There is a popular adage that says, “good things come in small packages”. This even holds validity in the eLearning industry when it comes to microlearning or bite-sized learning. Dwindling attention spans and time constraints of our workforce have resulted in traditional e-learning courses becoming a passé’.
A study by the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that learning in bite-sized pieces makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient. It is little wonder that a survey on Learning and Development professionals, found nearly 94% of respondents preferring microlearning to the traditional form of learning.
This is enough of a compelling reason for the conversion of traditional e-learning courses into micromodules.
What is Microlearning?
Microlearning is an educational approach or strategy that offers the right amount of information to help learners achieve a specific, actionable objective or outcome. This brief, targeted learning tool spans between 2 to 5 minutes. It can also be used as a part of formal training when quick references are appreciated by trainees. This makes microlearning in business contexts especially valuable.
Types of Microlearning
Given below are some types of content used for microlearning:
• Short videos
• Interactive videos
• Process maps
Apart from making learning more efficient, microlearning can be more engaging than traditional courses. The limited duration of microlearning modules matches learners’ working memory capacity since the human brain is not wired to maintain focus for hours.
Here are some other advantages of microlearning:
• Bite-sized content helps in the increased retention of information as it accommodates the duration of the working memory capacity and attention span of learners.
• The digital format of microlearning is ideal for just-in-time (JIT) learning approach, where the training assets are made available at the point-of-need.
• Focused content targets specific areas of improvement, which helps learners to rapidly fill their performance gaps.
• Content can be customized, and information can be provided on-demand to learners.
• Size of the content means the cost for development is reduced by 50% when compared to full-fledged eLearning courses.
• Bite-sized content makes it ideal for mobile learning, especially in a corporate environment where time is at a premium.
• Bite-sized content means the time for the overall development increases by nearly 300%.
• Bite-sized content would mean learners have minimal interruptions to their work schedules to complete their lessons.
When to Select Microlearning
Training teams sometimes select microlearning as a strategy to reduce development time and to keep development costs down. However, this is not ideal as it is important to consider both the needs of the business and the learners before using this strategy.
Here are some points to consider before selecting this strategy:
• Type of content: Actionable content that can be broken into small pieces lends itself well to microlearning strategies.
• Use of technology: Not all learning management systems (LMS) handle microlearning well. Therefore, it is important to utilise an LMS that is suited to modern microlearning with an in-built and effective authoring tool, such as EdApp.
• Understand the learners: While microlearning is a highly effective strategy, younger learners, who are more technologically savvy, may be more comfortable using microlearning assets than those who use digital devices less frequently.
Scripting a Microlearning Video
• The script of one video must tie back to one learning objective. Though one may be tempted to include fun facts, numbers, and tangential details, it is best to keep the video short and simple.
• The video must create a narrative and characters, ending with key takeaways. It must have a traditional story structure with a clear beginning, middle, and end, with each section relating to the learning objective.
• The script of the video must sound like a conversation. This is achieved by using active tense and avoiding unnecessary adjectives and adverbs.
• The video must be visually rich with infographics, illustrations that complement rather than compete with the onscreen text.
• The video must get to the point quickly without wasting time on lengthy introductions or conclusions.
Best Practices of Microlearning
Microlearning does work well to get the relevant information to the learner quickly, but there are best practices that need to be followed to ensure the strategy is successful. Here are some best practices of microlearning:
1. Enable mobile access so that employees who are on the move can access the training asset anytime, anywhere.
2. Ensure each micromodule is between 3-5 minutes and focuses on only one idea or objective. Elaborate on that objective.
• Choose relevant visuals, fonts, and colour to make the module engaging and helps learner retain the information.
• Ensure the microlearning supports and adapts to individual learning needs. Branching also helps create differentiated learning with the available resources.
• Reduce the clutter in the content and visuals. Segregate content as need-to-know versus nice-to-know. It is best to retain only the content that adds value to the learner.
If you would like to learn more about how to build the most effective employee training strategy!
If you’d like to know more about how EdApp’s mobile learning platform can help your internal training practices, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also try EdApp’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.