Micro-content is the new buzzword in the eLearning industry. It is the perfect solution to everyone’s decreasing attention span. Forget hour-long or 20 min lectures, we have come down to eLearning videos that are as small as mere 5 minutes.
Today’s mantra to ace the online course creation process is- small is better. But how do you stuff the entire portion of “java basics” in 5 minutes? Is that really possible? Well, obviously one 5 min video would not suffice, you need to create a series of such videos to complete the module. There is a lot more to discuss so make sure you read till the end.
Let’s start with the basics. Shall we?
What in the world is even micro-learning?
If micro-learning is completely an alien term to you, then let’s first understand what micro-learning is.
Micro-learning refers to the way of consuming eLearning content in bite-sized videos, images, texts, or graphics. The traditional method of eLearning with hour-long lectures was like stuffing an entire burrito in your mouth. Micro-learning is easily digestible and consumable. You take one bite, then the other, and then the next.
Most people use video format to create their courses so let’s discuss micro-learning videos. A video of about 5 minutes or less is what we are trying to achieve when we develop micro-learning courses.
For example, you intend to create a course titled “ oil painting basics”. Now instead of creating a 5-6 hour long video or a few 1-hour-long lectures, we can actually divide the whole course into many 5-minute-long videos. Your first module can be on how are oils different from other mediums.
In this first module, you can make more segments like “oil vs water medium”, “ oil vs acrylic medium”, “ oil vs gouache medium” and so on. Each of these segments can be a small 5-minute video. You can add an easy chart to help them remember the difference. You could even add an image of a painting made using different mediums.
Why do you need micro-learning?
The biggest villains that stop your learners from completing the course are busy schedules and very short attention spans.
Not only employees but also kids are very busy these days. They don’t seem to have time to sit for 30 minutes and complete one video. But they can certainly use the time of traveling from one place to another or while having snacks to watch a quick 5-minute video and make their day productive without causing any stress.
If you combine micro-learning and mobile- learning, the convenience of accessing your course will go a level up and so will the chances of more people completing your course.
Micro-learning helps individuals to concentrate solely on a single chunk of knowledge at a time by dividing information into simpler and shorter learning content.
If you add a test after each video and module, the repetition of the new learning will ensure long-term retention.
There are many studies being conducted on the benefits of micro-learning, however, the biggest reason to choose micro-learning is that it is preferred by learners.
How to create a micro-learning course
Creating micro-learning courses isn’t really difficult if you use the latest LMSs and authoring tools like Articulate 360. However, here are some fundamental things that you should consider while creating a micro-learning course.
Know your audience
The first thing you need to do is understand your audience. Knowing your audience will help you decide the pace of your course, the tone, colors, and other graphic elements.
I want you to keep the image of your audience in front of you while creating anything related to the course. If you want your course to appeal to your audience then it should be made for the audience.
Decide your final objective
Before you start creating the course have a fixed singular objective. Your course should lead the audience to this objective. Many people change tracks unknowingly and fail to achieve what they wanted to with their course. Also, make sure the learners know the objective of this course in the course description and even in the first video.
Have a goal for each video
Have an objective for each 5-minute video in your course. With each video, you want to make sure that the users feel like they went a step further to achieving the final objective.
Cut to the chase
The most important part of creating a micro-learning course is that we don’t have time to give introductions and go around the world and then come to the point. Keep things short and crisp. Come to the point as soon as you can.
This however doesn’t imply that your course has to be boring. Use storytelling to make it more engaging.
Add practical exercises
Another way to make your course more engaging and interesting is to add some practical exercises after completing each module. This gives learners a chance to apply what they learned and will also ensure better retention.
All videos should be unique but also uniform
All your 5-minute video should have a unique objective but the way it is made (colors, graphics, tone) should be similar. It should not look like one video was from one course and the other was from another.
Use multiple formats
You need to add a variety of content considering the different learning styles. Some people prefer only videos, some like to read and then there are some with a strong visual memory who prefers infographics. Use all these media formats to effectively communicate with your audience.
Use graphics and other visual aids
Your speaker may not be able to hold the attention of your audience but some fun graphics on the screen will. Make sure to use images, illustrations, and animation wherever possible.
Assessment after each video to ensure retention
Most learners will quickly complete a video while they are traveling or having a coffee. There are chances that they missed something. So to ensure proper retention of knowledge add some quizzes and tests after each video or after completing a topic. The tests can also have some variety. Use simple MCQs instead of written answers to prevent learners from procrastinating on the test.
Make learning on the go possible
Micro-learning on its own is very efficient but making your course accessible through mobile devices will increase the completion rate of your course. The more convenience your course can provide the better the chances of people opting for it.
Support videos with additional resources
If you think there is more to a certain topic that cannot be covered in a 5-minute video, you can add links or PDFs for your learners to read. You could also add links to resources that one can use if they are interested in digging deeper into the topic.
Micro-learning is the most preferred way of consuming eLearning content for kids as well as adults. It saves time, is to the point, and is extremely convenient. Creating a micro-learning course requires proper planning. You can try storyboarding to outline the flow of your videos. Make sure your small 5-minute videos are actually leading to the final objective of the course.