How to Create 5-Slide Microlearning – Tiny, Succinct, Fast – Tip #108

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Microlearning is serving “slices” to learners instead of the “whole pie.” It supports “get-it-now,” “do-it-now” learners who require timely solutions and information in the rapid changing work arena.

I have always visualized micro-lessons as kernels of knowledge that enable trainers to trickle down valuable, high-impact yet very short lessons over a period of time. For organizations, the value of such Microlearning efforts not only allow them to adapt to rapid business changes and accelerate learning in micro-ways. An equally important value is it significantly reduces cost, and increases speed of development.

Let me share with you some pointers on how to create a 5-Slide Micro-Lesson.

1. Focus on what matters 
Choose a micro-idea, focused on one central point. It allows learners to “chew” on bits and pieces of information immediately applicable to the work environment. Pluck out that most important learning point from the entire knowledge source that is deemed most useful to the learner.

2. Use a hyper-story 
Hyper-stories are very short but are actual day-to-day events that allow learners to quickly connect the lesson to its application in real life. It takes learners from Crisis to Resolution very quickly. Learners stay glued, involved and totally focused. Choose a very short event your learners can relate to.

3. Ask questions
Well-prepared provocative questions lead learners to think through the lesson.  It triggers the process  of reflection and encourages learners to dig deep into their minds  for experiences, memories, emotions and judgment that allows them to interact with a given situation.

4. Provide detailed links 
A proliferation of knowledge-enabling tools to improve productivity such as Evernote, YouTube, DropBox, Basecamp, PDFs, Blogs, etc. – enable open-ended transfer of knowledge and assist in quick learning.  Provide links to tools, references , etc. that help learners acquire access to immediately useful information or which they can study and review when needed.

5. No need for multimedia 
If you apply the above ideas, in most cases you don’t need a video, an audio or elaborate multimedia or animation. Learners are quickly engaged with the provocative story and the shortness of the lesson. Be a minimalist.

These are examples of proof-of-concept projects that show you it can be done.

#1 Gas and Fire

This is a micro-lesson which is a part of a larger series of driver training for petroleum companies. It is often said that most drivers are aware of the safety policies, but once in awhile, some stupid mistakes can cause catastrophic damages to life and property. See how short and succinct the demo is. This is intended for mobile delivery.
#2 Kitchen Safety

In the kitchen, employees need to be reminded about some basic yet oftentimes forgotten practices like how to handle sharp tools and not hurt others. See how short and succinct the micro-lesson is.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

One thought on “How to Create 5-Slide Microlearning – Tiny, Succinct, Fast – Tip #108

  1. 1. "Micro-lessons" are especially valuable when there's urgency to communicate a procedural issue or a process modification.

    2. A micro-lesson borrows most of its value from a common shared context. With micro-lessons there's no time to explain the scenario. The assumption is that the employee has "been there, done that."

    This means that a micro-lesson that could be very helpful for an experienced employee might be meaningless or even confusing to a new employee.

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