Structuring micro learning correctly encourages not only great knowledge retention but also engagement. In this post we will share best practices that should be considered when designing microlessons: establishing a microlesson structure, selecting the most effective templates, planning lesson duration and more.
So when you are constructing your next lesson, consider reviewing the following elements to ensure that you are achieving the best possible results.
1. Begin with Knowledge Transfer
It is important to start any lesson with a few slides focused on knowledge transfer. This exposes your learner to new content before getting them to apply this knowledge in questions and interactive elements.
Text, images and video are great mediums through which to conduct knowledge transfer. Ed’s Template Library provides various choices for you to utilize these elements in engaging ways.
For example *Text Progression* presents sections of text to your learners to ensure each sentence is digested without distraction. Keep reading here for other methods to break up long form text.
You can also use video to communicate concepts or chunks of knowledge. Research shows that videos are ideal to convey information effectively in a short span of time. With Ed’s YouTube template (shown below), the incorporation of video content is incredibly easy for you. Simply integrate video content from the largest online video library with a click.
You may even consider featuring narration in your lesson; whether to add a human aspect to the content or to provide further elaboration on complex concepts, we see many additions of narration to knowledge transfer, to great effect.
2. Implement immediate reinforcement
While videos, text and images are necessary to convey new information, each is a passive task. Therefore, it is effective to immediately follow up knowledge transfer slides with an active form of learning, using our Interactive Templates to ask your learners to drag-and-drop, swipe to match, rearrange and tap their way through the lesson.
Ed templates such as *chat*, *ratio* or *dial* utilize active learning to educate on new topics or reinforce concepts put forward in the introductory content templates.
Following up Content Templates with Interactive Templates straight away utilizes immediate reinforcement to increase retention (Leaman, 2014). In this part of the lesson you are presenting the information covered previously in various formats, providing active ways for your learners to put their knowledge and skills into practice. Interactive Templates also serve as an early diagnostic assessment; Ed displays key takeaways and feedback after every interactive slide, correcting any misinterpretations so that only the correct information is committed to memory.
3. Utilize games in microlessons for increased retention
Repetition is one of the most effective mental processes to ensure learning. When you review a specific piece of information several times over, it moves from your short-term memory and embeds in long-term memory (Eysenck & Keane, 2001). Ed’s Game Templates (sometimes referred to as ‘skill boosters’) can revisit key terminology, reinforce knowledge or tie together concepts conveyed within the lesson in a new environment. These learning games mean that even within the context of a microlesson, content is repeated in a race against the clock with fun and engaging interactions working to strengthen mental schemata, making it easier to remember and recall the information at a later date.
Ed’s Learning Games also provide immediate feedback to the learner, enabling them to correct performance behaviors on the spot. A low score or inability to complete a game prompts repetition of lesson material. We have found that players also return to a lesson in order to increase their score or seek more stars, igniting multiple visits to learning material and therefore further repetition of content.
The Swipe it Right game is popular amongst our users due to its versatility. Based on a tried and true method of identifying true or false statements, users swipe statements to the left or right in a tinder-like fashion while racing against the clock.
4. Provide focused & concise content in your microlessons
Creating microlessons is not simply a matter of divvying up existing content into small chunks and calling them microlessons. Each microlesson requires one clear learning objective, focusing only on one or two key messages within a module. This is because one of the aspects that make microlearning so effective is its ability to deliver content in a lean and effective format.
In order to achieve this, focus only on the content the learner needs within a given micro-lesson. A clear lesson structure formed around strong learning objectives will help. Another way to ensure content is kept concise is to ensure every slide plays a part and contributes to the achievement of the set objective. By ensuring each micro lesson focuses on targeted knowledge you effectively maintain the integrity of your microlearning.
5. Dictate duration & frequency
We recommend breaking up content into microlessons of no more than a few minutes in duration. Learners often find it hard to focus on courses for long periods of time (Kelly, 2013), and learning in small pieces of information at a higher frequency is clinically proven to be better for retention than taking on large pieces of information at a low frequency (Kapp & Proske, 2015).
When combined with delivery on a smartphone device, you can truly enable your learners to engage at a time and place convenient for them. Depending on the requirements of your audience and the nature of your content, you decide if lessons are limited to one per day or allow them to complete several lesson throughout the day.
When it comes to designing microlessons in Ed, there are many elements that should be considered to ensure you achieve the highest possible levels of engagement and retention.
With the support of Ed’s automatic gamification and engagement features, its vast Template Library and mobile-first design, when you adhere to the above considerations during lesson construction, you will be able to deliver the highly effective micro lessons which suit your learning objectives and (most importantly) produce quality content for your learners to work through.
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