L&D professionals and instructional designers need to remain on-guard to get their microlearning outcomes right, every time! Sometimes, we overlook the basics while working on the content or sticking to the format.
Here are 3 basics that ensure that your microlearning lessons deliver the intended outcome –whatever type of training it is!
L&D managers and instructional designers are always under pressure to cut down or prune the content, and deliver the 5-minute microlesson in a certain framework or format. However, the litmus test of a good microlearning lesson is the learning experience, retention and recall, and the desired outcome!
So, while creating content for your microlearning lesson, ensure it:
- Is impressive: A learner is surrounded by lots of noise. By noise I mean all the work and non-work tasks and activities an employee does during the day. Added to that is a whole lot of digital information they are exposed to. This ‘noise’ is what makes them selective about what they receive and absorb (learn).
So, unless the microlearning lesson is really engaging, there’s the danger of it getting buried in the noise!
The bite-sized microlearning content needs to ‘connect’ with the learner at a very psychological level. So, what does that mean to you as an L&D leader? It means, before developing content, you need to be aware of the workforce, their background, demographics, behaviours, and psychographics. And do what it takes to engage them.
These micro nuggets should resonate with the ‘ebb and flow’ of each learner. Every learner is different when it comes to the ability to be attentive, to absorb, retain, recall, and apply the learning. Even for a single learner, this learning behaviour keeps fluctuating, sometimes optimal, sometimes very much sub-optimal.
This variation in learning among different learners is in itself a challenge while creating learning content. Each lesson needs to factor-in the different ‘learning curve’ capabilities of slow and fast learners, and that too, without boring them!
Microlearning must be gripping. And for this, the content needs to activate the ‘working memory’ of each learner. ‘Working memory’ is the unique, short-term active storage mechanism in a learner’s brain. It helps in many cognitive activities such as thinking, reasoning, judging, decision-making, and even ‘how we comprehend language’!
All these factors work in harmony when you create microlearning lessons that are impressive!
- Does what it’s supposed to do: Your microlearning lesson must actually work and help your learner perform better. It needs to deliver on its promise, whatever the objective. For instance, if the microlesson is about upskilling for a certain task or process to be performed, then your learner must hit the ground running with the help of the microlearning snippet. If not, the lesson shall have failed to work!
‘Ability to work’ is something that sometimes gets missed out. While impressing the learner helps in better engagement, it simply cannot take precedence over learning effectiveness.
That’s why you should always ask yourself – Is the content and design of my microlearning lesson based on the desired outcome? Remember, content by itself means nothing if it does not produce the desired outcome.
- Is customizable –As we’ve seen, learners are different. They differ in many ways – how fast they learn, their learning style, what formats or tools they prefer (gaming, reading, videos, or text), and so on. That’s why a microlearning lesson should be adaptable and customizable to each learner type. This makes a learner happy because the lesson can be paced and moulded as per individual learning needs.
So, it is important that we provide options to customize. That way, each learner can choose to go on a microlearning path that works according to their individual learning preferences!
Agreed that designing a 5-minute microlesson is not easy. But you can get it right these three simple filters!