People assume microlearning is incomplete, bite-sized, useful for just-in-time or for the moment-of-need learning; it can’t be whole! Many think microlearning is just a rebranding of bite-sized learning. But, good things are happening on the other side. E-learning is becoming slimmer, as instructional designers develop manageable chunks of information from more than 45-minute lengthy courses.
Though learners enjoy the freedom of learning in nonlinear ways, microlearning still has its own challenges such as developing complex narratives and storylines, giving the complete picture of the training program, and so much more. Overcoming these challenges, helps create a complete learning experience using microlearning. How are we going to do that? Here are a few tips.
1. Build a Curriculum with Micro Modules
Learning nuggets are the building blocks of a microlearning module. Each micro module can be in any format such as a video, infographic, game, quiz, activity, flashcards, animation, etc. Each module covers a specific learning point and is a part of a curriculum. For instance, we at CommLab India, developed 6 microlearning nuggets for Train the Trainer online course in different formats.
To make your microlearning modules effective, you have to focus on one learning objective. You have to design each module in such a way that it is meaningful by itself and also fits into a curriculum. Likewise, you can cover the entire training in a number of microlearning modules/sessions.
2. Offer Reinforcement in Periodic Intervals
Ask your learners to complete practice activities at regular intervals over days, weeks, and months. They get time for revision in the gap between learning and activity; it helps imbibe knowledge systematically over a period of time. Completing the given microlearning in spaced sessions makes it easier for learners to take and reduces cognitive load drastically.
3. Make it Collaborative
Microlearning nuggets work as great job-aids. Learners will want to bookmark these resources as they use them quite often and share with their friends and colleagues because they are very helpful. When learners try to apply the learning in their work situations, they may give specific feedback with regard to training. Giving options such as comments, ratings, polls, and surveys are some common ways to get feedback from your learners. Making changes and updating your microlearning modules is easier with the given feedback. Your learners can share their experiences, tips or advice to build your training further.
4. Use a Gamified Approach
Sometimes a number of microlearning modules may get increased and piled due to the complexity of the subject or concept. So, it’s important to motivate your learners and give them systematic progress updates. For instance, to give a gamified appeal, design your microlearning modules and offer them as levels. Unlocking the next level after the successful completion of current module motivates learners to go further.
Giving scores, titles, awarding badges after completing certain activities also work. Now, you can add mini-games to your microlearning modules with the latest technologies available. Adding high scores and leaderboards is also easy.
5. Channelize the Learner’s Journey
Giving freedom to learners in choosing the modules is good if they are standalone, but when the modules are process related, you need to set certain directions to progress. It’s better to lock the learner’s progress in some ways to manage their journey. However, allow learners to freely explore modules in the same curriculum. If your learners come in at different levels of experience, you can use diagnostics test and personalize their journey. Cautious locking in some ways, helps your learners to get a cohesive learning experience.
6. Use Intuitive LMS
Deliver your microlearning via an intuitive, easy-to-access learning management system (LMS) to provide an overall learning experience. Remove unnecessary features in the LMS, just retain the courses, show the learner’s progress, and scores. Give options to explore additional resources through hyperlinks, and unlock the content as the learners go forward.
Hope these seven tips help you to create comprehensive learning experience through microlearning. As you learn and grow, adding new learning points and practice activities regularly will create a personalized learning experience. So, hope you don’t think small, though it’s micro..!!