Microlearning can be an effective way to deliver learning in short bursts that fits with learners’ needs and busy schedules. But is shorter elearning always better? Find out exactly how to create microlearning that is engaging and easily digestible, yet still creates a learning impact.
Watch the webinar recording to find out why learners respond better to shorter topics and how to create successful microlearning, with examples and tips.
What is microlearning?
Microlearning is a way of delivering content to learners in short and digestible bursts, often at the point of need. It can take various forms, from text to an interactive, but the key is to make it short with a focused and specific learning outcome.
When is it a good fit?
It works well for learning on-the-job, at a moment of need, and as part of spaced learning, where users build up their learning over time through a series of microlearning topics. It can help drive long-term behavior changes in this context.
When is it not a good fit?
If you have complicated or lengthy processes, high-risk or regulatory subjects where learners really have to understand it in-depth, microlearning might not be the best fit. Unless that is, you are stringing together short topics and activities into a cohesive journey or blend.
5 microlearning tips
Here are our top tips to create microlearning with impact.
- Purpose – make sure each microlearning topic has a clear purpose and a single learning objective to focus on only what is essential. Be strict about what content to keep and what to lose.
- Connection – look for ways to quickly engage the learner. They still need to know “What’s in it for me?” upfront and reason for using this piece of content.
- Flow – use simple navigation and clear signposting, and guide users through a mini-journey. Even if it’s a single scrolling page. Always end with a call to action.
- Re-use – nothing supports speedy learning more than a consistent interface. Use templates to help you and learners, like those available in our Learning Accelerator.
- Space – avoid splatter-gunning one-hit-wonders. Create a spaced journey that pieces together microlearning and other resources and activities to form a journey.
5 elearning examples
Here are five key microlearning examples that show the tips in action.
1. Succinct Scrolling Pages
Succinct scrolling pages are perfect to set up a clear flow and sections. This example shows some of the key principles to good microlearning as it has a clear introduction, outro and signposted sections.
Here is a best practice guide to creating scrolling pages.
See this example on the Showcase.
2. On-the-job Resources
On-the-job resources are effective for creating helpful resources which users can access at a point of need.
This is a classic use for microlearning, this product knowledge example supports people on the shop floor. It is focused and can be used when needed or with customers.
Try out this example here.
Try this example in Learning accelerator if you are an Elucidat customer.
An infohub design can link microlearning topics together from a menu, creating a non-linear module for learners to browse.
This works well if you have content that learners can explore in any order, and/or topics that aren’t mandatory to view.
In this example, the module as a whole contains lots of content – but individual topics are micro.
Tips are available on how to set up a menu for non-linear designs, like the OU’s career infohub, in this support article.
See this example from The Open University.
4. In-page Menus
In-page menus can be used to structure content.
This example uses an in-page progress menu to help learners orient themselves in the learning experience.
Check it out on the showcase.
Elucidat customers, you can try this example in Learning accelerator here.
5. Spaced Learning
Spaced learning is great as it combines different microlearning approaches from guides, activities, examples and games into a spaced out journey. This allows learning to build up cumulatively and gives space for reflection and application.
Watch expert Stella Collins for further views on how to make learning stick.
Microlearning can be an effective means of driving learner engagement and retention and, most importantly, impact when it’s done with a clear strategy and purpose. It is not effective for every type of learning goal, so don’t force it where it doesn’t fit.