IT Managers Try Teaching In Small Bites To Maximize Impact

by drjim on June 22, 2017

IT managers need to find ways to make sure that their teams learn

IT managers need to find ways to make sure that their teams learn
Image Credit: CollegeDegrees360

If I asked you how you learn best, what would you say? A lot of us would say that we learn best when we are sitting in class room and the professor is up at the board teaching us. However, especially when it comes to younger workers, this approach does not always work. IT managers need to come up with a training method that will work for everyone on their team.

How To Make Training Stick

So here’s a fun quiz for you: what do you think the average person’s attention span is? Remember that an attention span is the amount of time that someone can spend focused on a single task while they filter out all distractions. What would you guess? 5 minutes? 1 minute? Try 8 seconds. Even worse is that this figure has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 in part due to the arrival of smart phones, social media, and on-demand entertainment. These are the people that an IT manager are going to have to try to train in addition to the IT manager training that we are always seeking.

Realizing that long form training sessions are probably not going to work for the younger workers who are now taking over the workplace, firms are trying a different approach. What they have done is to take the traditional long-form learning sessions and broken them down into much smaller sessions. These are now being called microlearning. These are being delivered via both apps and websites. This approach is being adopted because IT managers believe that the way that people learn has changed over time.

What used to work, sitting in a classroom and being lectured to, no longer seems to work with today’s workers. Another critical issue is time. The time required to leave your job, travel to a classroom, sit through one or more lectures, and then travel back to your job can eat up a great deal of productive time. However, IT managers are faced with the fact that their IT manager skills are telling them that in the modern workplace, so much is always changing that training is required. The added benefit of providing members of your team with training is that it will make them feel as though the company cares about them.

Secrets To Good Teaching

So what do microlearning courses look like? These courses are produced and distributed as a mix of both videos and interactive online lessons that generally take the student less than 5 minutes to complete. In order to ensure that the student has learned the information that the course contained, each course generally contains a quiz.

In order to meet the dynamic scheduling needs of the team members who sign up to take a course, the microlearning courses are generally made available to team members whenever they want to access them. Access is granted via either online or even via their smartphones. What makes this type of training especially valuable to firms is that it can be used to teach both so-called “hard” and “soft” skills. Hard skills may have to do with how to use a particular piece of software to accomplish a given task. Soft skills may center on how to get along with other workers in the workplace.

It’s important to note that the microlearning course approach may not the right method for every learn opportunity. There are limits. When team members are taking these courses, they may not be paying as much attention to them as they would if they were sitting in a classroom. Additionally, these smaller sized learning courses probably don’t carry the same “emotional weight” as traditional classroom courses because there is no in-class discussion of the topics being taught. This is very important to the learning process.

What All Of This Means For You

IT managers have a responsibility to make sure that the members of their team continue to receive training. This is needed because of all of the changes that are occurring in our workplaces. However, especially with younger workers, traditional classroom learning may not be the right way to communicate new information. Instead a new approach is needed.

This new approach is called microlearning courses. These are short, probably about 5 minutes long, videos and online courses that team members can access from almost anywhere at any time. This type of training can be used to communicate both soft and hard skills to workers. However, this type of training does not fit all circumstances. In some cases, a formal classroom may be better in order to ensure that the material being presented gets retained by the students.

In addition top IT team building, IT managers need to make sure that their teams stay current on both technical and soft skills. In order to do this , we need to make sure that the training that our teams need is made available to them in the format that they can best make use of it. Microlearning courses provide a new way to train out teams. IT managers should check into this approach and determine if it will work for their team.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What topics do you think microlearning courses would not be well suited for?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Yea! You are an IT manager. This is a great position to reach in your career, but now what? We all want to become better at what we do and improve our IT manager skills, but just exactly how to make that happen can be quite confusing. If only there was some wise person who could show us the way. Well, it turns out that there is such a person. Ok, so it’s not really a person in this case but a company. Google.

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