Corporate learning is changing so quickly that it can be challenging to keep up with the expanding number of approaches and styles—microlearning, learning in the flow, just-in-time, self-help, moment-of-need, and more.
But don’t be daunted by the adjectives, as many of these methods share a foundation. They each rely on self-contained modules of instruction to facilitate learning—think LEGO for corporate training. Each module is a LEGO brick, which can be combined in countless ways. People can snap together pieces of a kit to make a specific item, such as a fire house or the Eiffel Tower.
No matter which way modular content is described—as chunks or nuggets, as bespoke or micro—it may be exactly what organizations need to compete in digital business. Here are two key considerations:
1. From a neuroscientific perspective, modular content is perfectly suited for modern learners.
Humans have a limited working memory capacity and a short attention span—even without the added interruptions from texts, popups, emails, and other distractions. When content is broken down into smaller chunks, it’s easier for people to digest.
Modular content enables people to complete a learning objective in five to seven minutes—the duration of the average work break. It also can be put together for learning tracks that are comprehensive and in-depth—yet, because they are chunked, courses are just as digestible for modern learners. If courses are indexed and searchable, employees can easily jump to specific sections and skip over the topics they don’t need at that moment.
2. It’s versatile and meets the diverse and fluctuating needs of today’s workforce.
Employees today are overcommitted, time-crunched and have very little time to devote to learning. Yet the need for continuous training has never been greater—technology advances rapidly, business objectives can change without much notice, software updates are pushed out more frequently, and the skills gap is widening. Organizations must focus on upskilling and reskilling their existing workforce.
Modular learning content enables companies to meet today’s training needs and keep up with the pace of digital business. Organizations can piece together effective, targeted training in a snap and provide employees with what they need at the moment they need it. They can also use modular content to address broader challenges like the skills gap. They can put together content to create learning tracks that are customized to individuals, departments or objective.
Jumping back to the LEGO example, there’s a reason the company and its modular bricks have endured for nearly a century—they enable people to easily achieve a goal, whether quick and simple or long-term and complex. Modular content can do the same for corporate learning—it’s just up to organizations to start implementing it.
Jen is an award-winning journalist who writes about workplace productivity and technology for Vitalyst. She believes in the power of using plain language, especially when writing about technology, and lists “achieving and enabling clarity” among her life goals.