5 Microlearning Tools You’d Never Think To Try
Microlearning is all about small bits of learning. A quick bite here, a short tidbit there, and suddenly you’ve delivered a whole lesson without overwhelming your learner with excess information. It’s easy to see why microlearning has become one of the most talked-about strategies for Learning & Development.
Depending on what kind of LMS you have, you may or may not be able to distribute your microlearning the way you’d like. Many legacy LMS’s don’t support embedded videos which make it difficult to distribute some forms of microlearning. And although a next generation LMS will more than likely support your microlearning needs, using a few of these unconventional tools can help your learners consume and engage with your microlearning on another level.
We’ve talked about the value of using Snapchat microlearning before and with over 60 Million daily users, the app holds exciting prospects for learning strategies. The brevity of the medium, 15-second videos and photos, lends itself quite well to microlearning. A 2015 study found learners retain 22% more information when it’s received in short bursts, so try breaking up your lessons into ultra-short clips and delivering them through the app.
Video eLearning is nothing new but approaching it with a microlearning mindset can turn your long-winded training video into easily digestible segments. Many legacy LMS’s might not support video uploads, so think about breaking up that training video into 3-minute chunks and uploading them to YouTube so they’re more accessible to your learners. Uploading them to a video service also ensures your content is easily watchable with a smartphone or tablet.
Infographics, although not techy, are exceptional at delivering knowledge in small bites. Our brains are hardwired to understand and retain what we see; we can get a sense of a visual scene in less than 0.01 seconds. Delivering visually appealing content ensures your learners are more likely to actually read it. In fact, >researchers have found color visuals increase our willingness to read something by as much as 80%. So instead of keeping your lessons in a plain-text document, try laying it out in an infographic. There are several resources available which make creating infographics quick and easy.
Buzzfeed’s hugely popular “Tasty” videos are probably the best showcase of microlearning on Facebook. The 1 minute-ish cooking videos have garnered over 80 Billion views. The videos, shot overhead showing a pair of disembodied hands preparing delicious meals, taps into the essence of microlearning; content that’s fast, easily digestible, and fun to watch. Copying the “Tasty” style and sharing it among your team members can be an effective and fun way to distribute your learning through Facebook.
With more than 29,000,000 minutes of podcasts being produced each year on just about every subject under the sun, finding one which fits your training needs is easier than ever. Take the time to explore podcasts that are relevant to your industry and repurpose them in your training. Grab sound-bites that are relevant to your training topic and make them available to your team members. Some L&D teams have even taken the initiative to deliver their own content via podcasts. Fairfield Residential for example, which has a young and highly mobile workforce, has found success distributing training tidbits through podcasts.
Ultimately, microlearning (and the tools mentioned above) are a great way to supplement your learning strategy. Delivering small chunks of learning between more traditional classroom or LMS training is an excellent way to reinforce lessons and allow your team members to consume training at their own pace. The best way to see if these techniques fit into your learning strategy is to dive in and find out for yourself.