What is Microlearning for Law Firms?

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Among recent trends in the world of law firm training, one that has continued to gain popularity is microlearning for law firms. If planned and executed correctly, microlearning can be a powerful strategy to meet your firm’s learning goals. And, if you subscribe to a robust learning management system loaded with content for law firm training, setting up microlearning paths is also pretty easy!

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of microlearning for law firms, where it succeeds, where it falls short, and tips to make the most of this increasingly popular approach. 

What is microlearning for law firms?

In short, microlearning is all about adapting to modern content consumption habits. With so many of us spending hours a day browsing social media feeds and short blog posts, microlearning embraces brevity to deliver quick, easy-to-digest lessons that can be consumed whenever it’s convenient to the learner. 

With in-person learning vs. online learning such a hot topic among L&D professionals, microlearning can be a convincing reason to opt in favor of online learning and development platforms. While microlearning can technically be accomplished in person, the functionality and rich media offered online are perfect for the strategy. (This also makes microlearning a fantastic method for law firms with offices across the country.)

It’s worth mentioning that microlearning isn’t as simple as just cutting up a longer lesson into smaller pieces. While this approach can technically touch on some of the benefits, it’s much more effective to design lessons with microlearning in mind, rather than attempting to shoehorn longform content into smaller pieces through simple cutting and pasting.

The benefits of microlearning for law firms

Beyond aligning with modern content consumption behaviors, there are several other benefits to embracing microlearning within your overall law firm training strategy:

  • Easy to deliver: With the right tools, creating these bite-sized training courses can be quick and simple, saving you hours that you previously spent planning and delivering in-person training.
  • Increased retentionExisting studies show the power of “chunking,” or grouping information into small, interrelated “chunks.” This technique has been shown to convincingly increase retention over time. 
  • Flexibility: Because microlearning units typically require just a couple of minutes each, learners can fit them into their day whenever it’s convenient. This not only increases efficiency, but also removes the need to deprioritize work duties for a significant portion of the day. Law firms are notoriously busy places; bite-size learning means that your productivity isn’t interrupted for long training sessions.
  • Boosts engagement and learner satisfaction: Learners love microlearning because it isn’t overwhelming and allows them to choose the medium that they best connect with. And because they retain more information without prolonged focus, they are more likely to come away from the experience feeling like it was efficient and worthwhile.

The challenges of microlearning

We don’t want to paint a completely Pollyanna picture about microlearning for law firms. There are drawbacks, including:

  • Tougher to teach complex topics: Some subjects just aren’t made for breaking up into little pieces. Microlearning can still be a good reinforcement mechanism for topics that require more time and energy to learn. But the approach might fall short of providing a satisfactory introduction to a multilayered, complex topic. (For example, launching a whole new technology at your law firm might require multiple in-person sessions, but you can offer micro-tutorials for skill retention.)
  • More work for the L&D team: Building an effective microlearning strategy requires a lot of organization as it can result in dozens of separate learning modules. This requires a modern, intuitive learning and development platform. (If you are a subscriber to the SavvyAcademy LMS, loaded with the SavvySMART Content Library, it is a snap to create learning paths consisting of micro-tutorials that people can digest in just a couple of minutes.)
  • Not ideal for in-person learning: As your L&D team has weighed in-person learning vs. online learning, you may have decided that certain topics or learning goals are best achieved in a physical classroom. While microlearning can still play a role in helping reinforce in-person learning, it’s probably not ideal as the sole strategy if that’s the route you’ve decided to go.

Microlearning examples

While there are a lot of different formats that could be classified under microlearning, here are a few suggestions to help get you started:

  • Microlearning videos: Short, focused videos that are designed to meet specific learning objectives. They can be standalone nuggets of training content, such as explainer videos or whiteboard animations.
  • Microcopy: Easy-to-scan, contextualized, short messages to help users learn.
  • A short, podcast-like audio clip with an expert explaining a concept.
  • Interactive elements such as quizzes, games, flashcards, and other forms of game-based learning. It could include awards, a badge or another incentive like achieving a high score on a leaderboard. (The SavvyAcademy LMS includes gamification capabilities.)
  • Infographics can be used to convey complex information quickly and clearly using visual representations of information, data, or knowledge.

Tips to make the most of microlearning

  • Include different forms of multimedia: As we outlined above, microlearning for law firms can take many different forms, and we encourage you to embrace as many as possible. Not only does this add variety, but it gives learners the opportunity to consume course material in the format that best connects with their preferred learning style.
  • Collect feedback: As always, make sure to collect learner feedback via a training evaluation form and update the evaluation often to ensure it consists of the most effective training survey questions. Once you’ve collected feedback, use it to evolve your microlearning strategy over time.
  • Include gamificationGamification can be effective across a range of learning strategies, but it really shines within a microlearning environment. Because modules are already broken up into small pieces, it’s easier to track progress across learners, and the inclusion of games and quizzes makes leaderboards a natural extension of the microlearning experience. (The SavvyAcademy LMS includes gamification capabilities.)

Conclusion

Given the many benefits that microlearning offers, including increased learner satisfaction and better retention, it makes sense to include microlearning within your overall law firm training strategy. Once you start experimenting with it, we’re willing to bet that you’ll soon become an advocate as well.

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