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Spotlight on Microlearning Done Right

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Quality microlearning doesn’t just happen. After I shared a few months ago I about how to create a great microlearning event, people expressed interest in seeing more examples of great microlearning. To that end, we decided a microlearning competition would provide just the right venue for the experts to show us how they do it.Let’s take a quick look at each of the winning applicants’ best practices.

Grand prize winner, David Neun, produced a high quality and engaging 3-minute learning segment about Behavioral Styles. Following is a brief description of his submission:

  • Purpose: to educate about the four behavior styles people generally exhibit
  • Target Audience: Finance – customer-facing
  • Created in Articulate Rise
  • Camtasia was used to edit the video segments

Why did David’s entry come out on top? According to our three judges, David’s entry exhibited the best in terms of instructional strategies employed as well as originality and application of media. For example, he jumped straight to the point by offering a statement that generates interest, then immediately followed with data and graphics that illustrated his point. After a very succinct introduction, he allowed learners to select each of the four behavior styles to learn about them.

Symmetry was evident throughout the submission, which makes learning easy. For example, within the four sub-topics, David provided a definition, a one-word description – each beginning with the letter P – and a video clip to demonstrate the behavior.

David also provided an eye-pleasing balance of white background, easy-to-read and minimal text, with relevant photos. His videos featured well-known movie and actor clips that easily and quickly engage the learner.

David’s presentation ended with a brief quiz to assess learning. The quiz questions were scenario-based, which meant that David was able to take the learner from knowledge and understanding to evaluation, which is an amazing feat in such a short time! From start to finish, David’s submission provided all the best of what microlearning should be.

Mary Hancock took the Technical winner prize for her Flight Simulation submission.Her entry equips seasoned pilots who must consume regular continuing education courseware to keep their business flight license for single engine aircraft.Mary’s creation utilized:

  • Storyline 2 to create her submission
  • Male voice talent
  • .png files for the images

The 3-minute simulation walks learners through de-icing procedures using a discovery learning process. As they begin, learners may choose to view the learning objectives, and then move straight to the simulation, which begins with a review of the flight plan.The simulation guides learners through the process of analyzing conditions, warnings, and choices until they learn how to deal with the de-icing emergency. Learners can repeat the simulation and even make different choices that will yield different next steps. Mary’s simulation got high technical marks because her instructional strategy was spot-on for her target audience, who learns experientially and needs simulations that they can put directly to work. Also, her combination of graphics, audio including aircraft engine, warning sounds, male voiceover, and well-placed text invited her learners to focus on learning and not be distracted with non-essentials. Great job, Mary!

Kudos to Creative winner, Rema Merrick, for her creative expertise in presenting a brief learning segment targeted at travel agents and others assisting parents and guardians of minors. Rema’s microlearning submission provided an ingenious way for the target audience to quickly learn and apply strategies for assisting adults responsible for minors who need to travel unaccompanied by an adult. Rema’s submission used the following tools:

  • A responsive design structure in Adobe Captivate 9. The course works on laptops, tablets and smart phones (iPhone). This way the learner can access the course on any mobile device.
  • Audacity for voice and music
  • Adobe Illustrator: Used to create the graphics
  • Adobe Color: Used to create the color palette for the lesson
  • MoodleCloud: LMS used to deliver the course

Rema’s submission leveraged movement of graphics on the screen, voiceover narration, music, and high-quality photos to keep the learner engaged. Also, Rema provided a Jeopardy-style question at the end of the segment as a knowledge check. While Rema’s submission could stand alone, it is also well-suited to be included as part of a larger set of courses.

Each of these submissions tells a story and equips learners with knowledge and skills in under three minutes. And that’s what we’re striving for in microlearning – engaging learning that creates immediate change. Keep on raising the bar as you take ideas from these winners into your next microlearning creation!

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