What is microlearning content?
Imagine caring for a new plant you just got. You may know plants need water, but you might not know how much this species needs. Chances are, you’ll perform a quick Google search about your specific plant species and its unique needs. It’s unlikely that you’d enroll in an entire course about botany just to find that out. In other words, you’re more likely to benefit from microlearning content.
So, what is microlearning and what are the benefits?
Microlearning refers to learning content that’s delivered in short bursts, delivering specific pieces of information rather than broad subject overviews. It can come in various formats, including explainer videos, PDFs, courses, and infographics. The common denominator among these content types is that they should be brief and focused, allowing you to meet learning needs quickly and accurately.
Take a look at some microlearning examples to get inspired. And when you’re ready to start creating, check out the main microlearning features below to guide you in how to develop microlearning content.
6 steps to create microlearning content
If you’re ready to get started, here are some tips on how to develop effective microlearning content:
Know your learners
Clearly defining and understanding your audience should be the first step you take in the microlearning content development process. Identify which of your colleagues or team members will find your learning content useful and ask yourself relevant questions to determine how you should approach course creation: what do your learners already know or not know about the topic? How tech-savvy are they? Will they be looking to learn on-the-go (e.g. using a mobile device)? Answering these questions will ensure your microlearning content is tailored to your learners’ specific needs.
Set a single learning outcome
Like any e-learning content you create, it’s important to identify your intended learning objective before diving into the creation process. The difference in microlearning content development is that your learning objective should be singular – and the more specific the better. Knowing exactly what new knowledge or skills you want your learners to walk away with at the end of your course not only streamlines the creation process for you but also ensures you don’t include any irrelevant content.
Keep your content brief
Microlearning is, by definition, short. But how short should it be? Research has shown that effective microlearning content lasts between two and seven minutes. But because attention spans are on the decline, learners aren’t guaranteed to make it through the entirety of learning content, even if it’s just a few minutes long. With that in mind, when creating microlearning content it’s still worth making sure your learners can easily skim the content and develop clear takeaways. This is particularly useful if you use microlearning in soft skills training as your employees can immediately apply their learnings once they’ve completed their course.
Include relatable examples
When diving into an unfamiliar subject, learners benefit from having examples they can relate to and draw conclusions from. To ensure the examples you include are relatable, consider real-world scenarios that learners are likely to encounter on the job. This not only helps them apply their learnings to their own experiences but can also strengthen their knowledge retention.
Apply an active and relatable tone
Employing a conversational tone that communicates in the same way learners do in their everyday lives can also improve relatability. When developing microlearning content, use an active voice ensures your content gets the point across quickly, allowing your learners to form conclusions and close their knowledge gaps faster.
Keep it engaging
Keeping content short and specific isn’t enough to make sure learners stay focused. Consider balancing text out with engaging visuals or interactive elements. You could also deliver your content in an engaging format altogether. For example, videos create a multisensory learning experience (visually and audibly), which can also improve learner retention rates.