Tired of creating or watching hours of instructional videos? Conversational microlearning brings new efficiency to corporate online learning practices – one chat at a time.
Anybody who has ever attended a training event knows this: the most detailed feedback, the most inspiring debates, and long-lasting collaborations are born in the line for the coffee machine. Sharing knowledge via conversation and participation remains, according to research1, the core driving forces when it comes to adult learning.
Today, in the era of a quick-paced global business environment and hybrid working models we are desperately looking for online learning methods that are both effective and user-centred. Can the “coffee machine line” experience ever be translated into an online-based one? Apparently yes – and text-based microlearning (or conversational microlearning) is set to drive a major change in the eLearning market.
The rise of microlearning
Let’s start from the beginning: What is microlearning? In simple terms, it’s an online learning solution that focuses on supplying the learner with compact, digestible nuggets of knowledge through short, carefully crafted lessons. The strength of microlearning lies in its brevity, conciseness, and efficiency achieved through repetition. Microlearning has already won the attention of the biggest players in the global market. Name a global corporation and be sure they have already invested in microlearning services for their employees.
Microlearning: smart and mobile
Learning strategies such as gamification (learning through quizzes, crosswords, or puzzles), use of flashcards, visuals, or spaced repetition lie at the core of microlearning’s success. However, what gives microlearning the upper hand over old-fashioned learning methods, is without a doubt, its adaptability to mobile devices. Smart devices (phones, tablets, and watches) are not only ubiquitous: they are also crucial for social interactions, self-representation, and self-development (fitness trackers and meditation apps just to name a few), they are our source of knowledge and entertainment. By tapping into this movement, microlearning makes learning accessible, easygoing and smart.
Conversational microlearning (also appearing under the names “chat-based microlearning”, or “text-based microlearning”) delivers essential knowledge formatted into digestible chunks in a chat-based format. The experience resembles the chats we have with friends and family on our favorite messenger apps. Call a single module a chat-based learning nugget. From a technical perspective, AI-powered conversational microlearning platforms like eggheads allow you to build chatbots, so you can also say you build e-learning chatbots or chatbots for Learning & Development (L&D).
We learn through conversations…
Learning is an intrinsic part of our everyday life – whether we notice it or not. When we scroll through social media, read newspapers, help our kids with their math homework, or put together flatpack furniture, our brains acquire and process new information constantly. And while the transfer of knowledge comes in many shapes and forms: from reading instructions to watching videos, its primary form remains one-to-one communication. It’s how we socialize from the first days of our lives: how we learn what behaviors are acceptable and not, and how to perform simple and more complex tasks. Our family members impart new, context-dependent knowledge to us as we move on with our daily lives.
…and conversations now take place in messenger apps
In this day and age, communication largely takes place online thus expanding our horizons beyond the skills and expertise of our immediate circle. While in the past one had to go far and wide to find a master of one’s craft, today knowledge is available at hand. Networking has never been easier when social life and thus communication has moved from cafes, lecture halls, tables, and workshops to the online environment. Chatting, texting and photo sharing enhance our connectivity and enable us to find “our tribe” – a community of like-minded people.
Various portals have sprung up, where people share their knowledge and expertise. The industry for online learning is booming – learning through videos, chats, photos and live conversation (mentoring, coaching) has never been more popular. In the context of corporate online learning, getting the same level of personalized content as with webinars or coaching is much harder to achieve – but not impossible. With conversational microlearning, an accurate design of the learning script can elicit a feeling of one-to-one conversation.
Drive change – chat by chat
At eggheads, we combine the best of both: conversations and learning. This is how you can use conversational microlearning to drive change: first, identify the knowledge gap and determine what your employees need to know to become successful in their upcoming tasks and projects. Then extract the key information and divide it into digestible chunks. Now, schedule them into a logical order: starting from what employees are likely to know and building up on that, and finally introducing brand new information (the principles of educational scaffolding should come in handy).
Now comes the conversational part: with Eggheads you can tap into a familiar solution, which makes learners instantly at ease, that is chat. This dialogic experience makes learning as easy and fun as just chatting with a friend or colleague.
Scripting a chat-based lesson has never been easier and more intuitive. A simple interface allows you to design a chat-based conversation containing statements, questions, pre-defined answers and AI-powered feedback. Write chat-based training yourself, or let the AI turn existing material into a conversational learning experience.
You don’t have to worry about adjusting the level to each of the learners: eggheads allows you to create answer-based jumps, which skip what the users already know and show them what they are yet to find out instead. Take it a step further with AI and offer personalized feedback like from a tutor. You’re free to decide how many steps each chat will contain, how much information is being passed on, and the predicted effect.
Last, simply share the link to a chat that’s accessible in any browser (desktop and mobile). With egghead, our Microsoft Teams app, you bring learning to where teams work and communicate together: Microsoft Teams. So there’s no need for additional programs or apps for bot-based training. And because chats are so easy, no extra training is needed.
The benefits of conversational microlearning
Conversational microlearning is set to change how humans learn at work. First and foremost, it makes the learning process accessible and familiar by adapting to the text-based model of our everyday communication. Second, it removes the learning curve that is inherent in introducing new online tools. Chat just doesn’t need an explanation. Plus, it reaches learners where they already are. You can simply share a link or push a chat-based learning nugget to your Microsoft Teams. Third, conversational microlearning is adaptable to the learner’s knowledge level and offers a personalized approach and feedback. Say goodbye to one-size-fits-all learning content. Last but not least, conversational microlearning enables all the best microlearning practices: gamification, quizzes, and spaced repetition which have proven to improve knowledge retention over a longer period.
At eggheads we say, that conversational microlearning is our answer to the talks by the water cooler and at the conference backstage: except you don’t have to be anywhere near that backstage or water cooler. Are you interested in giving eggheads a try? Get started with your free account.
- Baldwin, L. J., Jones, C. M., Hulme, J. & Owen, A. (2015). Use of the learning conversation improves instructor confidence in life support training: An open randomised controlled cross-over trial comparing teaching feedback mechanisms. Resuscitation. 96, 199-207. ↩︎