Microlearning Question Variety: The Key To Keeping Learners Engaged In A Digitally Distracted Workforce.

By Qstream

Article courtesy of Jenna Berris, Director of Product Marketing

The state of learner engagement in corporate settings is dismal, to put it lightly. According to LinkedIn Learning, most learning programs have a 23% completion rate. ATD adds insult to injury with these statistics: only 14% of employees would rate their organization’s learning programs as an “A,” and only 45% believe that training programs are relevant to their day-to-day jobs.

So, what’s the problem and how do we fix it? Well, there are a couple of things at play here. First and foremost, most corporate training consists of long e-learning courses that are, let’s face it, pretty boring for the participant. A study by eLearning Industry indicates that 90% of corporate learners admit to multitasking during online training sessions. Today’s attention spans are not aligned with this style of learning.

Another factor at play, employees feel that training is something that pulls them away from being productive in their roles. Another LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report found that 49% of employees cite lack of time as the biggest barrier to their learning and development. This is a recipe for disaster. Employees don’t want to complete training in the first place, and when they finally set aside the time to do so after being nudged to meet the deadline, they only become further disengaged by the generic, long-form content that is being delivered.

We all know that the solution is microlearning, or short bursts of training over time. But, even after some time, the workforce of today will grow tired of receiving the same type of questions. That’s why using a variety of question formats is the key to keeping learners engaged and coming back for more learning. When this is done correctly, microlearning programs can produce engagement levels of 93% or higher! That’s leaps and bounds ahead of the 23% mentioned above.

Here are some of the common microlearning question types (and their benefits) that you should consider adding to your training programs to garner interest, deliver important information and help employees continuously develop job-critical skills.

Multiple Choice: These are perfect for evaluating the learner’s recall of facts and comprehension of key concepts. They can be used across virtually all content areas, from compliance training to product knowledge to soft skills development. Multiple choice questions are ideal for scenario-based learning, where you paint the picture of a real-life work situation and measure how the participant would respond.

Multiple Correct Answer: Use this question type for evaluating the learner’s higher-order thinking and grasp of nuanced concepts where more than one answer may be correct. It’s ideal for advanced scenarios and prompts learners to weigh various factors before making decisions, mirroring the complexity of real-world workplace challenges.

True/False: This question type is efficient for assessing knowledge of facts, definitions, principles, or procedures. It provides a straightforward way to reinforce foundational knowledge and pinpoint areas of misunderstanding. However, because learners have a 50/50 chance at guessing the correct answer, we recommend limiting these to 1 or 2 questions per microlearning challenge.

First Delivery: Share new information with your learners via a concise message. This option does not use a question prompt but is used to communicate timely, job-critical content when immediate needs arise. They can be used as one-off messages or in a microlearning series.

Video Scenario: This question type immerses learners in practical scenarios, in a way that requires them to reflect on the content, organize their thoughts, and then articulate a coherent response. With this question type, managers are also enabled to review and assess their team’s recorded video responses and can then offer ratings and immediate, constructive feedback.

Survey: Curious as to what learners thought about a recent training? Or even where they’d like to receive additional training? This style is great for social learning. It can help you better understand the impact of your programs and give employees a stake in the learning process.

Matching & Ordering: Both ordering and matching questions go beyond simple recall. They demand the application of knowledge. When answering this question type, learners must already understand the material in order to correctly organize or pair items to demonstrate a deeper level of comprehension. Matching exercises are particularly beneficial for recognizing patterns and forming associations between concepts, which are crucial for understanding complex topics and enhancing knowledge retention.

Fill In The Blank: With this question type, learners actively participate by clicking or dragging the correct answer to complete a statement. This method demands that learners truly know the topic, as they can’t rely on choosing from multiple choices, which makes this type of question an effective way to measure their knowledge, challenging not only their recall but also their logical and analytical skills.

Here is an example of how you might combine these question types to create a dynamic microlearning challenge. Keep in mind that question types can be used multiple times within a challenge depending on your goals. I am using a pharmaceutical sales microlearning challenge as an example.

  • Question 1: First delivery. Share information on a change to a product line and how to best position the product moving forward.
  • Question 2: Multiple choice. Ask learners to identify the new key selling points of the product line from a list.
  • Question 3: Matching. Ask learners to match the products in the line and the disease states they address.
  • Question 4: Video scenario. Have learners record themselves making their pitch to a healthcare professional so management can review and provide feedback.
  • Question 5. True/False. Ask learners to identify whether a statement on the key value of a product is correct.
  • Question 6: Survey. Prompt learners to share their feedback on the microlearning challenge, either asking them to rate it on a scale or providing statements about their preparedness to sell the product line. Leave an open-text field to provide additional thoughts.

The best microlearning solutions will repeat questions 2, 3 and 5 over time to build knowledge retention. This encourages learners to practice the information and moves it to long-term memory. When a learner answers a question correctly two times, they essentially test out and that question does not repeat.

Pro tip: Incorporate game mechanics & rich media to make microlearning entertaining & interesting

Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning found that 70% of employees feel disengaged during corporate training sessions, often due to a lack of interactivity and practical relevance. Microlearning questions that are built on science, by nature, address the latter by repeating questions based on how a learner answers them.

However, many fail to add gamified features to encourage healthy competition and keep learners engaged. Qstream, on the other hand, uses light gamification to make learning fun and rewarding. Team and individual leaderboards as well as the ability to earn points for both participation and performance keep learners coming back for more.

To go above and beyond, use relevant media. Add an image to the question stem to draw them in and provide supporting videos and other multimedia in the question explanation to supplement learning. Or, consider asking a question based on a video.

Let’s start a conversation

You can learn more about the Qstream microlearning solution here. Or why not ask for a Qstream demo?

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