Microlearning: How to Adapt Your Training to the Newest Trend

Girl studying on grass looks at microlearning modules on ipad

Microlearning may sound like a buzzword, but ignore it at your peril. This trend is emerging as an almost essential component of the elearning experience as a new league of learners approaches: millennials.

In just five years, millennials will make up 50% of the Australian workforce and this will increase to 75% by 2025. Millennials value training over pay when it comes to work-related benefits, so creating training programs that engage them is actually in your company’s best interests.

Microsoft Canada’s latest research shows people have an attention span of just eight seconds. They’ve also reported the first thing 77% of millennials do when they’re bored is reach for their phones. So what better way to engage your learner than on the device they use the most – their phone – in a format they can easily access?

The key is to exclude unnecessary information and stick to your main message. Microsoft says, “What consumers can see in one glance has everything to do with what they’ll do next”. The same thing can be said about learners.  

77% of millennials reach for their phone when they are bored

What is microlearning?

Microlearning is the method of breaking up longer courses into their core ideas and delivering them in bite-sized, digestible pieces. Each module consists of just one snackable idea and learners can chow through as many modules as they have time for in each sitting – then return to where they left off the next time they have five minutes to spare.

Here are some helpful ideas for adapting your longer course content into a powerful and engaging microlearning course.

  1. One idea, one module. Microlearning is effective because learners aren’t bombarded with loads of different ideas at once. Choose one main idea for each module and focus on this to keep your learners engaged.
  2. Video. Short, sharp videos are your friend.  When using text, best practice constrains you to 200 words per page. In contrast, each minute of video is 120 words so a 3-4 minute video is going to get you a lot more learning mileage than text alone.
  3. Infographics. A picture paints a thousand words, and an infographic can tell any story you want it to. Canva has just launched a free infographic maker to make it even easier for you to build these into your microlearning.  
  4. Mobile friendly. Make sure your content is mobile-responsive and mobile-friendly. If you’re creating short videos and podcasts for your learners to listen to, having them available on-the-go is essential.
  5. Test and test again. As with all course structures, learners respond well to short quizzes and positive feedback. Multiple choice questions are a great way to make sure your learners are retaining information and get a pat on the back for their achievement.

If you’re still on the fence about microlearning, consider the most common everyday example: the evening news. Each segment lasts no longer than a couple of minutes and the visuals change regularly to keep you focussed on the show. Segments are easily divided to be digestible on social media and you can watch them whenever you have five minutes to spare.

Microlearning follows the exact same concept.

To put this into practice and start exploring microlearning today, sign up for a free trial of CourseGenius or contact our Australian-based support team. 

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