Microlearning is a very effective form of teaching students and training employees. But you need to have a good plan to make the most of it. In this article, Ed Microlearning’s Instructional Design team – which has created an inordinate amount of micro lessons and courses – give their advice on creating the best micro lesson plan.
The 4 Steps to creating the best micro lesson plan
1. Introduce learners to the topic with a title slide
Start by telling them what the lesson is. This gets them in the right frame of mind; thinking about learning and making them more receptive to new information. By giving them an overview of the topic, you’re also making them think about context (for more on why this is important, see this article on chunking strategy) and what they know about the subject already. A simple introductory slide will do the job, but avoid presenting a wall of text as it will turn them off.
2. Begin knowledge transfer with video, text or both
Video is proven to be one of the best forms of knowledge transfer. Text is fine but, again, keep it minimal to avoid turning off your learner. Using five-or-six content slides in a row, we find, is too many. If all of the information is important, consider splitting the information into multiple lessons. We find using four slides is an optimal number for directed-focus lessons.
3. Reinforce content using interactive questions and games
Use interactive questions to help reinforce content. If they get the answer right, you can reinforce why the right answer was important. However, if they get it wrong, it’s very important to quickly correct the misconception and explain what the right answer is: any delay will increase the likelihood of retaining the wrong answer. In addition to leaving them with the right answer, tell them why it’s important in order to leave them with a takeaway message. If you can use interactive questions or games to help engage your learners, this practice will be even more effective. As above, using several slides in a row with no reinforcement is something to avoid.
4. Applying gamification
Playing games makes for effective learning, but making your lessons competitive and even rewarding will only improve matters further. There are various methods available (they’ll ultimately depend on which learning management system you use) but abilities to score answers, time limits and awarding stars for completing tasks within the lesson all increase learners’ interest. Completionists get enticed to collect all of the stars if they see there are more available for a course that they just took.
Another good example might be for retail trainees: which statements about a product are correct or incorrect things to say to customers? Swipe left for incorrect and swipe right for correct. Assign points for correct answers and take them away for incorrect answers. You can even award prizes for best scores, fastest completions and even people who complete a course before a cut-off date. Be generous though – don’t give out one star after they’ve sat through 20 slides!
There is more information regarding how to make the best micro lesson plan in the following video. But if you’d like to know more about a mobile-first learning management system that offers all of the above features, you can try Ed App Microlearning and Mobile LMS for free by clicking here. You can also check out just some of our micro lesson templates.