Micro-learning is a term gaining widespread popularity, especially in the world of corporate training. Product organizations are exploring ways to deliver short learning bytes for just-in-time learning for easy assimilation and application to its users.
What is Microlearning?
Microlearning is basically information delivered in bits. Also, known as bite-sized learning, micro-learning capitalizes on the contemporary motto of ‘time is money. If you watch a video on YouTube to learn how to install Windows on your PC or how to bake a cake; if you read a blog to understand how to tether your mobile as a Wi-Fi hotspot, you are already micro-learning. Under micro-learning, content is broken down into very small chunks and delivered to the learner, who can access them just at the point-of-need or when he/she has time to.
Six ways how micro-learning can be part of your product training:
Short ‘how to’ videos, particularly those that involve practical demonstration of a product. However, care must be taken to keep the videos short. If you flinch at the idea of downloading a 20 MB forwarded video on WhatsApp or Viber, you know what we are talking about. DO NOT defeat the purpose of micro-learning by adding unnecessary content in the video. Keep it short and to the point.
Email and Mobile Notifications
Micro-information like ‘A word a day’ can be pushed to learners through email or mobile notifications. Whether they want it on their mobile or as an email every day, should be left to the choice of the learners themselves. To make sure, that users do use this learning resource, short quizzes and puzzles must be designed and integrated into a socially enabled LMS that lets them earn points when they answer correctly. This will not only ensure that learners do not treat those emails/mobile notifications as junk, but will also motivate learners to outdo each other in a healthy competitive spirit.
Puzzles, riddles and quizzes
The beauty of a game is that people learn the most through them even without realizing that they were ‘learning’ and not playing. A quiz that takes sales employees to higher levels as they answer questions about customer support, a puzzle that requires mechanical engineering trainees to fill in the missing pieces of a machine design or a vocabulary quiz for the English teaching staff at a university — all these are excellent ways to drive user adoption and increase engagement Blog Posts
Blogs are also very useful when it comes to applying micro-learning for on-demand training. Short blogs, say between 350-500 words that focus on specific topics in concise points should be available on the LMS. Plus, make sure you integrate a robust and efficient ‘search by keyword’ function to enhance the utility of your blog.
While blog posts are great for process-oriented instruction, PowerPoint slideshows are a great medium to explain concepts. This is because you can add text, audio and graphical content as well as animate these objects to touch upon both the visual and auditory parts of learners’ minds.
Again, animations are highly effective media for describing or explaining general concepts which may otherwise be difficult to understand. Short and simple animations can be authored on topics as diverse as: ‘How to handle a dissatisfied customer’, ‘How to use key product features, ‘How to install in 3 easy steps’ and so on. You must remember the 4 tips given here to make effective and useful animations.
The wonderful part about all these bite-sized or micro-learning resources is that by being small, they allow learning to become an everyday activity. Of course, there is no denying that classroom training has its own benefits, but micro-learning is a win-win for product organizations.
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