Microlearning & Microcredentialing: Small Things Making a Big Difference for Associations

December 1, 2023
Microlearning steps toward a goal
In the ever-evolving landscape of professional development, associations play a crucial role in fostering continuous learning among their members. To stay ahead in today's dynamic workforce, the adoption of innovative learning methodologies is not just beneficial but essential.  

Two powerful tools that continue to gain momentum are microlearning and microcredentialing. In this blog post, we'll explore what makes these strategies indispensable for associations and why integrating them into your learning management system (LMS) is a game-changer.

Microlearning: A Bite-Sized Revolution

Gone are the days of lengthy training sessions that demand hours of attention. Microlearning brings a refreshing change by delivering educational content in short, focused bursts. These bite-sized modules are designed to address specific learning objectives, making them ideal for professionals who crave flexibility in their busy schedules.

What are the Benefits of Microlearning for Associations?
  1. Time-Efficient Learning
    Microlearning accommodates the modern professional's need for quick and efficient learning. By breaking down complex topics into digestible pieces, members can seamlessly integrate learning into their daily routines without feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Increased Retention Rates
    Research consistently shows that shorter, targeted learning sessions enhance information retention. Associations can leverage microlearning to ensure members not only absorb information but retain and apply it in their professional endeavors.
  3. Adaptable to Diverse Learning Styles
    Microlearning caters to diverse learning preferences by incorporating various media formats. Whether it's video tutorials, infographics, or interactive quizzes, associations can appeal to a broader audience and keep members engaged.

Microcredentialing: Elevating Professional Recognition

In the quest for professional growth, individuals seek validation of their skills and knowledge. This is where microcredentialing comes in, offering a tangible and recognized way to showcase achievements. Think about how many certifications you see shared on LinkedIn. Can you offer your learners something like this from your LMS?

What are the Benefits of Microcredentialing?
  1. Credible Skill Validation
    Microcredentials provide a credible way for associations to validate and recognize the skills and knowledge their members acquire. This not only boosts the individual's confidence but also enhances the association's reputation as a facilitator of quality learning. An LMS that is able to provide microcredentials and badges, either natively, or with an integrated partner, will be seen as a positive when your learners are interested in upskilling.
  2. Flexible Pathways to Expertise
    Unlike traditional certifications, microcredentials allow for a more flexible and modular approach to skill development. Members can choose specific credentials that align with their career goals, creating personalized learning pathways.
  3. Enhanced Member Engagement
    Offering microcredentials demonstrates a commitment to members' professional development. This added value can lead to increased engagement and loyalty, as individuals are more likely to actively participate in a learning ecosystem that directly contributes to their career advancement.

The Synergy: Microlearning + Microcredentialing

Associations can unlock the full potential of these strategies by combining microlearning with microcredentialing. Microlearning modules can serve as building blocks, each contributing to a larger skill set that is recognized through microcredentials. This combination not only makes the learning journey more coherent but also provides a roadmap for members to systematically advance their expertise.

Microlearning + Microcredentialing: Real World Examples

Step-by-Step Demonstrations

Blue Sky eLearn’s client, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) has a wide range of content including the largest online osteopathic manipulative treatment video library. In the video library, learners are able to quickly browse the collection of videos and view short videos of procedures of interest. Read their case study here!

Bite-Sized Courses within a Course

There may be a lot of content for one course, but that doesn’t mean your learners need to consume it all at once. The American Association of Feline Practitioners accomplished this by breaking down courses into shorter snippets (think under 30 minutes), allowing learners to sneak in some educational time during lunch breaks or other short windows of time, instead of feeling like they need to set aside an entire evening to complete a course.

Brief Presentations Encourage Discussion

While many people think of online learning as something that you do on your own, our client Christian Medical & Dental Associations created shorter presentations but recommended that the series be undertaken by groups of two or more. The brevity of the videos (about 15 minutes each) meant that there was still so much more to be said on each topic and encouraged the learners to discuss the topics among their peers.

Tips for Getting Started

Interested in getting started but not sure where to start? Here are some top tips to get you going!

  • Identify Specific Learning Objectives: Clearly define the learning objectives you want to achieve with microlearning. Identify key skills or knowledge areas that can be broken down into bite-sized modules.
  • Leverage Multimedia Formats: Diversify your content by incorporating various multimedia formats such as videos, infographics, podcasts, and interactive quizzes. This caters to different learning styles and keeps engagement levels high.
  • Create Bite-sized, Focused Content: Keep each microlearning module focused on a specific topic or skill. Aim for brevity and clarity to maximize impact and ensure learners can easily fit learning into their schedules.
  • Ensure Accessibility Across Devices: Make your microlearning content accessible across multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets. This flexibility allows learners to access content on the go.
  • Encourage Social Learning: Implement features that encourage social interaction and collaboration among members. Discussion forums, peer assessments, or collaborative projects can enhance the learning experience.
  • Map Out Skill Progression: Develop a clear framework that outlines the progression of skills and knowledge within your microcredentialing program. This helps members understand the pathways available to them.
  • Align with Industry Standards: Ensure that your microcredentials align with industry standards and are recognized by relevant professional bodies. This adds credibility and value to the certifications your association provides.
  • Provide Flexibility in Learning Paths: Design a system that allows members to choose from a variety of microcredentials, enabling them to create personalized learning paths based on their career goals and interests.
  • Offer Recognition for Prior Learning: Acknowledge and reward members for skills they may have acquired through prior experiences. This can be done by providing options for competency assessments or recognizing relevant certifications from other institutions.
  • Implement a Digital Badge System: Utilize digital badges to represent microcredentials. These badges are easily shareable on social media and professional profiles, enhancing the visibility and recognition of your members' achievements. See our badging system integrations here!

Still not sure where to start? Our Learning & Development team is here to help! Contact us here.

In the fast-paced world of professional development, associations must evolve to meet the needs of their members. By embracing microlearning and microcredentialing, associations not only stay relevant but also become pioneers in delivering effective and tailored learning experiences. As the educational landscape continues to shift, those who adapt will thrive, and associations that champion microlearning and microcredentialing are poised to lead the way into a future where continuous learning is not just encouraged but celebrated. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!

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