We’ve all experienced forms of micro teaching (and microlearning) at some point in our lives. And while the concept of micro teaching is nothing new, it’s steadily increased in popularity due to its effectiveness, especially in workplace training. To fully understand the power of micro teaching and learn how to successfully create your own micro teaching lesson plan, read on.
What is a micro lesson?
Micro lessons are bite-sized modules that focus only on key elements or messages of a learning topic. Unlike traditional modules that take hours to get completed, micro lessons are designed for self-paced learning that can be completed only within five to ten minutes. This way, training managers can prevent cognitive overload in which the brain is forced to digest abundant information all at once, negatively affecting knowledge retention among learners. Through micro lessons, information can be effectively embedded into the long-term memory of learners while also empowering them to have control over their learning process. This makes training not only more understandable but also more engaging and less time-consuming.
What is micro teaching?
Micro teaching is a proven method so you can micro teach to the best of your abilities and ultimately drive better learning results. Simply put, micro teaching involves scaling back the lesson material so that any given team member can absorb what’s being taught in small bursts. This method is a popular one not only because of the brevity of lessons, but because microlearning has also proven to help convert short-term memory to long term, meaning that delivering learning material in bite-sized chunks can be incredibly effective, if not the most effective form of learning. If you’re unfamiliar with microlearning, it’s the breakdown of information into topical, bite-sized chunks, not only making it easier for the learner to absorb the content but also resulting in better learning. In fact, microlearning sees completion rates around the 90% mark (where completion rates are commonly around 15% in traditional eLearning). What’s more, these courses are interactive and fun, which means learners actually enjoy completing the learning content. According to a recent study, 94% of L&D professionals say that they prefer microlearning to traditional eLearning courses because their learners prefer it (Boyette).
Apart from being modern and fun, one of the reasons why learners prefer microlearning is because it allows them to easily digest the information rather than being overwhelmed with too much to take in. By the same token, micro teaching delivers micro lesson(s) in small bursts to maximize absorption and mitigate any unnecessary content to provide the best learning results possible.
In this article, EdApp’s Instructional Design team – who have mastered the art of creating results-driven, beautiful, and interactive microlessons – share their knowledge for creating the best microlessons for you and your teams.
Micro teaching ideas
If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve collected 10 ideas for micro teaching to get you started:
- Onboarding. If you’re onboarding new staff, one of the best ways to do this is through micro teaching. Simply scale back your onboarding process by breaking it up into small, digestible chunks. In an EdApp microlesson, you can easily introduce your company and your teams, values and culture, and more. It also gives new starters the opportunity to revisit their onboarding lesson if they missed anything
- Compliance. Have any company-wide or even team-wide compliance-based training? Scale back your content into bite-sized portions so it can easily fit into a microlesson. For reference, it should take around 5 – 10 minutes to complete one microlesson.
- Product training. Especially if you’re in an industry like retail, create a micro teaching plan around your products or collections. Microlearning allows you to easily break down your products into categories and simultaneously boosts retention rates.
- Health and Safety. Whether you’re in an office, on-site, or working remotely, every organization has best practices around health and safety. Easily upload microlessons around your fire escape plan, educate your teams on COVID-19, and everything in between.
- Team Building. Build and maintain your company culture through team-building exercises. Include anything from breakout activities, games, and engagement to build happy, well-functioning teams in your workplace.
- Sustainability. Looking to do your part by educating your teams on sustainability practices they can introduce to their lives at home and at work? Why not share sustainability content on everything from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to sustainable eating and more.
- Leadership skills. Empower your teams with the skills they need to be great leaders in the workplace. Like team building micro teaching, leadership skills will help nurture and grow your teams by giving them the tools they need to thrive.
- Communication skills. Regardless of your industry, communication skills are imperative to help drive the success of your business. Train your teams on verbal, written, and non-verbal communication tactics and styles to nurture professional growth.
- IT & Security. Keeping your teams safe and secure is key. Educate on cybersecurity awareness and privacy to help protect you and your teams and share IT procedures to support your teams.
- Mental health. Health and wellbeing are key for every team. Share micro teaching on mental health and resilience in EdApp’s editable content library, provided by industry leaders around the globe. Pick and choose which content you would like to share with your teams to facilitate health and balance.
Ready to get started? Find all these ready-made microlessons (and much more) in EdApp’s completely free, editable content library ready for you to choose, edit, and deploy to your teams.
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What is a micro lesson?
Before we jump into micro teaching, let’s break it down: A micro lesson is a small lesson built around one target you’re aiming for your learners to achieve. Given the amount of content being learned, a micro lesson should take less than 15 minutes to complete. This gives learners a key concept to focus on and master, rather than being confused or overwhelmed with too much information. Within the award-winning EdApp platform, each micro lesson lives within a course that is built around a microlearning lesson plan. Having small lessons is key to the success of a learning plan because, as we’ve mentioned, the bite-sized content results in higher completion and retention rates, ultimately better learning results.
What is a micro lesson plan?
Simply put, a micro lesson plan is focused on one specific subject to be explored within a learning platform. Your micro lesson plan should be designed with the intention of carrying out short, succinct lessons for your learners to master.
Within each lesson, there’s an opportunity to introduce a wide range of built-in features that result in higher engagement rates, retention rates, and most importantly, better learning experiences. One of these elements includes spaced repetition or Brain Boost spaced repetition app, where interactive lessons are automatically created based upon core, previously learned content from the EdApp platform. This feature is backed by a highly-regarded Supermemo SM-2 interval algorithm and can be implemented for any EdApp user, aiming to instill key concepts and boost learners’ retention on any given topic. Explore the diagram below for a deeper look into EdApp’s many built-in features and elements found within a powerful Authoring Tool, all of which are designed to help you create the best micro lesson plan for your learners.
EdApp’s data-driven Authoring Tool gives you the opportunity to design beautiful, engaging, and effective microlessons with a built-in tool – no coding required. The user-friendly platform hosts unlimited possibilities of multimedia, meaning you can easily embed videos, images, audio files, and external URLs into EdApp’s microlessons easily and effectively.
EdApp’s extensive Template Library also includes over 50 intuitively designed templates that suit every type of learner. Chose from interactive templates that include multiple-choice, elements of gamification, conceptual formats, surveys, and more. EdApp’s cloud-based Translation Tool enables you to translate your courseware into over 100 languages with a few clicks and in record time.
And this is just scratching the surface of EdApp’s capabilities, all of which are completely free and available for you to create the ultimately micro lesson plan to drive better learning results for you and your teams.
How do you plan a micro lesson plan as part of a blended learning journey?
If you follow a blended learning model, your micro lesson plan can easily fit into your existing structure. As the name might suggest, blended learning is a mix of learning elements like pre-learning, testing, social learning, and peer discussion.
The essentials of blended learning typically include three elements:
1. Learning must happen, in part, digitally.
2. Learning must take place in a physical location.
3. The mix between traditional and digital learning must be integrated with intention. It should also be supported by additional activities to help drive training results.
EdApp’s blended learning journey (pictured above) is an excellent example of how micro lessons can perfectly fir into your program. Let’s break down what your blended learning journey could look like with your microlearning.
- First, introduce a micro lesson to familiarize your teams with a skill that they might carry out on the job.
- After reinforcing this skill, follow up with assessments (pre-learning and testing).
- Incorporate elements of social learning to boost company culture and deepen your employees’ understanding. EdApp’s built-in features like Discussions and Assignments are the perfect option to facilitate collaboration in a forum-like discussion, with the option of instructor-led coaching throughout.
- Practice spaced repetition to ensure your micro lessons are embedded into your teams’ long-term memory.
- Introduce elements of gamification and prizes throughout the process. Even with small prizing incentives, participation, retention rates, and ultimately better learning outcomes are achieved.
- Reinforce concepts through face-to-face sessions. If you’re unable to connect with your teams in person, EdApp’s built-in Virtual Classrom feature provides the closest simulation to face-to-face meetings with video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
- Give your teams the option to revisit content whenever they like to reinforce the learned content. From the EdApp platform, this can be easily achieved by reviewing microlessons or accessing recorded video conferences.
What differs between a micro lesson and a macro lesson plan?
So what is the difference between a micro lesson plan and a macro lesson plan? Simply put, a micro lesson plan focuses on brief subjects and incorporates a specific topic for learners to absorb quickly, without taking up too much time.
We know that human memory can only hold up to five new pieces of information before it gets lost or overwritten. This is one of the reasons why microlearning is so successful by focusing on fewer topics and embedding the learned topics into long-term memory.
Alternatively, a macro lesson plan is a teaching strategy that incorporates a magnitude of lessons and subjects, designed to be executed across a longer period of time. As the name suggests, a macro lesson plan is also more suited to teach larger concepts which often consist of more complex and detailed subject matter.
How to make the best micro lesson plan in 4 steps
So, what’s the best way to approach an amazing micro lesson plan? Our learning experts recommend breaking your plan down into clear steps to ensure that you’re creating the best learning experience for your teams. Read on to discover our 4-step guide and learn how to expand your micro teaching ideas.
Looking for more resources? The ADDIE model is another great guide to creating and organizing your micro lessons.
How to make a lesson plan for micro teaching in 4 steps
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 the 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 the subject matter, the more effective the lesson will be, all while providing a greater opportunity for the new information to embed into your learners’ long-term memory with ease. Pro tip: 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, we recommend keeping it minimal to avoid turning off your learner. Using five-or-six content slides in a row, we find, is too many for a micro lesson plan. 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.
You can easily find perfect examples of a balance of video, text, and both in our Editable Content Library, where leading companies around the world have contributed high-quality, practical courseware – all for free.
For example, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has created a collection of brilliant lessons, including Meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Accessible now for all to take, this course introduces the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and optimal understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This learning content guides learners through a multi-part course to share amongst colleagues, friends, and family, for effective mainstreaming of the SDGs.
3. Micro teach to reinforce content using interactive questions and games
Next, our learning experts recommend introducing interactive questions to help reinforce your content. If your learners 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. Just as you would for answering the question correctly, it’s important to tell your learners what the correct answer is and why the information is important – this will leave them with a lingering takeaway message. EdApp boasts an expansive library of over 50 templates to help you create interactive questions or games to help engage your learners and reinforce your concepts.
4. Applying gamification to a micro lesson plan
Playing games makes for effective learning, but making your lessons competitive (and even rewarding) will drive effectiveness even further. There are various microteaching methods for doing this (which ultimately depends on which Learning Management System you use) but scoring answers, setting time limits, and awarding points for completing tasks within the lesson all increase learners’ engagement.
EdApp’s built-in rewards program is built around earning ‘stars’. Based on your preferences, you can easily reward your learners through stars, which can then be turned into real rewards like a Starbucks or Amazon gift card, for example.
Gamification and real prizing entice learners to collect more stars, as they complete your microlessons. 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.
Microlearning with built-in gamification training software is an amazing tool to adopt for the success of your organization’s training strategy. We know that microlearning has proven successes and one of the best things about it, is that you have the freedom to implement the practice in many different ways, giving you the space to deploy custom, bespoke learning experiences to your audiences.
Micro teaching with EdApp
To learn more about making the best micro lesson plan for your teams, watch the video (below). And if you’re ready to get started now, try EdApp’s completely free online training platform and authoring tool by clicking here.
Ready to get started? Learn how to create a great micro lesson with EdApp below.