Less is more: 3 best practices for micro learning

By the Feathercap team
10 minute read

Here are a few best practices that we’ve seen yield great results in building and sharing micro learning to audiences.  Along the way, we’ll distill down what makes micro learning better than simply taking an existing one-hour course and splitting it into twelve shorter five-minute courses.


1) Try to limit to no more than one or two key concepts – the gift that keeps giving!


We’ve all experienced learning something at work and promptly forgetting a few days later all or the key things to prevent us from getting stuck on a job task. Not only does this happen to all of us that’s exactly when that micro learning is most valuable; delivering the one concept we forgot or task to perform. We don’t want to comb through a course to determine the specific concept/ job task out of many we are looking for.

When building micro learning this means keeping in mind that your training is really useful when team members go back to it over and over whenever they are in need of a refresher. In our experience, initial viewership is not as important to measuring the efficacy of a micro learning module as much as the number of people and times its viewed later on.


2) Keep assessments equally short – try to space tests so learners don’t spend more than a few minutes on any one test.


It’s tempting to build a set of wonderful, engaging and short distinct micro learning courses only to create the mother of all assessments in the last micro learning module.  Sure, you can mandate your team be assessed this way but its MUCH more enjoyable for them and frankly seems to achieve the same goal of competency by breaking up assessments of 5 – 10 questions as added to each individual micro learning course rather than an 80 question quiz in the last module. Having one or only a couple large assessments over a large set of micro learning is like having one large course that is simply broken into pieces. Learners lose out on an easy way to refresh their knowledge on only those concepts they need down the road and won’t feel like taking a refresher quiz or review the quiz questions if there are 80 of them!


3) Keep the course as short as you can while still imparting the one or two important concepts.


This means approaching your finished module from the standpoint of how long in total it will take for one of your learner’s or team member’s to complete the micro learning module. Notice we are not constraining number of pages or number of videos, text or images. Our concern is that no matter what combination of the above you use it will take less than five minutes for a learner to complete. We find if its longer than five minutes the module is less seen as a repeatable resource to consult and more a long form course.

This will also yield dividends in the future as you curate your content either through search, tags or future natural language processing approaches. Content can be swapped out more easily as a specific procedure, skill or process is updated.

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