How to Achieve an Ideal Micro Learning Module
First, let’s define this semi-new term to the industry. Because it’s kind of new, you’ll find a few opinions about it. I’ll just keep it simple for us.
What Is Micro Learning?
Micro learning is making learning available to your audience in small chunks.
Why Use It?
This, my friend, is the bigger question. Micro learning will only help you if you know why you need it. Why are you trying to make things smaller for your learner? Here are some sample answers:
- Because we only have five minutes to learn this
- Because my students’ attention span only goes to five minutes
- Because if I show anything more than 30 seconds long, I lose people
- Because this is a quick update to a bigger module
Are Any of These Answers Right for Micro Learning?
All of them, really. All apply, depending on your goal. So again, if you want to get into micro learning and create a quick module, perfect. So long as you know why you’re creating it.
OK, So How Do You Build the Ideal Micro Learning Module?
- Start with your whole manual or module. Meaning, draft and storyboard your project to completion. This way, you’ll know the timing of it. Let’s say this is a 35-minute module.
- Decide on the important aspects of your module and divide your module into these topics. For the purposes of this example, we’ll say there are seven topics.
- Now you know you’ll have seven, 5-minute modules. Give them each a title.
- Make sure they flow with one another according to the draft you’ve made.
- Apply your instructional design expertise to each of these seven modules, never forgetting that they’re all one, comprehensive topic. Don’t leave anyone hanging from module to module, but it’s OK to have a good cliffhanger.
- Just as you would in a full module, figure out your visual, kinesthetic, reading, and auditory elements. Make it as comprehensive as you can for each module. This will make sure you capture as many of your learners’ styles as you can.
What Not to Do
Here’s what we wouldn’t recommend:
- Don’t make your full module for 35 minutes, and then split it in a video editor in seven parts. This isn’t delivering learning to your student. It’s a seven-part splice. In fact, you may lose them by the second splice if it’s disconnected. Each part should be holistic, not a simple split from a whole.
- Don’t make Part 1 for your kinesthetic learners, and then Part 2 for your auditory learners, and then Part 3 for your visual learners, and then Part 4 for your readers. Have each part touch on the different modalities. This way, each module captures a good chunk of your learners at once.
A Small Admission…
Micro learning isn’t for everyone, but it is a sign of the times. Perhaps we’re too busy to sit down for 30 minutes and learn something. Maybe we need it in 3-minute increments so that we know what we’re up against in between meetings or even at lunch.
Some of us look at the time bar before starting any video to see if we have time for it.
But not everyone does.
Know Your Audience
How to know if micro learning is for your team? The biggest teller of whether you need it is your learner’s feedback. So, ask. Make a sample module. Your learner will let you know if it was too short or too long.
Speaking About Learning Engagement
Whether it’s a 5-minute module or a 4-hour class, you’ll lose your audience if they’re bored. I’ll single myself out as the writer and admit that I absolutely need to be interested in what you’re saying, if you want to keep me.
If you believe that because I bought your class I’ll rave about your program, you’re wrong. If your program is boring in the first five minutes, I’ll never complete the module. Further, I’ll never buy from you again. And, ouch: I’ll never tell my friends.
I know, that was tough…
How Do We Know All of This?
As instructional designers, it is our responsibility that learning modules, whether five minutes or 55 minutes, carry comprehensive learning modalities in them. It is also our job to constantly learn about what fires up people, keep up with the industry and with humanity, and apply our findings to instructional design.
If we really want people to learn what we’re teaching, let’s pay attention to them, not just to the latest and greatest of today. Because at the end of the day, what hasn’t changed in the world, is having a good teacher who sincerely wants to make the topic engaging for the student.
Who Are We?
We are Miranda Park Learning, your instructional design services experts. When you’re ready for micro learning services, contact Cassy Huidobro at 720-722-9998 or via email at [email protected]. We’ll ensure your learner completion rate isn’t necessarily because of timing, but because of engagement.
Picture: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
This blog was made by Miranda Park Learning and has been verified as unique by Copyscape.