You may have caught yourself dreaming about microlearning the last time you were in a seemingly unending training session. You might have caught yourself thinking, “Why am I sitting here instead of doing my other work? I don’t even need to know this now.”
That’s the beauty of microlearning, which involves dividing training into small, bite-sized bursts of information. This is a training format that’s concise and targeted, and it happens to be a more effective way for learners to acquire new knowledge and skills.
This method has been shown to increase engagement and retention rates, making it an effective tool for agencies that want to improve their training programs.
If that all sounds like a good option for you and your learners, read on. You’ll learn the benefits of microlearning and pick up a few tips for integrating it into your online training program.
Understand the Benefits of Microlearning.
When you discover how microlearning works, you’ll quickly see what the benefits are. At the top of those is the fact it allows learners to focus on specific topics or skills, which makes it easier for them to retain information.
It’s also time-efficient and flexible, because learners can complete modules at their own pace and on their own schedule. If someone has a packed schedule of client visits, for example, they only need to focus on learning for 10 minutes here and there throughout the day.
Additionally, microlearning can be more cost-effective than traditional training methods. It often requires less development time and resources, so that all folds into your budget.
It also excels in just-in-time learning. In other words, microlearning is well-suited for providing on-demand training exactly when learners need to know it. They can quickly access specific information or refresh their knowledge before a task or project, increasing their productivity and performance.
Identify the Right Topics for Microlearning.
The first step in incorporating microlearning into your online training program is to identify the right topics for your learners.
Think about the skills or knowledge that your learners need, and then think about how they can be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
These topics should be focused and specific, allowing learners to quickly and easily grasp the information.
You can also consider using microlearning to reinforce previously learned concepts or to provide just-in-time training for specific tasks or situations.
Some topics that are well-suited to microlearning are:
- Health and wellness promotion strategies
- Basic life support (CPR) guidelines
- Infection and control measures
- Time management techniques
- Graphic design principles
Note that this method has many benefits, but it doesn’t fit all types of training. If you need to convey complex and highly technical subjects, or detailed processes, you’re better taking a more measured and dedicated approach for training.
Create Bite-Sized Content.
“Chunking” is the key to effective microlearning. This means to create bite-sized content that is easy to consume and understand. Shorter topics are often more manageable for learners. Chunks are also more motivating.
For example, think of a course on promoting the benefits of regular physical activity. Instead of a 1-2 hour course, it might be broken into separate modules that look like this:
- Introduction (2 minutes)
- Importance of physical activity for overall health and well-being
- Three top benefits, including cardiovascular health, weight management and mental well-being
- Module 1: Cardiovascular Health (5 minutes)
- How regular physical activity strengthens the heart
- Reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
- Module 2: Weight Management (5 minutes)
- The role physical activity plays in maintaining a healthy weight
- How calories are burned
- Module 3: Mental Well-being (5 minutes)
- The relationship between physical activity and mental health
- The brain science of exercise
- Module 4: Working with Clients (5 minutes)
- Role play with example clients
- Conclusion (2 minutes)
- Additional resources
This format follows what we at Talance might do for a longer course, but it’s been broken into several shorter modules.
This format lets learners focus on one specific concept at a time, which both makes it easier for them to retain the information and fit it into a busy workday.
Use Interactive and Engaging Formats.
Microlearning by its very nature is engaging. But there are some strategies you can apply to make it evey more effective.
These methods not only make the learning experience more enjoyable, but they also help learners retain information better. Quizzes at the end of a module, for example, help learners reinforce what they’ve learned and identify areas where they may need more practice. Similarly, simulations help learners apply what they’ve learned in a realistic scenario, making it more likely that they’ll be able to use that knowledge in the real world.
Some ways you can zip up your microlearning project include:
After each module, include a short quiz with multiple-choice or true/false questions to assess learners’ understanding of the content. Using the example above, after the “Cardiovascular Health” module, include a quiz question like: “Which of the following activities is considered a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise? A) Weightlifting B) Swimming C) Yoga D) Stretching”
Incorporate knowledge-check activities within the modules to reinforce key concepts. For instance, after explaining the benefits of regular physical activity, present a short scenario where learners have to identify the correct benefit based on a given situation. For example, “Janet experiences decreased stress levels after engaging in regular physical activity. Which benefit of physical activity does this exemplify?”
Integrate gamified elements into the microlearning project to increase engagement. For example, create a “Benefits Bingo” game where learners have a bingo card with various benefits of physical activity. As they progress through the modules, they mark off the benefits that are mentioned. The first one to get a bingo wins a small prize or recognition.
Include interactive simulations that allow learners to apply their knowledge in realistic scenarios. For example, create a simulation where learners have to guide a virtual character through a day, making decisions related to physical activity, such as choosing between taking the stairs or the elevator, or selecting a suitable exercise routine for different fitness goals.
Embed interactive elements within video content to enhance learner engagement. For instance, during a video segment about different aerobic exercises, include clickable hotspots that provide additional information when selected. Learners can click on a specific exercise demonstrated in the video to learn more about its benefits and proper form.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Microlearning Program.
When you’ve created some microlearning projects, remember to measure its effectiveness to make sure that it’s meeting your training goals.
One way to do this is to track learner progress and performance. This can include tracking completion rates, quiz scores, and time spent on each module.
You can also gather feedback from learners through surveys or focus groups to get a sense of how they view the program. It also tells you whether they feel it’s helping them achieve their learning objectives. Read these different types of metrics you can track for more ideas.
It can be worth it to identify the right kinds of training to break into bite-sized chunks, especially when you start to see the payoff with your learners building those skills and knowledge. You—and your learners—will spend far less time wondering when a training will end and more time using the skills they learn.