Microlearning is an approach to training and education that involves delivering content in small, focused, and bite-sized units of information. It aims to provide learners with short bursts of targeted learning material that can be easily consumed and retained.
The main idea behind microlearning is to break down complex topics or extensive courses into smaller, more manageable pieces, making the learning process more efficient and effective.
Key characteristics of microlearning include:
Short Duration: Microlearning modules are typically brief and concise, ranging from a few seconds to a maximum of 10 minutes. This brevity makes it easy for learners to fit learning into their busy schedules.
Focused Learning Objectives: Each microlearning module focuses on a specific learning objective or addresses a single topic, concept, or skill. This ensures learners receive clear and precise information.
Multimedia Content: Microlearning often incorporates a variety of multimedia elements, such as videos, animations, infographics, interactive quizzes, and games. These engaging elements cater to different learning preferences and help retain learners' attention.
Mobile-Friendly: Microlearning is well-suited for mobile devices, allowing learners to access content on-the-go and from anywhere, enhancing the accessibility and convenience of learning.
Reinforcement and Assessments: Microlearning often includes periodic assessments or quizzes to reinforce learning and assess learners' understanding of the material. Immediate feedback helps learners identify areas for improvement.
Self-Paced Learning: Learners can engage with microlearning modules at their own pace, making it a flexible and learner-centric approach.
Microlearning can be used for various purposes, including employee training, onboarding, just-in-time learning, performance support, and skill development. It is particularly beneficial in today's fast-paced world, where learners may have limited time for traditional lengthy training sessions.
By breaking down information into small, easily digestible portions, microlearning seeks to optimize knowledge retention, engagement, and overall learning outcomes. It complements other training methods and can be integrated into broader learning programs to create a well-rounded and effective learning experience.
The Benefits of Microlearning for Corporate Training
Microlearning offers several advantages for corporate training programs, making it a popular and effective approach for employee learning and development. Here are some of the key benefits of using microlearning in corporate training:
Efficient Learning: Microlearning delivers information in short and focused bursts. Employees can quickly access and complete these bite-sized modules without dedicating extended periods to training. This approach saves time and fits well into busy work schedules.
Improved Retention: The concise nature of microlearning enhances knowledge retention. Learners are more likely to remember the key points and concepts presented in short modules compared to traditional lengthy training sessions.
Engaging Content: Microlearning allows for the use of multimedia elements such as videos, animations, and interactive quizzes, which make the content more engaging and appealing to employees. This multimedia approach caters to various learning styles and keeps learners motivated.
Flexible and Accessible: Microlearning is designed to be mobile-friendly and accessible on different devices, including smartphones and tablets. Employees can access training content on-the-go, making learning more convenient and accessible from anywhere.
Just-in-Time Learning: Microlearning is ideal for providing quick, on-the-spot information when employees need it the most. Whether it's a refresher on a particular process or addressing an immediate challenge, microlearning allows employees to find relevant information instantly.
Personalized Learning Paths: Microlearning can be easily adapted to create personalized learning paths based on employees' roles, skills, and knowledge levels. Customizing content ensures that employees receive training that aligns with their specific needs and goals.
Continuous Learning Culture: Incorporating microlearning into corporate training encourages a culture of continuous learning. Employees can engage with short modules regularly, fostering a habit of learning and staying up-to-date with relevant information.
Cost-Effective: Microlearning can be more cost-effective than traditional training methods. It often requires fewer resources to develop and can be updated and revised more efficiently, reducing the need for constant training overhauls.
Better Knowledge Application: Microlearning often incorporates real-world scenarios and practical examples, enabling employees to apply their knowledge immediately to their work tasks. This application-oriented approach enhances the transfer of learning to the job.
Easy Integration with LMS and Existing Systems: Microlearning modules can be easily integrated into Learning Management Systems (LMS) and existing training platforms, making deployment and tracking seamless for corporate training departments.
Quick Feedback and Assessment: Frequent assessments and quizzes in microlearning allow for immediate feedback on employees' understanding of the content. Training administrators can monitor progress and identify knowledge gaps more efficiently.
By leveraging these benefits, organizations can create more effective and engaging corporate training programs that boost employee knowledge, skills, and performance, ultimately leading to improved productivity and overall business success.
Twelve Best Practices for Microlearning Course Authoring
When authoring microlearning courses, there are several best practices you should consider to ensure they are engaging, effective, and yield the desired learning outcomes.
Here are twelve key best practices for microlearning course authoring:
1. Set Clear Objectives
Define specific and measurable learning objectives for each microlearning module. Keep the content focused on achieving those objectives to ensure learners grasp the key takeaway easily.
2. Keep it Short and Focused
The essence of microlearning is brevity. Keep each module's duration between 2 to 10 minutes, addressing only one or two learning points at a time. This allows learners to complete the course quickly and makes it easier for them to retain information.
3. Use Multimedia Elements Wisely
Integrate a variety of multimedia elements such as videos, interactive quizzes, infographics, and animations. These elements enhance engagement and cater to different learning styles. However, avoid overloading the content with unnecessary visuals that might distract from the main message.
4. Mobile-First Design
Ensure that your microlearning course is optimized for mobile devices. Mobile-friendly courses make learning accessible and convenient for learners, allowing them to access content anytime, anywhere.
5. Leverage Bite-Sized Assessments
Include short quizzes or knowledge checks after each module to reinforce learning and assess understanding. Immediate feedback on their performance helps learners identify areas that need further improvement.
6. Encourage Interactivity
Implement interactive elements that require learners to actively participate, such as drag-and-drop activities, click-through scenarios, or decision-making simulations. Interactivity increases engagement and enhances knowledge retention.
Where possible, offer personalized learning paths based on learners' preferences, needs, or prior knowledge. Adaptive microlearning can provide customized content, ensuring that learners receive relevant material.
8. Contextual and Real-World Scenarios
Frame the content within real-world situations or use case scenarios relevant to learners' roles or experiences. This approach helps learners apply the knowledge gained in practical situations.
9. Microlearning Series
Consider organizing microlearning modules into a series or a learning pathway, where each module builds upon the previous one. This approach creates a more comprehensive learning experience.
10. Analytics and Feedback
Incorporate tracking and analytics tools to gather data on learners' progress and engagement. Analyzing this data provides insights into the effectiveness of the microlearning course and identifies areas for improvement.
11. Regular Updates
Microlearning content should remain current and relevant. Schedule regular reviews and updates to ensure the information presented is up-to-date and accurate.
12. Accessibility and Inclusivity
Ensure the microlearning content is accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities. Provide options for closed captions, transcripts, and other accessibility features.
By following these best practices, you can create engaging and effective microlearning courses that enhance learners' knowledge and skills in a focused and efficient manner.
About LMS Portals
At LMS Portals, we provide our clients and partners with a SaaS-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows you to launch a dedicated training environment (a portal) for each of your unique audiences.
The system includes built-in, SCORM-compliant course authoring software that enables most anyone to build engaging courses quickly and easily.
We also offer a complete library of ready-made courses, covering most every aspect of corporate training and employee development.
If you choose to, you can create Learning Paths to deliver courses in a logical progression and add structure to your training program. The system also supports Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) and provides tools for social learning.
Together, these features make the LMS Portals platform the ideal solution for authoring and delivering microlearning-based courses.