Let’s recall your college days and those uninteresting history lectures. How boring it was to listen to the teacher rambling on about the wars and events, that too for an entire hour. Well, history lessons wouldn’t have been boring if taught via documentary films. Agree?
Microlearning is all about making learning fun. It is an evolving eLearning trend that focuses on imparting knowledge and teaching skills through digital platforms rather than long hours of conventional lectures. In microlearning, a huge amount of content is broken down into smaller nuggets based on the learner’s preference, time constraints, and relevance, making it easy to access information in various ways and learn in a short time.
Microlearning has made it possible to learn anywhere, anytime. So, it is a boon for those working professionals who want to learn new skills but have no time to attend traditional classes.
Want to learn more about this new way of learning? Keep reading the article!
Table of Contents
Macro Learning vs. Microlearning
Micro and macro learning differ in many ways, such as focus, time, complexity, etc. However, you can use both in conjunction for upskilling your employees.
Macro learning emphasizes on an in-depth understanding of a complex subject. The complexity level of the content and instruction increases gradually. It takes hours or days or months to complete the comprehensive content. This type of learning occurs through a Learning Management System or in a classroom, with instructors, coaches, and mentors supporting you.
Microlearning, on the other hand, focuses on building conceptual understanding along with factual knowledge. The learning modules are designed taking into account the retention ability of the learner. These modules can be in different digital formats and may be completed in 5 to 10 minutes.
Whether you want to upskill your employees, update their existing knowledge, or train them on new skills, microlearning is a powerful and effective learning method for all scenarios.
Microlearning offers the following benefits-
- You don’t require the logistics that are needed in traditional classroom training.
- As employees are not required to be physically present to attend a training course, there are fewer chances of missing work or taking leaves.
- As the training is provided in bite-size, the employees can retain the information for longer. It reduces the need for retraining.
- The training modules are shorter, so it is easier to create customized content for a specific job function or audiences of different personas.
- The modules can be easily uploaded and shared on the cloud.
For Learning Creators:
The eLearning organizations and EdTech companies have witnessed a 74% or more completion rate of their microlearning courses. Other benefits learning creators can reap are-
- In comparison to longer traditional courses, the development of microlearning modules is 50% less expensive.
- Developing microlearning modules is 300% faster than traditional learning modules.
- The use of agile instructional systems results in the cost-effective execution of modules.
- Content development is less overwhelming.
Forms of Microlearning
- PowerPoint Presentations
Be it interactivities, videos, or infographics, PowerPoint is the best tool to make all types of microlearning content quickly. And one of the biggest benefits of using this tool is – you can repurpose PowerPoint presentations by converting them into different digital learning formats, such as an interactive microsite, PDF, etc.
In microlearning, the most popular forms of content are videos and animated text with audio. These content forms are a great way to showcase abstract ideas and demonstrate stepwise processes. Using animated videos, you can add style and strong visualization to your content and present it in digestible and easy-to-learn pieces.
Podcasts are generally audio, but they can also include videos. They are micro-lectures focused on a single topic, which can be listened to during a long walk, at lunchtime, while traveling from office to home, or home to office – wherever and whenever you want. The learners don’t require technical skills or costly equipment to access podcasts.
Infographics are the perfect choice to showcase the key takeaways of a concept in a crisp, engaging, and graphical format. Using infographics, you can showcase the summarized points of a longer training, providing quick and at-a-glance information to the audience. You can use infographics to showcase the statistics and survey results, organizational policies and procedures, do’s and don’ts, quick tips/points to remember, and much more.
You can depict a visual representation of various stages of a complex process, sequence of events/tasks in a project, user interaction with your product, advertising campaign plan, and much more through storyboards. You can also use storyboards to visualize the relationships among activities, customer journeys, etc.
If your company assigns field or site work to employees, you can get a geofencing app designed to send push notifications to workers. In comparison to text messages, the opt-in rate of push notifications is higher. These push notifications are sent as a two-minute video to remind employees to check safety updates and compliance.
Healthcare organizations and construction companies can also use geofencing apps to train employees on safety practices, operating procedures, etc.
You can make microlearning more interesting by incorporating games. Gamified microlearning helps learners enhance collaboration, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. You can incorporate competition, social interaction, points, scores, levels, achievements, rewards, timers, penalties, and badges in games. By including feedback in your gamified microlearning modules and designing each module as mobile-first, you can take your company’s L&D (learning and development) endeavors to the next level.
- Job Aids or Performance Support Tools
Job aids provide employees with grab-and-go information to perform their tasks effectively. Quick reference guides, interactive PDFs, checklists, how-to videos, mobile apps, infographics, etc., are all examples of performance support tools that help your workforce boost their productivity and performance.
With 3D simulation training, you can decrease training time by 40%, boost learning engagement by 50%, and improve knowledge retention by 20%. Using simulations, you can train employees in a simulated environment and provide them with hands-on experience before putting them to work in a real workplace. You can create metaverse simulation to provide training on designing earthquake-proof buildings, handling emergency situations in healthcare, responding to customers’ complaints, tracking and preventing a phishing attempt and malware attack in a company, etc.
- Mobile Apps
Microlearning mobile apps teach lessons to learners in bite-sized content. Some apps are platform-specific (Android or iOS), while other apps can be run on any mobile platform. Some apps come with a browser version too. TED-Ed, InstaNerd, and Word of the Day are some good examples of microlearning mobile applications.
In addition to the above-mentioned forms, there are many other forms of microlearning, such as social media, static resources, quizzes, and flashcards. You can choose one or more forms based on your learning objective.
Best Practices for Microlearning Courses
You can enhance the effectiveness of your microlearning courses by following the below-given best practices-
- Keep the content concise, correct, clear, and credible.
- Maintain consistency throughout the curriculum development process.
- The content should focus on a single learning objective.
- The training module must not exceed 2 to 5 minutes.
- Include visuals and graphs in the content.
- Make microlearning content available across multiple media platforms.
- Design the module in such a way that learners can go back or forward to find the needed content.
- Add reflection activities, practice exercises, and quizzes to increase retention.
- To encourage learners to complete the course, you can offer a certificate of completion.
In today’s fast-paced era, when the attention span of people is decreasing continuously, microlearning has emerged as an efficacious tool to help learners stay engaged and gain knowledge and upskill themselves at their own pace and time.
If you have not adopted a microlearning strategy yet, it’s time to implement it in your training courses. By breaking voluminous information into short and easy-to-understand lessons, you can make your employees learn a lot quickly, keeping their spirit of learning alive.
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