How Microlearning and Gamification Affect Retention

Our technology partner, EdApp, mentioned in a recent post that COVID-19’s lasting effects are resulting in the highest need for fundamental re-skilling and training in the workplace since WWII. We agree.  Now is an ideal and essential moment to equip our clients and partners as they train their clients and beneficiaries. However, it is never enough to simply provide more education or content. Delivery matters.

As mentioned in another blog post a couple of weeks ago, if your material is excellent but retention is low, your training is not very worthwhile.

Fortunately, education is a constantly evolving industry.  New, innovative ideas and methods can help us make the material fresh and fascinating for our audiences. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of microlearning and gamification.

Microlearning

Microlearning refers to breaking down concepts into manageable, small chunks, and providing positive reinforcement to help users see and celebrate their learning progress. At MoveUp, our microlessons take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete, so users have time to learn a whole concept during a busy day, and can absorb the material easier.

Gamification

Gamification is when game characteristics are used to teach material. In a world where we are constantly bombarded by distractions, education must be engaging enough to block out all the other noise. Gamification helps do exactly that. Users are more engaged with the material, so retention is higher when compared to traditional learning (such as reading a textbook).

Microlearning & Gamification at MoveUp

At MoveUp, we’ve witnessed firsthand how microlearning and gamification increase our users’ retention, resulting in higher impact. Most of our users are working-aged adults.  Many are entrepreneurs. They work incredibly long hours and have family and community commitments. The fact that users can pull out their phones and finish a lesson in a couple of minutes during lunch break, in public transportation, or after putting their baby down for a nap is incredibly appealing. It removes a huge barrier to traditional education: the need to be physically present for a set number of hours to learn every day.

In these unprecedented times, these short learning sessions often respond directly to a challenge our learner is facing that very same day.  Let’s suppose our learner owns a salon, and she’s opening to receive clients for the first time since COVID-19 started. Perhaps she is terrified about the risk to her family. She opens the app and sees we have a whole course on hygiene, both for her family and her business. She can take lessons as she sets up her salon, simultaneously learning and applying. It is encouraging be able to say that with just 10 minutes of focus, you learned something new that you can apply to your life.

Microlearning allows users to customize their learning experience to be specific to their needs. Gamification is what keeps them coming back for more. In every lesson, we present a concept and then use gamification tactics to reinforce the material. Users play matching games, solve word puzzles, and solve true and false quizzes. They win stars for correct answers, which they can use to enter raffles for prizes. Even the way that we present content is interactive; users scratch pictures to reveal the content underneath, click on parts of an image to explore additional information, expand lists, and share their opinions via comments and videos. Users feel engaged, and look forward to taking classes instead of feeling obligated.

The Impact

Time and again, learners have shared with us that the platform is accessible, engaging, and simple to use.  As aforementioned, your delivery method matters. Using microlearning and gamification we have met our users where they’re at and engaged them. We’ve been able to keep them interested in a lesson on preventative healthcare at midnight, even after a long day.  We’ve made them smile as they win stars, even as their business struggles to survive. We’ve helped them realize they are all lifelong students who can learn effectively outside of a classroom. We’ve equipped them with the tactical education to apply those learnings immediately in their lives.

It may feel easier to continue to use the same tried-and-true educational tactics as always. However, in this world of digital innovation, it is essential we serve our learners using new and effective methods such as microlearning and gamification.  Providing the content is not enough. We must do it in an accessible and engaging way, in the best way to prepare our users for our rapidly changing reality.

 

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