What is M
At the risk of stating the obvious, microlearning is a brief and targeted learning approach where learners consume instructional content in short chunks or bites.
Millennials learn differently: they want to pull information on their own at the time they require, rather than being pushed from the other side. Their attention span is also falling, and the world is shifting fast from degree-based to skill-based learning pedagogy.
Microlearning is, therefore, a product of the times—it’s about closing skill and knowledge gaps with ‘micro’ information nuggets, which is specific to user requirement, easy to understand, and solves the learner’s problem at run-time.
Let’s see the different ways microlearning can be leveraged in your day to day business. Here are 9 tips to help you develop and implement effective microlearning content strategies for your organization:
1. Choose your targeted microlearning format
Acknowledge that people learn differently. Some prefer visuals, some are auditory learners, while others may respond more to kinesthetics. Microlearning caters to different types of audience based on their preferred learning styles, and which format you choose is dependent on the kind of content you want to create and the intended audience you want to reach out to. So videos work when teaching soft skills, flash cards work when teaching hard skills and assessments work when you want to refresh what was already consumed. Take a business decision based on your target audience.
2. Ensure readers take away a definite one-line message out of your micro-learning content
Unless there is a clearly defined learning objective that emerges out of every microlearning module, you may have missed the bus. There are so many videos out there on the internet that are otherwise beautifully made and you enjoy watching them, but at the end you did not find any definite takeaway. Did you just run a series how to drive a car where you talked everything about cars except how to drive them? Keep this in mind: every microlearning module should carry in itself a one-line message that clearly comes out without an effort.
Tools like Magisto and StepShot are popular in microlearning milieu for creating videos.
3. Use Audio intelligently
Effective use of audio could just be the game changer. Cut down on unnecessary voiceovers. Supply audio only to the extent of supporting the visuals. Also, microlearning does not mean you have to necessarily go for narration-style audio. Sometimes an enchanting background score works better to complement the messaging and the context. Just don’t go overboard with the sound effects and sync the pace correctly.
4. Use Slideshows/Infographics as interactive learning modules
Use as much representational graphics and illustrations as you can to make learning appear visually descriptive. Dumping plain content in bullet points and reading them out is almost an insult to your audience. Blend compelling visuals with concise text. Highlight trends and product features that stand out. When you pair a fact or statistics with a graphic illustration, it adds weight to your point and learners tend to retain it more (just don’t do an overkill, be it with the stat or in the design, and avoid putting excessive information).
5. Use lesson-based Podcasts
Auditory learners simply go gaga over podcasts. In a way, podcasts personalize training by arranging a conversational framework, letting an employee access training at their suitable time basis their availability and workload. The best thing about it is you can take a podcast even when you are on your morning walk or on the treadmill in the gym! So you could either go to popular podcast sites like SoundCloud or just create ones yourself.
6. Include Quizzes
Maybe when we were students, the surprise tests and assessments looked cringeworthy. Surprisingly as it may sound, no student has ever hated a quiz! Because it’s gamified by nature, even with learning as its bedrock. It’s in fact a very good way to recap the information and summarize what had been taught. On the trainer side, quizzes help identify which are the areas learners are lagging behind in and accordingly the trainer could adjust their approach by tracking the progress of individual learners.
7. Go Mobile
If you are in 2018, you have to be responsive on mobile. In fact, the more mobile-friendly you are, the better will be the consumption of your microlearning content. Mobile-friendliness and microlearning go hand in hand. Create your microlearning online tutorials with responsive design tools with optimized layouts, legible fonts, and seamless navigations.
Disprz is a professional mobile-friendly learning & development app
8. Democratize and incentivise content creation
In the knowledge world, expertise no longer lies with a single person. For instance, within a digital marketing team, there may be an ace digital marketer who understands how LinkedIn Ads work and another who understands how Facebook Ads work. It is a good idea to distribute the burden of content creation to your staff and create “topic owners” whose job it is to codify and disseminate knowledge.
Requesting everybody to create content is not enough. What’s in it for them? The best learning organisations bring knowledge creation as a part of annual appraisals.
And the ninth could be your best business strategy
What do your employees presently do for their learning and development: search on the internet for online training materials, right? How about making their lives easier with a targeted approach to disperse microlearning training resources, saving them a huge amount of time efforts. Create an online training metadata and collate all learning content into one centralized location. Divide the training content into distinct categories, and thereafter go the microlearning way with bite-sized content snacks. This would go a long way in facilitating online training for your corporate learners and they would be able to address
Co-founder and CEO of Disprz, the mobile learning company of 2017 and #3 small start-up to work for in 2017.
A serial entrepreneur, Subbu loves translating ideas to products and products to companies. His earlier two ventures were in the enterprise and ed-tech space. Subbu is an alum of IIT-Madras, ISB-Hyderabad and McKinsey.