Microlearning is now a favored educational strategy for both large and small companies. Its simple, efficient, and creative approach to sharing new knowledge has attracted many enthusiasts. This comes as no surprise since its mobile-friendly and cost-efficient methods present a fresh alternative to traditional, costly, and lengthy training models. In this article, we’ll delve into the various types of microlearning and examine what makes each unique.
Discovering Various Types of Microlearning:
Even if you haven’t heard the term ‘microlearning’, you may already have come across some of its forms.
Blog Posts, Micro-Articles, E-Books, and PDF Guides
Text-based types of microlearning include short, well-organized written materials that present the key points of a topic in a clear and efficient manner. They are great for those who enjoy reading and are looking for a more in-depth understanding. In fact, you are engaging with this form of microlearning as you read this now.
Interactive types of microlearning tap into our natural desire for play, keeping us interested. Learning alongside others, even in a virtual setting, can make us more accountable. Plus, for many, the thrill of topping the class or a scoreboard adds excitement to the learning process (known as gamification).
Chat-Based Microlearning and Training
Messaging has become a big part of our online interactions. Chat-based microlearning and training harness this common habit, offering a learning style also known as text-message microlearning. Often powered by chatbot technology, they are sometimes referred to as E-Learning chatbots or explainerbots, akin to the term ‘explainer videos’ used for informative videos. Participants can soak up new information in just a few minutes through a learning experience that mirrors our daily chat interactions. At eggheads, we fondly term this as conversational microlearning. With eggheads, you can now leverage AI to enrich online learning even further.
Micro-courses are short courses zeroing in on a particular topic or skill. They are crafted to be finished quickly, usually in a few minutes to a couple of hours. Unlike other microlearning types, they offer a well-organized learning journey, typically with clear learning goals, content delivery, and assessments. Micro-courses are perfect for those looking to understand a topic better without spending the time required for a full-length course. eggheads offers a micro-course on data privacy, let us know when you’re interested in it.
Quizzes, polls, and mini-games
Quizzes, polls, and mini-games provide engaging and competitive ways to learn. They encourage learning through interactive and game-like strategies, often giving instant feedback on your progress. With platforms like eggheads, you can use AI to create a quiz from your own materials in just a few minutes.
Assessment and feedback Tools
Assessments and feedback tools help with self-evaluation and offer helpful feedback, making it easier to spot and work on areas that need improvement. Platforms like eggheads enable you to give personalized feedback to learners based on what you find important. It’s almost like having a personal AI tutor for every employee.
Interactive Ebooks and Simulations
Interactive Ebooks and Simulations are immersive forms of microlearning that let learners explore and apply knowledge in various real-world settings (or settings that look real-world-like). They are lively and engaging, enriching the learning experience by providing practical insights and hands-on applications.
These learning aids are brief, focused, and easy to access, aimed at boosting memory retention and recall. They usually come with visuals and simplified explanations, making them a handy resource for a quick review. They shine especially when it comes to learning new terms, concepts, or any information that benefits from repetition and regular review.
Scenario-based learning provides a setting where participants can practice specific actions or apply their knowledge as if they were really in that situation. It sparks questions like, ‘What would you do if?’ helping to build problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities. With platforms like eggheads, you can design scenarios and let participants respond in their own words. They’ll receive personalized feedback following your set guidelines, aiding their learning journey.
Videos have become a highly favored way of microlearning and are often included in official training courses too. They offer a visual display of skills or techniques along with verbal explanations, making learning engaging and understandable. However, the process of creating videos can take quite a bit of time and requires certain specialized skills like recording, editing, voiceover, and post-production.
Video Tutorials and Screencasts
Video tutorials and screencasts are short, easily accessible videos that clearly show skills and techniques, helping users learn quickly by watching. Examples range from the classic talking head videos, animated videos, to recorded webinars usually available on your Learning Management System (LMS).
Bite-sized videos and GIFs
Tutorials are not just for professional or business settings; we come across them daily on various platforms. Take the short videos on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram for example. In these videos, creators share handy tips and tricks to make life easier or boost efficiency in work or study. Extremely popular are the brief, under-a-minute videos where people demonstrate how to master tools like Excel or PowerPoint. Take for example Miss Excel who explains Excel on Tiktok. Just find a video, watch it a few times, try it out yourself, and voila – you’ve learned something new. When you use eggheads, you can add videos and GIFs to your chat-based learning nuggets.
These visuals are designed to present important information in a clear and engaging way. They provide a broad overview and highlight the connections between different parts of a subject or topic, making it easier to understand the whole picture.
Concept Maps and Mind Maps
Concept Maps and Mind Maps are visual tools crafted to help simplify complex subjects. They organize and display information in a graphical way, giving a well-rounded overview while clearly showing the connections between different parts or ideas within the subject.
Podcasts and Audio-Clips
When your hands are tied up but your mind isn’t, podcasts and audio clips are a handy way to learn, especially for those who like to multitask. There are countless podcasts out there diving deep into topics that matter to you, whether for personal growth or professional development.
Virtual Types of Microlearning
AR/VR Experiences and Simulations
Imagine wearing VR headsets and stepping into virtual worlds. AR/VR experiences and simulations let participants explore and interact with virtual settings, almost as if they were really there. This technology shines when it comes to practicing tasks like maintaining costly machinery or performing heart surgery, allowing for safe and effective hands-on learning.
Community and Social Media Learning
Discussion forums and peer teaching offer social learning experiences where participants can talk, share, and learn from each other. This fosters a sense of community and encourages collaborative learning, making the journey of acquiring knowledge a shared adventure.
Performance Support Tools (PSTs), Just-In-Time and On-Demand Learning
PSTs are resources or tools offering specific guidance or support to individuals while they work on tasks. They are crafted to offer “just-in-time” help, boosting performance and improving efficiency. Examples like checklists, job aids, flowcharts, and quick reference guides are there for immediate assistance. PSTs aren’t there to replace training but to complement it, serving as quick references to help individuals apply what they’ve learned in real-world situations.
Microlearning has evolved into various types and forms, and though our article touches on many, it doesn’t cover all the methods out there. Educators and learning strategists are continually crafting new approaches and delivery methods. With the advent of AI, fresh and exciting learning avenues are budding. Even now, we believe there’s something in the realm of microlearning for everyone, catering to different tastes and learning preferences.
Microlearning: A Bite-sized Approach to Education
Microlearning offers something for everyone, catering to different learning needs. Though the term may be new to some, its foundation lies in time-tested educational strategies. A topic is simplified to its core essence, cutting out any complex words or extra details. It’s then broken down into smaller, digestible pieces, often referred to as learning nuggets, which are provided to the learner one by one.
Each lesson is concise, ending with a few key takeaways and a brief review. Completing a microlearning lesson only takes a few minutes, making it a convenient choice in our fast-paced world. The lessons are usually accessible via mobile-friendly platforms, allowing learning on the go. A significant feature of microlearning is spaced repetition, which encourages revisiting the material over time to help move the information from short-term to long-term memory.
Remembering new information at first glance can be challenging. Think about learning a new language; we tend to remember new words better when we review them several times over a period of days or weeks. Microlearning introduces new information and ensures it stays with you.
We learn every day
In today’s digital age, we learn something new daily, often without realizing it. Our online activities, be it watching a YouTube video, browsing TikTok, chatting, or reading the news, constantly expose us to new information. However, the online world has also reshaped how we process knowledge. Our attention spans have shortened, and we constantly crave new stimuli. Communication now needs to be concise and direct. The days of lengthy posts and emails have given way to the era of brevity – welcome to the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) era.
Modern Employee Training: Swift, Effective, and Adaptable
Today’s employee training needs to be quick, effective, and capable of growing with the business. While many of us appreciate reading books or attending lectures, the fast-paced business world demands that new knowledge be practical and easily applied. There’s a saying, time is money, and indeed, many of us learn best while actively doing things on the job.
The idea of learning through repeated practice, making improvements along the way, aligns well with this on-the-go learning mindset. It enhances our understanding and allows for ongoing enhancement in how we learn. As we continually adapt to new technologies and solutions, our learning methods need to keep pace. Microlearning fits the bill perfectly by offering quick, straightforward information that can be accessed whenever needed, on various devices.