SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Our blog provides the best practices, tips, and inspiration for corporate training, instructional design, eLearning and mLearning.

To visit the Spanish blog, click here
    All Posts

    The Ultimate Guide to Creating Effective Microlearning

    Microlearning is not just a fleeting trend—it's rapidly evolving into a cornerstone of online training strategies.

    Recent studies have shown that microlearning can boost engagement rates by up to 50% and enhance knowledge retention by 80%, making it a game-changer in the way we think about learning and development.

    In today's fast-paced environment, where attention spans are shorter and the demand for accessible, quick learning solutions is higher than ever, microlearning emerges as the ideal solution.

    Understanding the essence of microlearning and integrating it effectively into online training strategies has become imperative for organizations aiming to stay ahead of the curve.

    But how exactly can companies transition from traditional learning methodologies to this innovative approach? How can they ensure that their training strategies are not just up-to-date but also impactful and engaging?

    To navigate through these questions and more, we've meticulously crafted the ultimate guide to microlearning.


    What's Microlearning?

    Think of microlearning not as just chopping up an eLearning course into smaller bits, but as a fresh learning strategy designed to deliver key information quickly and accessibly, right when your team needs it.

    This approach encourages self-driven and on-the-job learning, pushing individuals to immediately put what they've learned into action in their work environment.

    Its biggest win? Microlearning aligns with how humans naturally learn, proving that shorter study periods lead to more effective learning.

    Instead of lengthy training sessions, it promotes learning in manageable chunks. This not only helps with long-term retention but also lets employees access specific info exactly when they need it, whether sequentially or on-demand.

    Also read: Comparing eLearning and Microlearning for Employee Development

     

    What Are the Most Effective Microlearning Formats for Workplace Learning?

    Microlearning isn't confined to being just a series of short courses; it's a comprehensive approach that includes an array of resources designed to cater to immediate learning needs and facilitate on-the-job application.

    Let's delve into some of the most effective microlearning formats, illustrating how each can serve as a valuable learning resource within the workplace:

    1) Short Videos:

    Ideal for visual learners, short videos can transform complex procedures into simple, step-by-step visuals.

    Imagine a video tutorial on mastering a new project management tool or a quick guide on implementing cybersecurity best practices. These bite-sized videos not only demonstrate procedures but also share expert knowledge, making them a go-to for efficient learning.

    2) Interactive Games:

    Game-based learning harnesses the power of competition and interaction to engage employees. Consider a customer service simulation game where employees navigate challenging scenarios to improve their problem-solving skills or a gamified quiz on company policies. These games encourage active participation, making learning enjoyable and memorable.

    3) Podcasts:

    Perfect for auditory learners and busy schedules, podcasts allow employees to learn on-the-go. Picture a series of podcasts discussing leadership skills, innovation in your industry, or even interviews with key figures in your field. Employees can capitalize on commutes and downtimes, turning them into productive learning sessions.

    4) Infographics:

    For those who prefer quick, visual summaries, infographics provide essential information at a glance. They're particularly useful for reinforcing procedures, summarizing key points from a training session, or providing quick reference guides. Imagine an infographic that outlines the steps for a new sales process or visualizes key metrics your team should focus on.

    5) Short eLearning Courses:

    Condensed eLearning courses, lasting about 7-15 minutes, cater to employees who want focused, topic-specific learning without the commitment of longer modules. These courses can serve as refreshers on previously covered material or introductions to new concepts, utilizing interactive elements and assessments to ensure understanding.

    6) Email Series:

    A series of emails can deliver microlearning content directly to an employee's inbox, providing daily or weekly insights, tips, or challenges related to specific topics, ensuring regular engagement with the material.

    7) Interactive PDFs or eBooks:

    PDFs enhanced with interactive elements such as links, videos, and quizzes can serve as standalone learning resources, allowing for a more engaging reading experience than traditional documents.

    8) Mobile Apps:

    Dedicated learning apps can provide microlearning experiences through a variety of formats, including mini-lessons, quizzes, and interactive scenarios, all designed for on-the-go access.

    By incorporating a mix of these microlearning formats into your training strategy, you can provide your team with flexible, on-demand resources that support continuous professional development and adapt to the evolving needs of your workplace.

    Also read: 8 Secrets to Designing a Successful Microlearning Program

     

    What Are the Top Tips for Designing Effective Microlearning?

    Now that you're acquainted with the essentials of microlearning, it's time to choose the formats that align best with your training objectives.

    Here are recommendations for developing microlearning programs that captivate your team and encourage their continuous quest for knowledge:

    1) Identify Specific Problems:

    What daily challenges do your employees face? Focus each microlearning module on precisely addressing these questions or problems. This ensures relevance and direct application in the workplace.

    2) Facilitate Solutions for Specific Tasks:

    Choose content that enhances efficiency in specific tasks, thereby improving your employees' daily performance. For instance, a short tutorial on effectively using a new software tool or an infographic breaking down the steps to solve common technical issues.

    Think: Which tasks could be simplified with a bit of guidance?


    3) Optimize Information Search:

    Ensure that your team can quickly find what they're looking for. A clear structure and well-defined tags on your learning platform will allow immediate access to necessary content.

    4) Less is More:

    This golden rule in microlearning design can make the difference between an effective course and one that fails to engage your team.

    Keep in mind:

    • Prioritize Information: With limited attention spans, carefully select what information to include. Ask yourself: Is this detail essential for understanding the concept or performing the task? If not, it's probably best left out.

    • Clear and Simple Design: Use a clean visual design to aid content comprehension. Avoid distracting elements that can detract from the main message.

    • Eliminate Lengthy Introductions: While a brief context can be helpful, avoid long introductions. Employees appreciate immediate access to the information they need.

    • Be Direct: Resist the temptation to include extra content or too many details.

    • Effective Use of Bullet Points: Presenting key points in a list format can make the information more accessible and easier to remember.

    5) Consider Your Employees' Time:

    To ensure microlearning is both effective and respectful of your employees' time, focus on three fundamental pillars:

    • Just-in-Time Availability: Content should be accessible at the exact moment an employee needs it, serving as a quick reference or learning tool for specific work situations. This means having a well-organized and easily navigable resource library.

    • Brief Modules: Learning modules should be concise, allowing employees to complete them in short periods. Ideally, each learning unit shouldn't exceed 5 to 10 minutes, facilitating integration into any part of the workday without significantly interrupting daily tasks.

    • Mobile Accessibility: Content must be optimized for mobile devices, enabling access from anywhere at any time. This not only enhances flexibility for the employee but also maximizes learning opportunities during commutes or downtimes.

    6) Promote Interaction:

    Include interactive activities that invite employees to apply what they've learned, from quizzes to "like" buttons. These small actions keep interest alive and strengthen information retention.

     

    7) Ensure Accessibility and Excellent UX:

    Are your resources easy to access and use on any device at any time? A positive, hurdle-free user experience is crucial for effective learning. Consider mobile device compatibility and design clarity.


    8) Offer a Variety of Resources:

    As a training leader, it's essential to provide a range of resources that not only maintain your team's interest but also cater to their varied learning styles. Here are some ideas and tips for achieving this diversity, along with specific examples that could be implemented in a training strategy:

    • Educational Podcasts: Produce podcast series that tackle specific topics, facilitating learning on the move.

      • Example: In a training strategy on innovation, launch a series of podcasts featuring interviews with industry innovators, providing insights and stimulating creativity in your team.

    • Infographics and Visual Summaries: Use infographics to visually and accessibly summarize key concepts or complex processes.

      • Example: For a course on safety regulations, distribute infographics that highlight critical steps in safety procedures, aiding their recall and application.

    9) Space Content Over Time:

    For microlearning to truly be effective, the key is to distribute it in small doses over time, not all at once. This way, people's brains have the chance to better absorb and retain information.

    Here are two practical tips:

    • Implement Scheduled Reviews: Use a spaced learning approach that encourages employees to review content at regular intervals. This enhances long-term retention. For example, after completing a module, schedule automatic reviews for 1, 7, and 30 days.

    • Review Alerts: Set up automatic notifications to remind employees about these reviews, ensuring that learning is reinforced over time and not forgotten after the first exposure.

    Also read: The Art of Spaced Learning: 4 Key Tips for Developing Impactful eLearning Courses

     

    10) Optimize Microlearning Content Creation with AI:

    As a training leader, you have a revolutionary tool at your disposal: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

    Here are some practical tips to make the most of AI authoring tools, thereby optimizing your microlearning programs:

    • Leverage Automatic Content Generation: Use AI to quickly generate draft content. This could include lesson outlines, module descriptions, or even quiz questions.

    • Customize AI Creations: While AI can produce high-quality content, customization is key. Incorporate specific examples, adapt the tone to match your organization, and ensure the material reflects your values and culture.

    • Enrich with Visual and Auditory Content: Take advantage of AI's capability to create attractive visual materials and auditory content, such as podcasts or narrations. These elements can make learning more dynamic and accessible.

    Remember, the essence of effective microlearning lies in its relevance, accessibility, and the ability to inspire and facilitate immediate application in the workplace. With these tips in hand, you're well-equipped to transform workplace learning, driving performance, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and curiosity.

    Also read: 3 Ways to Leverage Artificial Intelligence for Rapid eLearning Course Creation

     

    What do you think about these microlearning tips? Are you ready to revolutionize your corporate training and take it to the next level?

    Motivation-eBook

     

    Related Posts

    Why and How to Measure Engagement in Your eLearning Programs

    Creating an e-learning course and then just calling it a day simply isn't enough. It's about continuously refining and improving the course content and the way it's delivered. More importantly, it's about keeping a close eye on factors like engagement to ensure that the learning objectives are actually being met. Think of it like gardening: you don’t just plant seeds and walk away. You water them, shield them from weeds, and make sure they get enough sun. Similarly, in e-learning, you can’t just launch a course and forget about it. You need to nurture it, see how it’s received, and adjust the content as needed to make sure it’s effective and resonates with your team. This ongoing process of monitoring and tweaking helps turn a good course into a great one that truly enhances skills and knowledge.

    6 Strategies to Promote Transfer of Learning In the Workplace

    We are in the midst of a skills revolution. Rapid changes demand that learning not only be quick but deeply relevant. With the challenge of "information overload," where too much data can overwhelm learners, it becomes essential to focus and streamline training efforts.

    3 Strategies to Boost Engagement in Your eLearning Programs

    In today's eLearning environment, success metrics have evolved beyond simply ticking off course completions. Today, the true measure lies in the depth of a learner's engagement with the content. This shift in focus recognizes that being logged in isn’t the same as being tuned in.