One of the biggest challenges we face in eLearning is how we manage, maintain, update, and enhance content based on the needs of our audience. If we think of a typical course, it is often made up of a series of topics within a module. In the past, the majority of our content was delivered in courses. One of the hurdles with courses is that the content within is not searchable; in addition, learners are unable to link to the content directly. As a result, learners use their favorite search engine to find content externally. Often this approach may not align with or be the best answer to fit the specific needs of their role. Microlearning is a popular approach that gets around these difficulties.

What is microlearning?

In microlearning, we hear content described as chunks, elements, and (my favorite term) components, which is just a label for whatever makes sense to you. We talk about how this content can be chunked or digested, and can help you deliver information quickly.

As a learning architect, my goal is always to think about how to connect the dots for stakeholders and our audience. What I love about microlearning is that it can help you meet the needs of your audience faster. By developing specific content elements, small chunks of content can be delivered to meet a particular requirement. Microlearning can consist of many media types; audio, video, a document, an interactive page, or a series of pages. One of the myths of microlearning is that it needs to be a specific length or format. Microlearning is a methodology for quickly creating content and delivering to an audience based on needs and feedback. It can evolve as required.

Why microlearning?

One of the advantages of microlearning is that it can assist with planning, developing, and organizing content for your audience. Because of the smaller size targeting one specific area, it can help to answer and deliver focused information faster. You can also consider tagging each component for optimal delivery within a search engine to make it easier to find, use, and deliver. This can provide a best-in-class experience for your audience because learners are able to quickly locate the information and use it at the moment of need.

Using this strategy also provides a more straightforward way to deliver content faster, more on target, and prepare you for a process where each component can be updated, swapped, or delivered. Each component may also be connected for a larger learning path, or used as a refresher to assist your audience.

Creating microlearning: tools and process

The eLearning Guild’s Microlearning Design Online Conference has a fantastic lineup of speakers who will be sharing their experiences, along with specific examples that will show you how to get started today.

During my session, “Creating Amazing Microlearning Experiences,” I will be focusing on tips and techniques, and demonstrating several apps that are free- to low-cost to make it easier for you to get started with microlearning. You’ll learn how you can use existing and new tools to collaborate, share, and gather feedback on your components.

One of my favorite tools that I use every day for brainstorming, planning, to-do lists, sharing ideas, and getting quick feedback is Dropbox Paper. It’s available for free (up to 5 GB storage) with a Dropbox account. This simple tool helps you to focus on your content instead of getting in your way or forcing you to work around a complicated interface.

Explain Everything is a cross-platform mobile app (iOS and Android) that allows you to quickly create a video using your voice, along with any graphic, photo, video, or web-based element with motion, animation, and highlights.

You will also learn about the advantages of prototyping and how Adobe XD , a free tool, helps you to wireframe, design, and test an idea with feedback to ensure your new microlearning component will be successful and meets the needs of your audience.

I will present several other tools that assist the project management and instructional design processes; these are listed in the program description online.

My goal will be to get you excited, connected with resources, and inspired to apply to your next project.

The Microlearning Design Online Conference

The eLearning Guild’s Microlearning Design Online Conference takes place September 18-19, 2019. Register online now.