This is the fourth post in our series about microlearning.
Workers in the building trades often work in hazardous conditions where they need to know how to complete specific and often difficult tasks, maintain compliance with local regulations, and quickly assess and address potentially dangerous situations. However, training can be extremely difficult, given their constantly changing environments where there are few spaces available for traditional types of training. Don’t despair! Microlearning is an engaging training solution your employees can use to quickly learn what they need, when they need it.
First, let’s go over a few numbers that quickly show the success of microlearning in corporate training strategies:
- After participating in microlearning, 78 percent of employees in one study felt more confident than before the training.
- Microlearning is primarily done on mobile devices, and the mobile learning market is expected to grow from $60.97 billion in 2023 to $184.42 billion in 2024.
- Organizations relying on mobile learning saw a 16 percent boost in productivity and other improvements.
Microlearning works! To understand why it works so well in the world of construction, we need to understand how it’s used.
Ensuring worker safety is one of the topmost concerns in the construction industry and it is also a prime candidate for microlearning. Microlearning modules can focus on safety protocols, procedures, and best practices specific to each role and/or task. Workers quickly absorb and apply this information, creating a safer work environment. Microlearning is particularly good for reinforcing safety measures and ensuring workers consistently adhere to critical safety guidelines. Real-world scenarios can help learners identify potential hazards and prompt the correct response through feedback. Such simulations help learners retain information so they can more quickly react when experiencing an on-the-job safety risk.
Construction workers face diverse challenges at work, and often must quickly identify and apply the appropriate solutions before problems escalate. Microlearning allows them to access specific bits of information as they need it, to provide immediate solutions or guidance on a task while increasing efficiency and reducing downtime. We tend to bombard employees with a lot of information all at once, especially during onboarding. New knowledge can be overwhelming if delivered too quickly. Frequent microlearning sessions, however, provide a manageable introduction to new concepts that employees can gradually fit into their daily work schedules.
Construction projects involve a variety of tasks and responsibilities. The bite-sized modules in microlearning plans address specific skills or tasks relevant to the job. Workers can quickly acquire the needed skills without sitting through lengthy training sessions, making it easier for them to transition between distinct roles on the construction site. Infographics can be particularly helpful here by showing a step-by-step process or decision tree. If an individual is struggling with a specific task, microlearning simplifies the task by breaking it down into small, manageable chunks that are delivered as part of an overall learning strategy.
There’s a lot happening on construction sites and spaces conducive to traditional trainings are not always available. Microlearning is often delivered through smartphones and other mobile devices, making training materials easily accessible to workers wherever they are. Such flexibility ensures that learning can happen in real time, which supports a more agile and responsive workforce. Your workers can also use microlearning to brush up on job-specific skills during downtime when they are waiting for a storm to clear or for road closures to take effect.
Engagement and retention
Well-designed microlearning modules are short, which makes it easier for workers to fit them into their busy days. Gamification, such as interactive quizzes w/prizes or badge systems for completing a set amount of learning lessons, encourages individuals to stay engaged and keep learning. That knowledge is reinforced over time and through a steady repetition: introduce a familiar concept, then repeat the information while expanding it in several ways so information stays fresh and easy to remember.
No matter the industry, budgets are important. Traditional training methods in the construction industry, such as in-person workshops, can be expensive and inefficient. Microlearning offers a cost-effective alternative by minimizing the time workers spend away from their tasks while teaching them what they need to know in a way that stays with them. Because microlearning is delivered digitally, there’s no need for stacks of written materials, which helps save money, time, and the environment.
While microlearning is a smart alternative to old-fashioned training, it still needs to be done right. Remember: boring content is still boring content. Just because a module is short doesn’t automatically mean it is engaging or effective. It still needs to engage learners from the start through the end. When created by professional instructional designers in collaboration with subject matter experts and other stakeholders, your microlearning program can help your workers improve skills, retain knowledge, and reduce safety incidents.
“Can Microlearning Be the Answer to Recruiting Millennials in Construction?” Jobsite. 11/3/19. Accessed 1/24/24. https://www.procore.com/jobsite/can-microlearning-be-the-answer-for-recruiting-millennials-in-construction
Hesse A., P. Ospina, M. Wieland, F.A. Leal Yepes, B. Nguyen, and W. Heuwieser. “Short communication: Microlearning courses are effective at increasing the feelings of confidence and accuracy in the work of dairy personnel.” Accessed 1/24/23. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030219306605
Mordor Intelligence. “Mobile Learning Market Size & Share Analysis – Growth Trends & Forecasts (2023 – 2028).” ReportLinker. 1/24. Accessed 1/26/24. https://www.reportlinker.com/p06484310/Mobile-Learning-Market-Size-Share-Analysis-Growth-Trends-Forecasts.html
Pandey, Asha. “5 Killer Examples: How To Use Microlearning-Based Training Effectively” eLearning Industry. 4/11/16. Accessed 1/23/24. https://elearningindustry.com/5-killer-examples-use-microlearning-based-training-effectively