4 Best Practices For Converting Dated Content To Microlearning
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Converting Dated Content To Microlearning: Best Practices

Microlearning is exploding in popularity. As the workplace continues to evolve and employees are squeezing in as much work as they possibly can into each day, many things are now done on the fly, from mobile devices and away from actual desks. We know that people get the most out of learning when they can directly apply it on the job. Microlearning allows learners to access just-in-time resources, pick up the skills they need, and then put it into practice. Training and Development professionals must evolve along with the changing needs of their learners, and microlearning is a great method to help your employees keep their skills and knowledge up to date. It’s a way of delivering bite-sized learning content that’s accessible on the go and often produces higher engagement rates and increased productivity.

Many organizations have access to enormous libraries of training content, which often gets trashed when it’s considered date or is not in use. If the content is still current, but the format is dated, you don't have to start from scratch. Many design tools allow you to import content from a variety of formats, and then update it to breaking it into shorter chunks, inserting interactive activities, and creating a fresh look and feel.

This is a successful way to utilize content that’s already available, in a format that is better suited for the modern workplace.

Should You Be Converting Dated Content?

Converting dated content is a great way to get the most out of tools and resources you already have, but it's not as simple as pushing a button. There are a few key questions to ask as you consider converting legacy learning programs to microlearning.

Should you convert your content?

Transitioning to microlearning from other forms of content is not as simple as reusing the slides from a formal, classroom-type training into a different, mobile-friendly format. It needs to be designed well in order to be effective.

One reason for this is that microlearning content is most effective when used as part of a larger training program. It shouldn’t serve as the end-all. Consider it an enhancement as opposed to a replacement.

Another reason is that the content best suited for microlearning is training that an employee might need "just-in-time". Think of the YouTube videos we turn to when we need to quickly learn how to do one specific task; that’s microlearning. If the dated content you’re looking to convert is less practical in nature, or perhaps a more nuanced compliance training, it could be best to convert and update the overall training first, in a more traditional style (perhaps a full eLearning program), and then use microlearning to enhance and supplement that training.

While you certainly need to consider the caliber of your existing content, and whether or not it’s still relevant for today’s workforce, converting dated content into a microlearning format can be a powerful way to engage learners.

4 Ways For Converting Dated Content Into A microlearning Format

Here are 4 best practices to implement as you begin conversion:

1. Think Concise.

Microlearning is often accessed via mobile devices. Keeping the content short and concise is ideal. Choose one specific focus for each piece of microlearning. What one thing could your learner come away with from say, a 4-minute video?

2. Think "Need To Know".

Microlearning is not the place to try to add anything additional. Keep the message minimal. Don’t complicate it with anything extraneous. If something isn’t entirely necessary to reach the learning objective, skip it.

3. Keep The Bigger Picture In Mind.

Remember that microlearning typically works best as part of a larger training and development program. Design it with that in mind. Ask how each microlearning module can fit into that larger picture. What other lessons does it support? How does it move your learner closer to the overarching objective?

4. Measure And Evaluate And Adjust. 

This concept of course applies to all Training and Development initiatives. We must understand the impact the converted content is having in its new microlearning format. We need to know when and how it’s being accessed and by whom. A few key questions to ask include: Are the objectives being met? Have efficiency, skills, and knowledge increased? Could it be effective as part of another training? Is it making your organization more profitable?

Final Word

Microlearning is gaining traction across all industries for good reason. It’s an effective and powerful tool for Training and Development in this ever-evolving professional landscape. Instead of throwing away dated content, it could potentially be put to good use by converting it to microlearning! However, this route is not always as straightforward as it seems. It’s important to consider if the overarching training program needs to be updated first, in order to see how microlearning will serve as an enhancement to that broader strategy, and then to proceed with proven best practices.

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