Microlearning as a Trend in Educational Technology
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Today’s entrepreneurs are searching for innovative methods to make their corporate training more productive and increase employees’ performance effectively. And microlearning as a new pedagogical challenge may become a preferable solution for most businesses that want to improve knowledge transfer between tutors and learners. This customer-centric and immersive approach can fit into your existing training system giving specific concepts and skills to your workers just when they need them.
Learn more about the importance and benefits of educational technology and choose micro training which may help your company to reach business goals.
Table of Contents
Back To Basics: What Is Microlearning?
You’ve probably had an experience watching short tutorials on Youtube or learning a few new words in a foreign language during your coffee break. In both cases, you were getting small doses of training materials in a short time. Those given examples are nothing but microlearning in education, which involves small/narrow topics and requires little effort from brief individual sessions.
Small portions of training materials are perfect for the fast assimilation of knowledge at any time and place, convenient for the customer. Content can take different forms, like small paragraphs, illustrations, schemes, videos, music, snippets of speech, tests, and game-based challenges.
Only some of the microlearning apps support every mentioned format. Visualization depends on the vendor and the type of provided information. Nevertheless, all educational services aim to enhance engagement, boost completion (retention) rates, and improve student/employee performance.
Statistics show that 53% of organizations could significantly increase staff productivity after creating and deploying microlearning online courses. Thus, companies faced a 130% growth in workers’ engagement compared to other businesses that followed traditional approaches in corporate education. Content that required around 10 minutes to read had an overwhelming 83% completion rate, while this index amounted to only 20-30% for a standard course.
Short training benefits learners in many ways. Microlearning focuses on specific pieces of knowledge or skills that can be proceeded within several minutes on the mobile gadget right in the subway. But to reach the broader objective and give in-depth knowledge, we should keep macro education in mind. Traditional learning is still the prioritized method of acquiring information. In the next chapter, we’ll describe the differences between these two study types and determine which suits a particular case.
Microlearning vs. Macro Learning
Suppose that someone wants to learn a foreign language at an advanced level. Within the macro e-learning system, customers will follow the final goal, getting familiar with new topics daily and slowly improving their skills. This approach requires more cost and time investments, focuses on the holistic nature of the subject, and is primarily a student-centered approach.
Micro, in contrast to macro learning, helps users find a portion of essential information when needed. Back to the subject of a foreign language, if the user requires a translation of a short text or a single word, the issue can be solved within several seconds with the help of a quick Google search (or your dedicated app).
Regarding the difference between macro and micro planning in education, the first method focuses on the big picture and completing an entire long-term course. It better suits students who receive a specific profession or employees who must thoroughly study a new technological or business process. Instead, we can chunk considerable amounts of data into easily understandable and assimilated parts in the micro design so users can receive crucial information at a precise moment of need.
Both types have their weaknesses. Micro training, with its separate pieces of content and transferring from one tiny lesson to another, doesn’t reflect the big picture. And macro learning lack of flexibility and just-in-time answers for a 5-minute session. But if the content creator understands how to build micro courses which refer to each other, covering a big topic won’t seem a big deal anymore.
Creating effective microlearning content
Micro-courses can be developed as a single application or become a part of a bigger educational system. In both cases, materials should be performed in small units to address the particular question completely. Let’s figure out how to build an effective tool to lead corporate training to the next level.
Define your goals and target audience
The first step in creating an online microlearning platform is determining your customer. Ensure you have the answers to the following questions:
- What do your users want to receive from the course?
- What is their current level of skills?
- Which gaps in their knowledge can you fill with your content?
Micro training modules are short, so you should wisely prepare the material based on your objectives. Although this type of education is not primary, information should be given to reinforce the accumulation process.
Prepare informative materials
Try to keep data tight and to the point. Don’t use complex sentences. Just represent your courses as simply as possible. It should be precise and memorizable no matter what kind of content it is - a video lesson, quiz, or speech.
Design for mobile usage
One of the benefits of microlearning is the possibility to pass a small unit of data whenever a customer has free time. Most likely, many people will access the training from their smartphones or tablets. So it’scrucialt to adapt the text and video content to various screen dimensions.
Make a user-friendly interface
All the menus and buttons should be visible from the main page of your educational app. Deliver content conveniently and engagingly for learners using storytelling, micro assessments, or gamification elements. Add video material, if possible, and set up control details, like pause, replay, decrease/increase volume, or turn on/off subtitles.
Adapt your courses
It would be beneficial for your users to prepare a customized e-learning tool capable of suiting different needs (depending on their current level of knowledge). Make initial and periodic assessments of the client’s skills and adjust their micro-training path based on the results of tests.
Corporate microlearning examples
Micro training is one of the methods throughout the entire history of educational technology that shifts focus from the consistent presentation of the materials to the experience where learners can build their own path according to their current skills level and contextual goals. We’ve prepared a list of popular microlearning technologies that allow customized courses to meet the enterprise's needs and keep the employee's attention.
This free platform for micro training has a set of valuable features like gamification, analytics, and rewards which make the educational process involving and enjoyable. It enhances mobile study by push notifications, cloud storage, translation tool, and reminders to start the lesson.
It is one of the examples of microlearning programs that is easy to use for both - course creators and their customers. The app allows to develop bite-sized trainings in 3 steps:
- Fill the cards with educational content.
- Add subscribers and provide a link to download the tool.
- Share cards with learners who enter the course from mobile devices.
This proven microlearning tool allows owners to build short courses within 15 minutes. Pre-designed canvas, drip training campaigns, automated content delivery, and user performance analysis are the features of increased interest for creators.
If you still can’t find a suitable platform that will cater to your objectives in microlearning, you may opt for custom app development with MPS experts. You will get a unique solution that suits your requirements and vision.
Here are some features to consider while making your app more attractive to users.
Investing in educational app development, provide an expense item on video content. It is the most efficient and fast way to deliver valuable information. Within 3-10 minutes, you can broadcast data from a 20-page book. Videos with light-hearted music and eye-catching design are one of the most captivating formats that can keep learners' attention and help them to assimilate knowledge faster.
You risk losing customers representing the course in a long, monotonous text format. Not everyone will be engaged in reading a large amount of material in several paragraphs. Choose the right design and provide brief data on every page, making it easy to follow and adapt.
Microlearning games at the end of the course are a perfect method to receive immediate feedback about the users’ performance and check the assimilation of materials. Developed simply and enjoyably, they will help creators keep customer retention.
Data visualization can help to transform complex material into easy for understanding one. Learners will connect pieces of information faster. Use blocks, arrows, images, diagrams, and schemes to improve cognition and enhance visual perception.
Are micro and mobile training the same?
No, these are different educational methods. Although customers access lessons via their gadgets in both cases, they study only one subject per micro course. At the same time, learners can also use mobile devices for traditional studying.
What is the average time for a micro-course?
The duration is not fixed. Such training can last as long as required but be quite short for better assimilation. According to ATD research, an effective lesson lasts up to 2-5 minutes. Still, if the object of learning isn’t too complex, you may create a 10-15-minute course.
Where can I apply for bite-sized courses?
Bite-sized content may be beneficial for sales, product, employee, compliance, software, onboarding, and other fields of training.
How to deploy micro courses?
The main difference between micro vs. traditional learning lies in the ability to chunk material into short parts. Use this opportunity to deliver content through your corporate LMS, social media profiles, or special mobile apps.
In the modern, quickly changing digital environment, business owners require constant employee upskilling with minimum time wasted in their busy schedules. That’s why it makes sense to integrate micro-training into an enterprise system. Short data bursts aimed at a single outcome can take various forms, including infographics, videos, games, tests, etc. Micro courses as a standalone mobile app or a part of an existing educational system can significantly increase retention, boosting engagement and productivity.
Understanding what microlearning is, you can use one of the best enterprise-ready tools to build your training pattern or opt for a customized corporate solution from MPS experts.