9 Effective Formats For Microlearning And Their Applications

By Vaibhav Kakkar

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Internet connectivity is available almost all across the globe. It enables microlearning to seep into our everyday lives in many forms. Looking at a tutorial on how to fix something at home, viewing an infographic on how to assemble a DIY wardrobe, or engaging in an informative short game from a marketing agency are all examples of Microlearning. 

Microlearning is extensively used in the corporate world as well. It lets employees immediately grasp and implement new and essential concepts. Microlearning helps build competencies and confidence among employees. 

How Does Microlearning Work?

Microlearning is much more than breaking complex courses into smaller, digestible modules. It focuses on the learner’s ability to retain new information. It is also accessible to the learners at all times, so it is easier for them to brush up their knowledge quickly as the need arises instead of sitting through the entire course to wait for a particular piece of information.

Microlearning is the most effective when it is short and aligns with a specific learning objective. It has the following characteristics:

  1. It offers multi-device compatibility
  2. It is available in rich media formats
  3. It triggers learners to act; that is, it is action-oriented. 

How To Implement Microlearning In The Workplace?

The diversity and flexibility offered by microlearning allow organizations to adapt it for both formal and informal training. The following points discuss some ways to implement microlearning in the workplace.

1. As A Full-Fledged Course of Formal Training

Organizations can transform a complete eLearning course into several microlearning modules linked together through a specific learning objective. Such an option generally enables learners to access learning materials via mobile devices. They are free to undertake the training at their convenience from any location.   

2. As A Supplement To Formal Training

Microlearning can reinforce traditional formal training or eLearning through informative videos,  quizzes, practice exercises, or introductory and concluding learning material in instructor-led training sessions.

3. As Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

Performance Support Tools help learners improve their performance significantly. PSTs are need-based learning modules that learners can easily access while on the job. It is effective for just-in-time learning needs like information on a quick-fix solution, a software simulation, or a checklist. 

Formats For Microlearning And When To Use Them

Microlearning is a much-needed alternative to traditional training as it is highly flexible, easy to access, simple, and to the point. It saves time and promotes engagement. Here are 10 examples of various microlearning formats currently available in the market.

1. Videos and Animations

Videos are the fastest way to impart new information to learners as they are highly visual, familiar formats that are easy to retain. They may include animations, whiteboarding, kinetic text-based, interactive visuals, webinars, or webcasts. 

Organizations may use this format for showing processes or procedures, emotions, or software simulations. 

2. Interactive parallax-based scrolling

The Parallax approach to microlearning is gaining popularity in the corporate world. The learner must create an avatar and scroll through a virtual learning path. Interactive quizzes and questions keep popping up along their journey through the module. It is highly effective for learners with short attention spans. 

It works well for learning on the go.

3. Simulations

Simulations are an excellent tool to help learners apply new concepts in a safe virtual environment instead of experimenting straightaway on the field. They allow learners to keep practicing till they understand the module completely. Simulations are beneficial for training focussed on: 

  • handling emergencies,
  • conducting standard medical procedures, 
  • operating new machinery, 
  • designing earthquake-resistant structures,
  •  responding to customer complaints, etc.

3. Podcasts

Podcasts are microlearning bites comprising audio recordings the learners can listen to, similar to a recorded radio show episode. This format is most effective for learners who are constantly on the move and find it challenging to find a dedicated time slot to complete their training. Learners can listen to the podcasts while commuting to the office, the project site, walking, or running. 

As long as the podcasts have an engaging structure and narrative, they form one of the most effective methods of training employees.

4. Chatbots

Today, chatbots are everywhere, in e-commerce, a corporate organization, or an academic institution's website. Conversational chatbots furnish essential customer support, quick problem-solving solutions, tutorials, and instructions.

Chatbots are highly effective in the e-commerce industry, where success largely depends on the customer’s satisfaction. 

5. Gamification

Microlearning becomes more fun when organizations introduce gamification elements into the training modules. These include levels, awards, badges, and interactive messenger. Gamification in microlearning engages learners in a friendly competition, making them more alert and eager to learn so they can proceed before their opponents.

6. Interactive Infographics

Infographics are attractive, condense large chunks of text into a graphic visual, and help provide quick access to information. In corporate training, infographics can have clickable icons linked to additional information, making them interactive and engaging.

Interactive Infographics find their application in the onboarding process of new hires to familiarize them with the organization’s policies and procedures quickly.

7. Immersive Scenarios

Augmented/virtual reality technology is revolutionizing the way we learn, as microlearning modules using this innovative approach to create realistic learning environments are infiltrating all industries and sectors. Such modules develop scenarios, and the learners can use their avatars for an immersive learning experience. This microlearning format is highly effective in the aircraft or building industry, as immersive scenarios enable the learners to be fully equipped with the knowledge of solving actual problems, thus preventing heavy losses that may arise with a misunderstood concept.

8. Text-Message-Based Microlearning

Everyone is looking for the quickest possible solutions to their problems. Text-message-based microlearning offers a quick reference to the learners so that they can quickly clear their doubts and carry on with their ongoing tasks. Such microlearning includes the following:

  • Informative documents like printed media, interactive PDFs, weblinks to learning materials and references, etc. 
  • Newsletters that update and provide the learners or users with necessary information about the organization or product.
  • Interaction via SMS, WhatsApp or any other text-messaging application where learners can access necessary information by asking and answering questions.

Bonus Tip 

Now that you know the different formats for microlearning, the next challenge you may face is choosing the most appropriate one for your organization. When deciding between the various options, keep in mind that microlearning always focuses on the learner. Consider all your learners' learning needs so they can grow in the organization and your organization’s vision and learning objectives.  

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