eLearning has changed the way information is accessed, opening doors for greater expansion and a wider range of opportunities. The ways in which learning materials are presented are an integral part of the overall learning process and are directly tied to the type of learning taking place.
As technology advanced, bringing with it instant access to more information than ever before, the need for both altering and shortening the presentation grew. Hence, eLearning.
Microlearning came about as a result of shorter attention spans brought on by the vast amount of information available from multiple sources: websites, blogs, articles etc. This culminated in a lack of focus for many people when attempting to devote long hours to learning. Over time, the retention time for learners was gradually lowered from 30 minutes to an hour to now mere minutes. As a result, the need arose to condense eLearning lessons into bite-sized nuggets that are easier for learners to digest.
Challenges of Microlearning
In addition to shortening eLearning modules, educators and instructors were faced with the challenges of engaging the attention of their online learners and finding mediums that would make the information memorable. The result is short videos, brief audio lectures, slides with images and material presented in small blocks of text, all of which take very little time to take in while engaging several of the senses at once.
All eLearning modules and materials must also support delivery and access across multiple devices. This includes: computers, tablets, smartphones and any other mobile devices learners may use.
Advantages of Microlearning
There are several advantages to implementing microlearning techniques. Because the information can be accessed across a wide range of devices, learners will be able to access it anywhere at any time. Whether you’re putting together scholastic or business training, offering this type of diverse learning means a more efficient training process because learners can access it during the times that most conveniently fit into their schedules. Also, offering shorter modules makes it easier to fit training into the busy work day without interrupting workflow.
Microlearning is also a great solution for employees who are initially coming onboard in a new job and are required to complete a lot of paperwork and training within a relatively short period of time. Sometimes the stress of finishing all these tasks quickly can cause information overload, which will overwhelm employees and make retention difficult.
Breaking learning modules down into smaller pieces, then incorporating audio, video, images, exercises and text will help engage different parts of the brain by showing and telling, which will help make it easier to remember over time. This also addresses the different types of learners by providing various means to obtain information.
Creating Material for Microlearning
When putting together material for your microlearning courses, include only one topic per module. This allows the learner to concentrate on one specific aspect of the course and makes it easy to reference a particular point at any time in the future.
Establish how long each module should be, and strictly stick to that time. This will help you keep the length of your modules to a minimum while enabling you to maximise productivity across the board.
Keep your courses innovative. Present modules in a way that is creative and stands out. This will not only help learners retain the information but will also make your courses recognisable.
Finally, mix it up. As you create material for e-Learning courses, don’t be afraid to integrate new ideas as you go. You should evolve with your learners, and there’s no better way to do this than through constant change. Be mindful of new ways of delivering content and be willing to change up the formula every now and then to address new trends.