DEI training
Date: April 24, 2024

The Role of Microlearning in DEI Training

In modern learning strategies, microlearning has emerged as a powerful tool due to its ability to deliver concise, targeted, and easily digestible bursts of information. This approach is gaining traction in workplace learning due to its effectiveness in addressing the challenges posed by busy schedules, and the need for continuous learning. Microlearning typically involves delivering content in short, focused modules that learners can consume quickly, often utilizing multimedia formats such as videos, infographics, quizzes, or short articles. Research suggests, using microlearning can potentially increase the retention of knowledge up to 20%, while conventional learning methods usually only yield retention rates between 8-10%. 

One area where microlearning is proving particularly valuable is in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training efforts. DEI initiatives are critical for fostering inclusive workplaces and addressing systemic biases. However, traditional DEI training methods often struggle to engage participants fully or to deliver content in a way that is easily retained and applied in real-world scenarios. This is where microlearning steps in.

Microlearning: A Key Strategy in Modern Learning and Development

We are at a critical and transformational cultural moment when it comes to issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Despite these positive advances, many solutions out there don’t meet the need for effective DEI for a variety of reasons. At NIIT, we understand that the tick-the-box approach that has garnered popularity doesn’t realistically challenge or educate learners on the nuances of DEI issues and conversations. Here’s why microlearning stands out:

Accessibility: Microlearning offers a flexible and accessible way for employees to engage with training content. In fast-paced workplaces where time is limited and employees may be juggling multiple responsibilities, microlearning allows individuals to access bite-sized learning modules at their convenience. This accessibility ensures that employees across different roles, schedules, and locations can participate in DEI training, promoting inclusivity and reaching a broader audience.

Personalization: Microlearning enables organizations to tailor training content to the specific needs and preferences of individual learners. By breaking down DEI topics into smaller modules, organizations can create personalized learning paths that cater to diverse learning styles, skill levels, and cultural backgrounds. This personalized approach ensures that employees receive relevant training, engaging, and meaningful to their unique experiences, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment within the workforce.

Engagement: Microlearning is inherently engaging, as it delivers content in short, focused bursts that capture learners' attention and maintain their interest. In today's digital age, microlearning offers a solution for keeping employees engaged with DEI training initiatives. By incorporating multimedia elements, interactive features, and gamification techniques, microlearning can make DEI training more interactive, memorable, and enjoyable for participants, leading to higher levels of engagement and participation.

Continuous Learning: DEI is an ongoing journey that requires continuous learning and reflection. Microlearning supports this process by providing regular opportunities for employees to engage with DEI content and apply their learning in real-world situations. Instead of relying on one-time training sessions or annual workshops, organizations can use microlearning to embed DEI principles into everyday work experiences, encouraging employees to incorporate inclusive behaviors and perspectives into their daily interactions.

Inclusivity: Microlearning promotes inclusivity by accommodating diverse learning needs, preferences, and backgrounds. By offering content in multiple formats (e.g., videos, podcasts, quizzes) and languages, microlearning ensures that all employees can access DEI training in a way that resonates with them. Additionally, by featuring diverse voices, perspectives, and examples in microlearning content, organizations can validate the experiences of underrepresented groups, challenge stereotypes, and foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.

benefits of microlearning

Diversity and Inclusion Training in the Workplace: The NIIT Approach

Learners often encounter training that doesn’t realistically challenge them to get out of their comfort zone. There’s no clear education that helps them distinguish between expected responses versus meaningful behavioral change. NIIT’s approach to DEI training is designed to challenge existing behaviors and mindsets and trigger difficult conversations to address the real issues that often get brushed under the carpet.

Proprietary, Learn by Doing Pedagogy: We bring a relevant point of view that emphasizes interactive, engaging learning experiences and even more: we use design thinking to put forward realistic, “grey” ethical scenarios and consequences, conducive to key topics like microaggressions and allyship.

Excellent Facilitation to Achieve Equality: Our facilitation network brings experience in relevant areas like cultural sensitivity and competency, in addition to extensive content expertise in diversity and inclusion topics. We can apply proven practices to DEI items like Inclusion Circles.

Custom, Scenario-Based and Immersive DEI Solutions: The latest research shows that simulations and VR experiences that allow the learner to respond viscerally in a psychologically safe space can be extremely effective when it comes to DEI solutions for building empathy and battling unconscious bias. We bring unparalleled expertise to apply these technologies to complex topics like intersectionality.

World Class UX to Support an Inclusive Workplace: Research also shows learners have DEI “tick the box fatigue.” We design our DEI courses in an engaging format that forces learners to think through their actions and responses instead of mechanically responding to a checklist. Our UX Design Team can ensure that our courses and assets are engaging, easy to use, and in line with relevant use cases and visual design best practices.

Transformative DEI Consulting & Advisory: Our strategic consulting on DEI emphasizes learning and business alignment to empower organizations with measurable impact. We can ensure your DEI initiatives meet their values, priorities, and targeted measurements for desired outcomes.

Values Aligned with DEI Needs: We have always been grounded in the idea that NIIT is People. Since our inception in 1981, we have followed ideals that guide our own DEI initiatives and bring the same passion and commitment to DEI initiatives to our clients.

diversity and inclusion training in the workplace

Case Study:  Real-World Examples of Microlearning in DEI Training

Challenge: The owner, operator and developer of a national rail network wanted to raise awareness of accessibility issues and increase sensitivity to the needs of train passengers with disabilities among staff who assist passengers on the platform. 

Solution: NIIT created a set of six short videos about the challenges faced by passengers with disabilities, which were incorporated into classroom and virtual classroom sessions as “conversation starters” on accessibility issues.  These videos served as prime examples of microlearning, offering bite-sized insights that were easily digestible for busy staff members.

Result: The videos humanized individuals with disabilities, aiding learners in understanding their challenges and fostering empathy. Learners were able to relate to real-world accounts, gaining insights into assisting passengers with disabilities effectively and realizing the significance of staff behavior in ensuring their comfort and confidence.  

Download the case study for more.

Leverage Microlearning for DEI Training with NIIT!

Microlearning can be immensely valuable in making DEI training more effective, inclusive, and impactful in today's diverse workplace environments. By providing learners with bite-sized, on-demand content, microlearning enables organizations to deliver targeted training that resonates with employees at all levels. Moreover, its flexibility and accessibility ensure that all employees have equal access to training resources, regardless of their background or learning preferences. As organizations continue to prioritize DEI initiatives, microlearning will undoubtedly play a critical role in driving meaningful change and fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging within the workplace.

If there is anything NIIT has proven over the past few decades, it’s that our solutions are geared toward creating lasting change. We know what does and doesn’t work and bring that to our solutions in DEI. Discover how we can transform DEI Training for your organization today.