There are a variety of benefits associated with Micro-learning, particularly in eLearning environments. In essence, micro-eLearning offers students and employees the opportunity to more easily absorb and retain the information that is being offered, by making lessons and course activities more manageable and “digestible”. Micro-eLearning is often referred to as “bite sized” education, because it breaks the educational process down into lessons that typically last no longer than a few minutes, and enable them to collect and recall course materials more efficiently and effectively.
7 Micro-eLearning Techniques To Improve Your eLearning Course Design
Micro-eLearning Technique #1: Micro-games online
It's a proven fact that people learn more if they are engaged with the subject. Participating in a game, even if there is no winner, will allow students and employees to interact directly with the lesson, and will enable them to get more out of the experience. For example, if you are trying to teach employees the basics of customer care, you can design a game in which they must answer customer service questions to advance to the next level. This will provide you with the opportunity to make learning fun and fast. Therefore, it will be more effective.
Micro-eLearning Technique #2: Lesson-based Podcasts
One of the most beneficial micro-eLearning techniques used today is the educational podcast. Recording a small amount of information, that can be discoursed far and wide, can give learners the chance to gather important data and knowledge from the comfort of their own homes or offices (or even on-the-go). Better yet, they don't have to set aside large blocks of time to absorb this new information, as the lesson can be distilled into a few minutes and offered via podcast.
Micro-eLearning Technique #3: Multimedia presentations (slide shows)
Online slide shows are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact that they appeal to virtually every type of learner. Whether an employee or student is able to more effectively absorb information through auditory, visual, or interactive methods, a slide show can cater to their needs. Typically, these slide shows can provide a micro-lesson in a matter of minutes, and can allow the learner to grasp the concepts of each slide before moving onto the next. As such, it's an ideal technique for courses that may require more in-depth explanations or illustrations, insuring that the learner fully understands each one of them.
Micro-eLearning Technique #4: Simulations that teach a skill set
You can also use simulations, either online or in group settings, that teach a particular skill set. For example, if you are designing an eLearning course that is geared toward sales transactions in retail environments, you can employ a simulation that walks the learners through a transaction and then asks them to do it on their own, after the brief step by step instruction that has been provided. This not only enables the learners to build upon a specific skill or knowledge of a task, but gives them the opportunity to try it in a real life or virtual setting.
Micro-eLearning Technique #5: Instructional videos
Instructional videos can be created in a number of ways, and can be used in a variety of educational environments. For example, you can easily design a video and integrate it directly into your site design or even post it on your video sharing sites (such as Youtube) in order to deliver it to remote learners. The students or employees can then access the video whenever they like and take their own time to absorb the information being offered. This particular micro-eLearning technique is ideal in situations that call for the demonstration of a specific skill or task, such as if you are trying to instruct an employee on how to handle various aspects of risk management within the corporation or how to successfully handle customer complaints.
Micro-eLearning Technique #6: Online assessment and quizzes
Micro-eLearning techniques can also come in the form of assessment or quizzes online. These quick virtual exams can give instructors the opportunity to gauge the level of skill and understanding of each of their learners, and can even offer learners the chance to determine how they are progressing along the way. They can also prove to be a good source of motivation, which always leads to enhanced performance both in and out of the office.
Micro-eLearning Technique #7: Educational blog posts
Even something as simple and straightforward as a blog post can serve as a micro-eLearning activity. Learners can visit the blog whenever they choose and gather the required information, making it an ideal way to get the information across when and where the learners need it. Blog posts can serve as a method by which you inform potential learners about the lessons being offered, or keep current employees or students up to date on the latest news or knowledge. For example, if you write a blog post dedicated to “tips for success in banking”, you can keep bank employees informed about ways that they can improve their on-the-job performance and client care skills, without having to offer a structured learning environment.
By offering your learners micro-eLearning options, you gain the ability to boost their performance in the online classroom and on the job as well, without requiring them to devote a great deal of time to the learning process. Therefore, these activities are perfect for any educational setting, given that they can be effective for every type of learner, and allow each student or employee to go at their own pace and fully master each lesson before progressing to the next one.
These Micro-eLearning techniques can allow you to integrate micro-learning into your eLearning course design to improve performance. Keep in mind that micro-learning is all about small quantities of information that leave a lasting impression upon the student. As such, the “bite sized” techniques should give the learner the opportunity to absorb information quickly and efficiently, and be able to recall that information for future use.
Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry's Network. Currently, the eLearning Industry has a network of more than 75,000 professionals involved in the eLearning Industry and runs the following sites:
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Christopher holds an MBA, and an M.Ed. (Learning Design) from BGSU.
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