Microlearning is a very effective form of teaching students and training employees. In this article, Ed Microlearning’s Instructional Design team – which has created an inordinate amount of micro lessons and courses – gives its advice on creating the best micro lesson plan.
4 Steps to creating the best micro lesson plan
1. Introduce learners to the topic with a title slide
It’s important to start by telling your learners what the lesson is about. This puts them in the right frame of mind by getting them 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. The more they can relate to subject matter, the more effective the lesson will be and the new information will move into long-term memory more easily. A simple introductory slide will do the job, but avoid presenting a wall of text as it will turn people 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 any misconception and explain what the right answer is: any delay will increase the likelihood of retaining the wrong information. In addition to leaving them with the right answer, tell them why the information is important – this will leave them with a lingering takeaway message. If you can use interactive questions or games to help engage your learners, learning will be even more effective. However, as above, using several, information-heavy 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 further improve effectiveness. There are various methods for doing this (they’ll ultimately depend on which learning management system you use) but scoring answers, setting time limits and awarding stars for completing tasks within the lesson all increase learners’ engagement. Completionists get enticed to collect all of the stars if they see there are more available for a course that they just took. Be generous though – don’t give out one star after they’ve sat through 20 slides! Offering real prizes for best performance or simply completing a course on time naturally acts as a learning incentive.
A real-world example can be found in the realm of retail trainees: asking which statements about a product represent correct or incorrect things to say to customers – by swiping left for incorrect answers and swiping right for correct answers – gamifies the interactive learning, thereby improving retention.
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 experience some of the system’s micro lesson templates, here.