Microlearning needs no introduction at all. The L&D has been discussing about it for years now and the in last few years organizations too have been opting microlearning frequently. Why so? Learners, the learning ecosystem, the influence of device usage pattern, the changing workplace scenario are the primary drivers, and various other benefits drive the demand for change too.
According to a study by ATD, the ideal length of a microlearning session is 10 minutes, though most talent developers use time periods closer to 13 minutes. While we have been discussing a lot about microlearning, what really are the types? On a broad level microlearning can be categorized as formal and informal training. The former works when an existing eLearning, or an entire learning concept is to be delivered as small nuggets often also known as a standalone package. The latter works when microlearning acts as a supportive element, as performance support tool or for revision etc. The question then is what apart from short videos can be termed as microlearning in other words, what are the types of microlearning?
Visuals are effective for information sharing. Infographics can be used to depict data, to stories, to complete steps in a process. With proper visuals, infographics can improve learner’s ability to learn, through patterns. Appropriate images, and concise text paired together presented as an infographic create a wonderful microlearning module.
The basic form of eLearning, PDFs can be accessed on most devices and hence, becomes a good option for delivering descriptive content. Adding a modern twist to it are the Interactive PDFs, where clickable elements are linked to additional inputs or activities.
- eBooks, Flipbooks, ePUB
While not essentially micro in terms of content. Portability and interactivity makes it a good fit. eBooks, flipbooks, ePUB etc. work well as user manuals, job-aids etc. Use of visuals to describe the products, audio integration etc. can enhance the effect.
- PowerPoint Presentation
Often used for eLearning design, presentations work well when it comes to explaining concepts. Using it is easy, and so is addition of text, audio, and graphical content and object animation.
- Animated Images
Checked out any banner advertisement recently? That’s usually a GIF image or an animated image with 2-5 frames (or more). Undoubtedly, works well as microlearning too.
The best choice when it comes to learning on the go and the best part is the versatile options in terms of animation and presentation. Microlearning can be created as simple animation, whiteboard animation, animation using kinetic text, explainer videos, interactive videos, 360-degree videos and so on.
Podcasts audio tools that can easily grab learner’s attention. As auditory learning is considered powerful, it is said to strengthen understanding and retention too. While Podcasts are easily available on the web, it can be easily shared as MP3 files, through SoundCloud and other web-cloud-based services.
Adding to the effectiveness of podcasts, webinars add visuals too and live interactions. Lectures by experts, current statistics and trends etc. can be presented through live webinars and webinar recordings too.
- Mobile Apps
Apps are powerful tools, considering the ease of use and wide spread mobile use too. It can function on the go and also caters to connectivity issues by offering online and offline modes.
(Look out for our next post for more detail)
- Interactives and Scenarios
Branched scenarios, or other scenario-based short learning modules, interactive parallax scrolling, simple drag and drop activities to complex interactives are powerful as microlearning too.
In addition to these Blogs, Games, Emails, Social Media, Job Aids, Puzzles, Riddles & Quizzes (could be known as interactives too), Assessments etc. too are types of microlearning used by organizations.
Wish to add more to the list? Do share your comments.