Microlearning offers a short, focused learning solution to help learners achieve a specific goal or single, meaningful objective. Well-designed microlearning is easy to digest, process, and apply, promoting learner satisfaction.
This approach focuses on creating bite-sized learning versus a comprehensive program. For example, rather than designing a 12-week training, provide a quick video, podcast, interactive demo, game, or brief e-Learning course that addresses a particular challenge.
To be effective, follow the principles of adult learning theory (andragogy): offer practical skills and knowledge applicable to the audience's work, deliver growth and development solutions employees can apply right away, allow the learning to be self-directed, and drive behaviors that result in employee and business success.
According to a recent Rapid Learning Institute survey, more than 90 percent of learners prefer bite-sized modules to 30-minute courses. (Remember, if your subject matter is complex, microlearning is not the best solution).
Ready to create valuable and engaging microlearning? Here are four guidelines for successful microlearning design and development.
1. The Law of One
A bite-sized microlearning solution should address only one learning objective. As an ID or e-Learning developer, your goal is to offer your learner a "just in time" solution to a single problem. Once you've identified the learning objective, outline tasks and content needed to support the objective. Add a knowledge check or reflection question to assess that learning has taken place.
2. Five-Minutes to Done
There is no hard and fast rule for the length of microlearning, other than the learning solution should be short, digestible, and mesh with the time an employee has available on the job. In general, think about how long it takes a person to complete a typical Google search. Three to five minutes is reasonable.
3. Relevant and Real-World
Remember, your learners are looking for just-in-time solutions, so get to the point swiftly and deliver the how-to information without delay. Identify precisely what learners will be able to do, change, perform, or solve after completing the microlearning. Detailed history, background, complicated theories, and long lectures don't belong in microlearning.
Your learner is busy and likely juggling multiple tasks every day. Make microlearning easy to use and navigate with an attractive, simple design that minimizes load times. Choose multimedia carefully. It should add to your content, not simply dress it up. Build and test the microlearning to ensure functionality and usability.
While microlearning is not the answer to all learning, it is bottom-line friendly and can reduce training costs and learning delivery times. If you plan to offer several microlearning solutions related to the same topic, allow learners breaks and space between sessions. This will enable learners to digest the content, process the solutions, reflect on the information, and apply the knowledge and skills.
For more on the science behind microlearning (fascinating!), check out this article: The Brain Science of Microlearning and Why it Works
Thoughts and ideas about microlearning? Success stories with microlearning? I'd love to hear more. Leave a comment below!