About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6227-6234
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain


A.C. Thelen, S.D. Herr, F. Hees, S. Jeschke

RWTH Aachen University (GERMANY)
Today`s working and business life is characterised by economic and social trends like acceleration of technological innovations, shorter production cycles, globalisation, tertiarisation of jobs etc. Due to these external effects, companies face an increasing demand for up-to-date knowledge in order to stay competitive.
In times of rapid economical and technological changes, traditional learning concepts prove to be insufficient. In contrast to the need for continuous learning, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly less able to spend enough time for external learning due to increasing time pressure. Observations in the daily practice show that traditional training methods lack the flexibility to attend the need for just-in-time and just-enough tailored training. Only about twenty percent of relevant on-the-job knowledge is acquired through traditional formal training, while the remaining eighty percent is gained in informal settings (Cross 2007). Consequently, organisations look for more efficient alternatives to traditional training methods.
Microtraining is one answer to increasing organisational learning needs. Its methodology is based on the concept of short learning units, supporting workplace-related learning, which is especially important in the context of SMEs (Pawlowsky et al. 2006). Microtraining is time and cost-saving, highly flexible and can be tailored to organisational learning demands (short, medium and long term).
Microtraining incorporates sound learning principles that are supported by recent didactical research. First, Microtraining is an active approach towards learning, involving participants into the training process (Mayer 2004). Second, Microtraining provides a safe and informal environment for participants to exchange experiences and supports the exchange of tacit knowledge (Neuweg 2006). Third, through its design Microtraining is highly flexible and customisable and targets specific workplace-related issues, a notion that is especially important for SMEs (Pawlowsky et al. 2006).
The Microtraining method is characterised by short learning units of up to 30 minutes that aim to refresh or expand knowledge. A series of single Microtraining units constitute a whole Microtraining cycle that deals with a main topic. Due to its shortness, Microtraining fits into almost every working schedule and can be applied ad-hoc if an urgent theme has to be addressed. Each session starts with a certain problem or question that prompts participants to think about the subject. Subsequently, a demonstration or an exercise build the main content of the session by exposing participants to first-hand experience. Afterwards, a feedback or a short discussion allows participants to reflect the exercise or demonstration, share their practical experiences and consolidate the recently attained or refreshed knowledge. At the end of every session, links to further information on the topic are provided and a brief preview of the next session is given.
Microtraining offers a didactically advanced and suitable training concept for organisations that seek to train their employees in a flexible and time-efficient manner. The presented methodology is based on extensive practical experience out of the Leonardo da Vinci project’s Microteaching (2004 – 2007) and Microtraining (2007 – 2010).
author = {Thelen, A.C. and Herr, S.D. and Hees, F. and Jeschke, S.},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6227-6234}}
AU - A.C. Thelen AU - S.D. Herr AU - F. Hees AU - S. Jeschke
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 6227
EP - 6234
ER -
A.C. Thelen, S.D. Herr, F. Hees, S. Jeschke (2010) MICROTRAINING FOR WORKPLACE-RELATED LEARNING, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 6227-6234.