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Master Competence with Macro-learning

We are AVA, a macro-learning environment for ambitious professional women. We provide weekly on-line content and timely in-person workshops to build critical workplace competencies. Send this to friends and and share on social @advancewithava.

Micro vs. Macro


Micro-learning is the hottest trend in workplace learning. Micro-learning covers a specific skill that needs to be learned, delivered in a small bits, in a short time frame and most often through technology. An example would be a YouTube or LinkedIn Learning video on how to create a pivot table in Excel or a design element in PowerPoint.


On the opposite side, macro-learning is a holistic approach focused on the complete learning series. Corporate trainers prefer this method with new, challenging and complicated topics. Macro-learning can be used with all types of employees at any stage in their careers to support development and growth by answering the “what”, “why” and “how”. An example would be a multi-part, in-person course on “How to be a Manager”.


Josh Bersin, a research analyst and human resource author, created the following table comparing these two, complimentary training tools:

The Problem with Micro-learning and Advantage of Macro-learning

The problem with micro-learning is that it does not build complete competency. It addresses the “what” or the symptom not the “why” or the core problem. Imagine watching a 7-minute video on how to be a manager and then going in to your boss to ask for a promotion. Or more timely, many organizations are holding short talks on discrimination and harassment in the post #metoo environment. The problem is they often offer a one-dimensional perspective and one-way, passive communication without time for questions. It could leave you confused or frustrated and more importantly unprepared to take control of the workplace opportunity or issue you are facing.


This is exactly why at AVA we focus on macro-learning. We provide an environment for deep learning and progressive mastery of critical workplace skills. Our AVA Anchor is a 3-part workshop series that tackles complicated issues women face in the workplace, such as power, negotiation, promotion, and imposter syndrome. We ask the learner for a commitment of both time and energy through multiple sessions with planning and practice.

Don’t get us wrong. Micro-learning is important. When used especially after macro-learning on the subject, micro-learning can reinforce both the inspiration and the learning. We know that over time learners may begin to forget what they learned and micro-learning is accessible to address their problem “just-in-time”. That is the focus of the content and communication we are providing in our blogs, website and community.


So master some of the tougher, critical workplace skills in our macro-learning workshops listed on our AVA website. And be sure to look out for our weekly content in our blogs and social @advancewithava.

What topics do you want to discuss? Let us know in the comments below. #advancewithava

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