Designing Microlearning to Improve Knowledge Retention

Designing Digitally


Designing Microlearning to Improve Knowledge Retention

The majority of the modern workforce is stressed, overwhelmed, and distracted. They want to have control over everything they do. Why should learning not be on the list then? Your employees want to control what they learn, how they learn, and from where they learn. Taking their low attention spans into consideration, you need to design learner-centric training. In simple terms, the eLearning should not be lengthy and boring. Make the modules short and to the point.

This is where microlearning comes in. It is a learning strategy where you create bite-sized learning nuggets with a specific learning outcome. The content is chunked to reduce cognitive load on the learners. But, the first step is to decide whether microlearning is the right choice for your learners or not. For that, you need to analyze your audience and their training needs. Microlearning is effective if you want your employees to learn a specific skill.

All said and done, microlearning will not work if it is not designed well. Keep the following tips in mind while designing the modules.

#1: Analyze your audience

Before you even consider microlearning as a learning strategy, you need to analyze your employees. What is their profile? What are their learning needs? How tech-savvy are they? Are they comfortable learning on a mobile device? Do they prefer classroom techniques? Unless you have the answers to all these questions ready, you should not jump into developing modules. For all you know, your employees may not be ready for microlearning.

#2: Chunk it and space it

You obviously need to chunk your content into short modules. You cannot cram everything in one module. This is the basic tenet that microlearning stands on. Each module must focus on a single objective. At the end of the module, the learner is expected to meet the specified learning outcome. That way, the cognitive load on the learner is minimized. Another best practice is to space out the information over a specified period of time. This helps enhance the long-term memory. Spaced repetition is the key to better recall of concepts.

#3: Use breadcrumbs

Consider adding breadcrumbs to the navigation. They give context to the learners and simplify navigation. Breadcrumbs are effective especially when your learners take the course on a mobile device with limited screen space. Learners tend to get lost when the screen space is small.

#4: Make use of simulations

Simulations are highly immersive. They help learners experience a situation instead of just reading about it or seeing images. With simulations, your employees know how it feels to be in a particular scenario. This helps them retain and internalize the information . Simulations work better when you use real-world examples where the learners find a connection with their workplace. Later, when they do the same task at their workplace, they can relate and recall better.

#5: Test the learners

It is important to test your learners on the knowledge imparted by the training. Testing is not just measuring how much your learner paid attention to the training. It is an integral part of learning. Your employees may not be too keen on being tested. But, pop quizzes help them review the information they just went through. This helps them commit the knowledge to their long-term memory. It is a good idea to test them after each short module instead of giving one large test at the end of the entire course.

#6: Integrate social media

Your employees are already on social media. You can use this as an advantage. For instance, you could post tips, provide links to micromodules, and share videos on social media. Learning appears less tedious when it is shared on social media. Your employees will likely enjoy going through the modules in this environment. They choose the content that is relevant to them and take it seriously.

Microlearning is definitely the future of learning – corporate or education. Your employees are hard pressed for time. They want focused education that can be accessed anytime and from anywhere. But, if you really want to reap the benefits of microlearning, you must design it to be visually appealing and user-friendly. The tips shared above will help you get started.

At Designing Digitally, Inc. we develop custom learning content for corporate training and adult learning, tailored to the learning outcomes your workforce needs. The types of microlearning modules vary depending on the needs of your organization.

Get in touch with our experts today to talk more about microlearning and how it can impact your company’s training goals.