Compelling microlearning designs appease short attention spans with engaging content, video and graphics. Microlearning is used by learning and development professionals, content creators, brands, and even self-serve language apps. Learners love microlearning designs. An effective microlearning design is shown to increase retention rates because it doesn’t overload learners with exorbitant amounts of information.
What is Microlearning?
Microlearning is simply learning done in small steps or parts. This L&D strategy is easily digestible for learners when designed with care. Compelling microlearning designs all share the common tenet of being bite-sized. Examples of microlearning content include short videos, infographics and diagnostic quizzes. Other qualities of a successful microlearning strategy include being:
- Tailored to a highly specific topic
- Implemented for a short duration
- Produced and updated with relative ease
- Designed in variety of content formats
Additionally, microlearning is often planned to be inserted as minuscule components of a considerably longer course curriculum.
Benefits of Compelling Microlearning Designs
Microlearning is applied to courses, curriculums, and tracks–even in media outside of L&D–for its many benefits. However, content is only as effective as the context it is presented in. Compelling microlearning designs should provide you and your learners with the benefits of:
- No disruption or detraction from your overall messaging
- Instilled confidence to learners through quick completion
- Lowered costs and easy substitution of antiquated content
- Movement of L&D courses (and learners) along a faster pace
- Opportunity to design in a variety of blended formats to meet unique needs
Moreover, eLearning Brothers succinctly states the power of microlearning: “When you incorporate microlearning into your eLearning course design, you’re able to meet the needs of your learners by providing bite-sized pieces of information that are easy to digest.”
Microlearning isn’t pigeon-holed to formal content in an L&D course. We pulled together 4 compelling microlearning designs created and implemented by a variety of organizational types.
1. Buzzfeed Tasty
From meals designed for kids to adult beverages and food mindful of diet limitations to desserts that indulge your cheat days, BuzzFeed Tasty is one of the most popular sources of microlearning. In March, NY Mag’s The Cut tallied Tasty’s unprecedented viral following: 50 million Facebook likes, 84+ million comments, and 8+ billion views. Now, Tasty has amassed more than 61 million Facebook likes in just a couple of months since The Cut’s article was written.
Why has this source of microlearning become incredibly popular? Tasty videos provide immediate results in under 2 minutes. Under the constructs of short and instant, Tasty’s microlearning designs are, well for lack of better words, easy to digest. These videos show insatiable viewers how to create an assortment of dishes and drinks even if they don’t end up making it themselves.
For instance, who knew you could do this with milk’s favorite cookie?
Drool worthy? Absolutely. However, video while effective is not right for everyone. eLearning Industry points out that 75 percent of millennials visit YouTube monthly, yet regardless of age people prefer video over other mediums. If you are training millennials, or any other generations for that matter, you may want to consider adding microlearning videos into your L&D initiatives.
Now we move away from appealing to appetites to appealing to the ear. Duolingo is a free multi-language education app and platform that teaches over 20 languages. Duolingo lets users set daily goals based on amounts of time with 5 minutes as a “casual” daily goal and “insane” as devoting 20 minutes per day. Duolingo’s 120+ million users complete more than 6 billion exercises each month, like this French translation exercise shown here.
Contributing to Duolingo’s success is its microlearning design structure. Language learners learn vocabulary in stages and complete exercises for translation, listening, matching and speaking. These exercises progressively become more difficult with each completion. Allen Interactions points to the strengths of Duolingo’s microlearning design as its capability of focusing on a single task or concept for 5-10 minutes at a time at a learner-controlled pace.
3. Dictionary.com Word of the Day
The Dictionary.com app pushes out notifications for the Word of the Day, providing its definition, origin, and examples of its use straight to your mobile phone. This is one of many microlearning designs is recursive. Word of the Day is an excellent example of microlearning design. To start, It is very micro (1 word per day) and provides all of the information needed in a single piece of content.
Word of the Day is granular, but fuels in achieving the overall goal of expanding learners vocabulary. Although very straightforward and simple, Dictionary.com Word of the Day applies context to small stories through the word’s use in a sentence. Learners can add favorite words to a queue for later reference.
4. See What Happens When You Hit Submit
Mimeo’s See What Happens When You Hit Submit interactive infographic breaks apart a highly complex quality assurance process into 7 easy to understand microlearning moments. This infographic is holistic, offering a detailed view of each step of a document’s journey without sacrificing the complete 360 degree view of Mimeo’s quality control process.
Hit Submit to see our microlearning design in action!