Things To Know When You Are Designing A Microlearning Object
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Designing A Microlearning Object? What You Should Have In Mind

Have you ever heard of nano-learning, nuggets-learning, and bite-sized learning? Actually, they all mean the same as microlearning. They all emphasize on short learning durations for the learners. Some examples are a 5-min courseware, a less-than-3-minute video, or reading materials that consume not more than 10 minutes. The idea of this type of learning is that the learning content is being chunked into a small part, just like food; and it is simplified for the learners to absorb and digest bit-by-bit. So, what is considered a good microlearning object?

We are living in the digital era. Everyone lives in a fast-paced mode. There are a bunch of resources to read, watch, and pay attention to daily. One’s attention span on a single thing is low. They want everything to be fast and instant, including the expectation of learning. As such, microlearning is the best choice to serve our learners nowadays, especially the Millennials and the younger batches. The substantial goal of microlearning is to enable learners to achieve the designed learning objectives in a short period of time.

What You Should Have In Mind

As an Instructional Designer, here are a few things you need to be aware of when crafting your microlearning object:

1. Be Precise On Your Content

You must be very clear about what your content is and what outcome you want to achieve at the end of your lesson. It would be ideal if one concept was conveyed per lesson. Learners do not expect to go through a lengthy presentation. Time is crucial for microlearning. Keep the length less than 4 minutes.

2. Focus On Just One Or Two Learning Objectives

Don’t be too ambitious to squeeze all learning objectives in just one presentation. You may overload your learners. Again, be clear and specific on what you want to achieve at the end of your presentation.

3. Use Images And Animation To Enhance Your Presentation

Your presentation should be able to intrigue learners’ attention. Humans are more easily attracted by images than a lengthy text. Keep text to a minimum, and make use of visual elements to catch the learners’ eyes. Don’t make your learning dull by just merely presenting PPT slides with audio. Enhance it with some animations and nice images.

4. Give An Assessment Or A Summary

To ensure your learning objectives are met, an evaluation needs to be done to measure if your learning objectives are achieved. However, not all presentations can end with an assessment. If that is the case, you can give a summary in order to sum your presentation up.

Mayer's Principles Of Multimedia Learning

In addition, Mayer's principles of multimedia learning when designing your microlearning object may also need to be taken into consideration.

1. Reducing Extraneous Processing

Make sure your content is straight to the point. Only include essential materials and eliminate other extra stuff. Sometimes, it is a challenge to learning designers to determine what content is important and what is not. Hence, discussions with the Subject Matter Experts would help with this. In addition, highlight the main ideas in your learning object in an organized way. Learners learn more deeply when cues are added.

2. Managing Essential Processing

Keep your learning content in a flow and in a proper connection. If the topic is big, plan to break it down into numerous microlearning objects. Bear in mind the knowledge level of your learners when designing the content. Be sure that learners have enough fundamental knowledge on the terms you used in your content. Content should be arranged according to a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.

3. Fostering Generative Processing

Make use of narration rather than just presenting the ideas on the screen in order for the learners to use both visual and audio senses at the same time. Avoid using too much animation, text, and graphics all at once. This might cause the learners to feel unsure of where their eyes should focus on. When considering the narration, there are many text-to-speech engines that can easily be adapted online. However, as recommended by Mayer, it would be better if the narration is spoken in a friendly, human voice rather than a machine voice. Sometimes, the learning designer can also use some background music to foster learning.

Moreover, if the learning content requires a step-by-step explanation, it would be better to show a graphical drawing and provide an explanation along with it, simultaneously. Try not to show a presented drawing which is only then followed by the explanation.

Conclusively, a well-crafted microlearning object could help to enhance learners’ learning progress bit-by-bit. Even if the results cannot be seen in the short term, there’s a strong possibility in achieving the long-term goal.

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