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5 Most Effective Guidelines for Successful Microlearning Design

You must have seen various informative content in the form of short videos, infographics, presentations, or even games. This approach of providing new information and related knowledge to employees in little chunks is called microlearning. According to Ebbinghaus’s Forgetting Curve, people tend to lose around 80% of the information they gain or knowledge they learn within a month. The idea of microlearning is a viable counter to this cause as it helps the employees at a job to learn new information in a short period without a negative impact on their busy schedule.

Microlearning is a perfect approach to meet the requirements of the new-age employees. It eliminates the problematic and lengthy traditional practices like reading through monotonous PDFs and irrelevant yet long videos. This learner-centric approach helps the employees retain the information they gain for a longer period, hence beating the forgetting curve narrative.

Popular Microlearning Formats at a Glance

While designing microlearning content, a few formats are always more preferred than others due to their special qualities that keep a learner engaged while delivering quality information in a very less amount of time. Here are a few popular formats to deliver microlearning.

Popular Microlearning Assets

Some of the preferred microlearning formats in which microlearning content is shared among employees are discussed below.

1. Content Slides

Producing microlearning content in the form of infographic slides or content-based carousels is one of the most effective and widely accepted approaches to train employees or make them learn about a specific topic. These slides are basically a set of content shared in the form of a short presentation that is easily available on mobile devices that allows learners to access that information whenever and wherever they want. For example, people in the sales department can use content slides to revisit the specifications and features of any newly launched product. This microlearning format is mostly used to share information on social media like Instagram posts or Pinterest posts.

2. Microlearning Videos

Videos are the most popular microlearning formats used in the modern era because of their high retention values and simplistic approach to learning. Any sort of activity or task that an employee needs to carry out is displayed to them in the form of a short clip. For example, assume a clothing industry has to start manufacturing digitally printed T-shirts, they can provide a short video to all the employees in the printing department that will demonstrate the exact step-by-step procedure to operate the digital printer that is used to print designs on a T-shirt. This was one of the many examples of the applications of short videos and how short videos help the learner retain the information and even if they forget, they can still revisit the video and get a hold of it within mere minutes.

3. Gamification

You all must be familiar with the basic concept of games, finishing a level rewards you with something, use this same mindset, reward the individual after they complete a certain topic, and reward a certificate after they finish the course. The gamification approach promotes learner engagement and makes it fun to learn new things. Exit polls and surveys after the game can maximize the retention of information. Assume a private aviation company wants to train their pilots about the basics of flying, an airplane simulator is developed for them, and they get to train themselves through a simulation game followed by a short quiz to retain what they learned.

Gamification for Different Training Types

If you are still feel confused about microlearning, refer to this free webinar recording.

Microlearning Design Guidelines to Create Quality Microlearning Assets

1. Identify the Areas Where Microlearning Fits the Best

Microlearning has several benefits that would make it look like every training strategy can fit microlearning within them, which is wrong. Not every training program would support the microlearning approach with the same return of value because various topics can be too complex to break down into short sub-topics.

To ensure microlearning fits in your training, try to divide the training material into short modules of 2-4 mins and see if it works or not. This practice can give you a brief idea of whether your training program supports the approach of microlearning or not. A few examples of topics where microlearning fits best are business management ideas, instructions to use a tool or learning about new software, cyber-security awareness, etc.

2. Select a Suitable Microlearning Design Tool

It’s a misconception that the development and design of microlearning assets are expensive and time taking process. On the contrary, if you ask an instructional designer, they will tell you about a lot of microlearning tools and technologies that save up your time, efforts, and cost to a great extent, some tools are even available for free. These tools can help you create customized microlearning content in a short period. Adding customizations to the course material will enhance the already increased engagement of learners. Some of the popular tools are EdApp, Yarno, Learner Mobile, and Learnie.

3. Apply Interactive Elements Across Multiple Formats

No one likes to read long texts and watch irrelevant monotonous videos for hours. When you include multiple formats and relevant information to create your microlearning program, eventually increases learner engagement. When you mix and match these different formats to create the final microlearning module, learning becomes more fun and exciting. The most popular formats used for creating microlearning assets are infographics, short videos, polls, games, GIFs, etc. Make sure the content promotes your learning goal and enhances productivity.

4. Ensure Mobile-First Design

Learners have switched their prime learning medium from desktop to mobile. Modern learners spend most of their free time with their smartphones, thus having access to their mobile learning resources on the go will improve the engagement and comfort of learners. Mobile phones are much more than distracting pieces of modern technology, isn’t it? The microlearning tools can help you in creating mobile-friendly exclusive courses that can be shared among the employees and accessed everywhere while the courses are fun and exciting as well.

5. Use Existing Content Instead of Creating a New One Every Time

A full course has a lot of distinct content, but all the content collectively comes under a certain subject, that single course can be split into several sub-topics and provided to employees separately. For example, a single digital marketing course can be split into several micro-learning chunks that provide a brief idea of concepts such as Content marketing, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Google Ads marketing, etc. Reworking courses in such a way will save the time of creating new content every time a new group of employees has to be trained.

Final thoughts!

The current generation prefers to learn things through technology that engages them, doesn’t consume a lot of their time, and doesn’t take much raw effort to understand. A well-designed microlearning program can improvise the engagement of this modern generation. As the corporate world is moving towards the approach of microlearning as their prime strategy to train employees, you shouldn’t be the one left behind.

Try to fit an effective microlearning design module within your eLearning strategy to get the most productive results. If you wish to understand more about where microlearning fits in your strategy, our free eBook can sort out your doubts to a great extent.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2022 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Where Does Microlearning Fit in Your Learning Strategy?