A lot has been said about the challenge of dwindling attention spans. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft pegs that the human attention span at 8 seconds in contrast to a goldfish whose attention span stands at 9 seconds.
While I don’t necessarily buy the data of this report, the fact is that we all are multi-tasking, we live in a world of distractions, and we have limited attention span. Alongside high pressure at work (often with long hours that compete with our personal time), we need to find the time and do justice to training. In the last 2-3 years, microlearning has emerged as an effective approach that L&D teams can use to address some of these challenges.
As the name suggests, it is a short, focused training. It is normally 2-5 mins in run length (normally not exceeding 7 mins). Although it is short, it is designed to meet a specific learning outcome.
It has the following key characteristics:
Microlearning is more than splitting the larger eLearning course into shorter nuggets. As I have highlighted, it is aligned to a specific learning outcome and should trigger the learner to act.
Microlearning is short, focused, available on mobile devices and can be adapted to offer both formal and informal training. Here are a few options:
They are a great fit to summarize the key takeaways. The visual approach to summarize the key aspects leads to higher recall and retention.
Like infographics (in terms of visual-based approach), the interactivity enables you to layer information and pack more details. As an extension, they can be used as short learning guides.
This is probably the most common format for microlearning and can be used to provide quick and just-in-time access to specific information.
The more current avatar of the traditional PDFs, that allow longer reams of data to be packaged in meaningful info groups that the learner can browse through easily.
They make handy job aids wherein you can pack great visual appeal and interactivities. They are multi-device and can generate HTML5 output. You can also integrate audio and video to further enhance the impact.
A popular format that can be adapted to create a variety of learning aids. It can also be a part of a traditional eLearning (context-setting or learning summary).
A picture is worth a thousand words. Explaining concepts through pictures (featuring illustrations, animations, and audio) creates a high engagement, and the image stays with the learners well past the learning interaction.
Sometimes, when minimalism scores instead of visuals, the animation of text (with sound effects) can be used to convey the required message.
As the name suggests, these are great to introduce a concept in an easy to understand visual manner. Sharp and focused, they can be aligned to meet a specific outcome very effectively.
While video-based learning is great, you can top it up through interactive video-based learning. You can add interactions (matching the learning interactions of eLearning courses) to create high impact learning experiences.
We look forward to expert advice and insights. Using this approach makes them accessible to learners when they want to review or at the moment of their need.
These are again very useful formats that can be accessed on demand by the learner at the moment of their need.
Another very interesting format that uses the parallax approach that is commonly used in websites. It uses the same technique to simulate a learning path that the learner can “scroll through”. Alongside the learning path, interactions and quizzes can be added.
A very powerful approach to offer learning is through a mobile app that is being talked about as the “future of learning”. Not only is it the right fit for learning on the go; it brings in the added advantage to do both online and offline viewing (when there is no internet access).
When you need to simulate complex, real-life situations that learners need to handle and gain mastery on, this format is the right fit.
Take a look at this video to know the 15 types of microlearning that you can use for formal and informal learning:
I hope this article provides you enough and more choices to select types of microlearning that would work in your organization for both formal and informal learning. If you have any queries, do contact me at email@example.com.
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