Microlearning has become an absolute trend in e-learning. But why do we still speak about it as the main trend in online education, why is there so much buzz around microlearning and is it worth spending time on creating such classes at all?
Everything is quite simple. There is much information, but little time/desire to learn, especially taking into account the factors around us that distract us from learning. This is why teachers, coaches, HR specialists have to do their best to involve students into the process of learning. To be frank, it’s no longer the time when an employee could leave the office for a 4-day training course so easily.
And here is where microlearning is helpful. It is a kind of a spell wand, learning that does not need lots of time, yet brings great results and is addicting, too.
What is microlearning?
Microlearning is information in a tablet. It is when educational content is split into small portions, which, similar to split meals, are perceived better. Each block takes 5-8 minutes, during which it is necessary to bring the message, idea and knowledge.
To understand how it works, have a look at the following figures and try memorizing them:
46734 4 5 5667
Write them down onto a sheet of paper. I wonder how easy this was for you.
With microlearning, information is served dosed and logically structured.
Look at the below figures and say whether it is easier to memorize them:
467 34 45 56 67
What is not microlearning?
Video is not. Although for many out there the first association would be namely video. If you watch a video on cooking cupcakes, you will most likely not be able to reproduce all steps in your kitchen.
It is because of it’s not yet microlearning. But if this is supplied with an instruction, a recipe in our case, e.g. a card with all steps noted, and a task for reinforce the knowledge, insert omitted steps, and then ask a student to tell everything in one’s own words, you will likely get some materials that could be called microlearning.
A lecture is split into parts, each of them being 20 minutes long. No matter how badly we desire to simplify our work connected with preparing microlearning, the variant of taking your video from the latest training and splitting it into the part is not the best option fitting goals. Firstly, 20 minutes is way too much, as the maximum time frame should not exceed 10 minutes. Secondly, make sure that every section teaches something new, but not simply continues the story. Moreover, you need to have schemes, tasks, tests. So, the myth of microlearning taking less time to prepare is a sweet delusion. You will need to work anyway.
Using one content type. The content of the course should be represented in very different forms. For instances, it could be a fuse of presentations, tasks, games, discussions during webinars, videos, tests, contests, pictograms, and text, of course.
Advantages of microlearning
We would not consider microlearning in case it had no advantages.
- Time. People feel more comfortable signing up for a course if they know for sure they will be able to allocate time for it.
- Quick result. Having something to boast of after every class is a great motivation to proceed with learning.
- Involvement. As students can quickly get results and rewards, this leads to a high level of involvement among them.
- Flexibility. If a company the approach is used for undergoes changes often, you can easily change information blocks with no necessity to rebuild the whole course.
- Low cost. You can use the already created content, e.g. webinar recordings or lecture notes.
Who is microlearning great for?
- For adaptation and education of new personnel;
- For learning software;
- As a substitute for instruction;
- For demonstrating business processes and procedures;
- For raising qualification.
- To diversify the educational process;
- As classes during holidays;
- After a difficult module;
- To attract new students;
- To learn foreign languages;
- To reinforce knowledge.
Is microlearning an ideal solution for everyone?
Of course, it is not. As it is based on obtaining small pieces of information it does not work in case when comprehensive understanding of the educational materials is required, or when the subject of learning is complicated and it is impossible – and makes no sense – to split it into parts. The flow of information at the microlearning courses is not that “smooth” in comparison with the usual classes, so students may have hard time combining the elements with one another.
How to create a microlearning based course?
You can order a turnkey solution, and the service will do the whole technical part of the work for you, although prices for such services could be a bit unexpected.
Prices of mLevel
There are other platforms, too, like Daily Bits Of, where it is possible to sign up for a course and get information daily via some messenger or email. It has got no fixed monthly price, but the platform charges 50% from all sold courses.
There is another way, which is using the database of your subscribers and students and sending them a set of useful information day by day.
Although microlearning is not the answer to the question how to create an ideal course for distant learning, with its help you will definitely be able to spice up your e-learning content, improve the effectiveness of webinars and trainings.