Microlearning is an extremely popular digital learning strategy these days, used abundantly in corporate L&D programs by a number of organizations, Microlearning’s popularity is due to its learner-centric approach as well as its ability to complement other digital learning strategies like mobile learning, gamification, personalized learning, adaptive learning etc. However, microlearning is much more than simply creating short, focused content. A lot of organizations simply condense their existing digital learning courses to create microlearning, which is the wrong approach. There are certain characteristics that must be a part of every microlearning bit you create, or else you run the risk of creating ineffective microlearning. In this article, we’ll discuss those characteristics.
- Must Address A Single Performance-Based Objective
One of microlearning’s most core values is that it is concentrated and focused. Thus, every microlearning bit or unit must adhere to only a single performance-based objective, like teaching the learner how to perform a single task, which could be a part or a step of a bigger skill. Because each microlearning bit targets only one single learning objective, the cognitive overload on the learner is reduced. Learners also remember each objective specifically, which boosts retention and application of the task, while helping fight the forgetting curve.
- Must Leverage Content From Existing Courses
As mentioned before, your microlearning content must not be a condensed version of your existing digital learning course. However, collecting and curating all new content for your microlearning bits can be time-consuming, which sort of defeats the purpose of microlearning, as it is supposed to be able to be developed quickly. Thus it is okay to leverage bits of existing content to create microlearning, such as PPTs, PDFs, videos and the like. In fact, taking bits of content from existing courses is a characteristic of good microlearning.
- Must Be Minimalistic In Design
Although microlearning does use high-quality videos as well as high-definition graphics, images and visuals, it must follow a minimalistic design with crisp, minimal text and only relevant visuals to go with it. Don’t include any elements that do not add to the learning process and/or clutter the screen.
- Must Be Short And Useful
Everybody knows that microlearning bits must not take more than 5 minutes to complete. However that’s not all. In addition to being short, microlearning must also be useful. Don’t just design microlearning for the sake of it. Microlearning is a learning strategy for the modern learner. It must be able to educate learners without them having to exert themselves much mentally, and help them accomplish tasks on the job.
- Must Employ A Number Of Formats
As mentioned before, the power of microlearning lies in its ability to work with a number of formats. Use interactive PDFs, videos, infographics, podcasts and such microlearning formats to create variety and engage learners. However, always remember form follows function. Employ the format which is most suited to explaining a specific piece of knowledge to learners.
- Must Be Paired With Mobile Learning
In the modern context, there is no point of implementing microlearning without mobile learning. Microlearning bits work best when the learner has the freedom to consume them at a time and place of their choosing, which mobile learning provides them. Also, most microlearning formats work best on a mobile screen, such as microlearning videos, infographics, gamified simulations and interactive PDFs. When creating microlearning you can design it in a way that it runs on all devices, but make it mobile-first.
- Must Be Able To Provide Just-In-Time Learning
Another reason microlearning is so popular among modern learners is its ability to provide just-in-time learning. As microlearning bits are 5-minutes short, they can be consumed just before applying the skill it teaches the learner, for example, knowing how to behave in a meeting just before a meeting. Thus, your microlearning module must cater to learners looking to perform a specific task, or looking to apply a specific skill or piece of knowledge. Make sure all the modules are available to the learners to be consumed in one place, preferably a learning app.
Keeping in mind these 7 characteristics of microlearning will help you design it in the most effective way possible, which will increase the chances of your microlearning program being a success. Keep yourself updated on any new developments or trends in microlearning to ensure you only provide the best of L&D to your employees.