their personal learning and development, they are only able to spend an average of 1% of their time on training each week.

By using Adaptive Microlearning, time can be spent more wisely—building need-to-know knowledge that is relevant to the job, instead of wasting time on irrelevant or non-essential information. Employees can zero in on areas where they are weak to fast-track their knowledge growth and accelerate their ability to drive tangible business results.

The bottom line? If your learning doesn’t include “micro-content ” AND “adaptive,” you’re not maximizing the learning time available to your employees—and your employees may be living their own Dilbert comic.

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Adaptive Learning here.

Written by Jennifer Buchanan

Jen Buchanan, VP of Product Management

Jenn is one of those lucky people who works in the sweet spot between product and marketing. She has the rare pleasure of working with all aspects of the business, ensuring teams have a deep understanding of the problems we are solving.

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