Instructional design Elearning

9 minute read

How to Develop Microlearning Content for Your Learners

Joseph Mapue

Joseph Mapue

Training materials deliver the best outcomes only when they align well with the learner’s needs and environment. That means lengthy traditional courses won’t cut it anymore in a fast-paced world of colliding priorities and distractions. Today’s learners need an approach that matches the rhythm of modern life, tailored to fit tight schedules, workflows, and device screens. The question is: how do you develop microlearning content?

Microlearning packages instructional content into short, bite-sized, and easily digestible lessons. This approach makes learning easier and helps sustain learners’ attention more effectively, thereby raising engagement levels and course completion rates. The hyper-focused nature of microlearning also accelerates comprehension and helps improve knowledge retention, which is crucial in behavior modification and skills development training. 

Key attributes

Purposely developed to drive incremental but sustained cognitive gains, microlearning has four major characteristics: 

  1. Compact – individual lessons can be taken in less than 7 minutes. 
  2. Accessible – lessons are available on demand via a connected device. 
  3. Adaptable – lessons can be presented in a wide variety and combination of formats depending on the learning scenario and objective. 
  4. Effective – lessons are hyper-focused on a single topic or concept and are reinforced using quick assessment tests, exercises, and challenges bundled into the bite-sized module.   

4 characteristics of microlearning

Suggestions for creating microlearning content

Microlearning content can be of different types, formats, and combinations. For example, one lesson can include an initial skills test, a podcast snippet of around three minutes, and a brief assessment exam at the end. To support reinforcement, microlearning modules can also include downloadable review notes, summaries, and exercise files.    

Examples of common microlearning instructional blocks and formats include:

  • A short video or audio lecture (podcast) 3-6 minutes long
  • Multimedia presentation decks
  • Text-based lessons structured for readability and ease
  • Images for illustrating key concepts
  • Initial skills test for determining learner level and needs
  • Short assessment quizzes and exercises at the end of each lesson for practice and reinforcement
  • Downloadable summaries and review notes 
  • Gamification elements (such as leader boards, gems, coins, flags, progress bars, ranks, and badges) for rewarding achievements, tracking progress, and sustaining learner motivation

Microlearning best practices

To create engaging, bite-sized content to upskill your people, here are some basic steps and practical tips to get you started:

1. Articulate the aims and methods of the training program across the organization to get all stakeholders actively involved.

2. Prepare a course plan, taking into account the following factors: 

  • Subject, scope, and structure of the course.
  • Learners’ skill/knowledge level, preferences, and needs.
  • Clarity and specificity of learning objectives and their relevance to strategic business goals.
  • Appropriateness of each modular lesson and its component materials (e.g., video, text, practice exercise, quiz, etc.,) to the corresponding learning objective.

3. Create a detailed outline of the course by breaking down complex topics and concepts into hyper-focused micro-lessons. 

4. Organize the microlearning modules into a logical and effective sequence to aid comprehension, improve knowledge retention, and sustain a smooth cognitive progression from simple to complex topics.  

Microlearning makes learning more digestible, which improves knowledge acquisition, retention, and course completion rates. These factors are crucial for behavior modification and skills development. 

5. Build individual lessons using the recommended parameters of microlearning:

  • Video and audio should range from 3-6 minutes.
  • Text content should rarely exceed 200 words. 
  • Assessment exams ranging from 5-20 questions.
  • Include downloadable materials such as lesson summaries and practice exercises where applicable.

6. Diversify the modular components from time to time to evoke freshness and novelty. 

7. Deploy feedback, reinforcement, and assessment mechanisms in each microlearning module. Use short quizzes, challenges, contests, polls, and surveys creatively. 

8. Incorporate elements and capabilities that enhance the learning experience. These include gamification, mobile-readiness, and social learning. 

9. Recycle, update, and repurpose old content from time to time to optimize its value.  

          Learn more: 

          ✔️ The Ultimate Guide to Developing an Online Training Course

          ✔️ 9 Instructional Design Principles to Optimize Your Learning Initiatives

What you’ll need

So now you know why you should implement microlearning for your team and what you need to do. Great! The bigger question is, how? Here are the tools you'll need to successfully implement microlearning in your organization:

1. A platform designed for authoring microlearning courses

GoSkills courses feature a unique microlearning approach with bite-sized lessons, practical exercises, and short quizzes at the end of each lesson.

GoSkills' built-in courses consist of lessons that are 6 minutes or less to improve knowledge retention. We enable organizations to create the same format that has been so effective for us. GoSkills LMS and course builder make use of the following key components:

  • An AI-powered course builder that reduces course production time by up to 50%.
  • A robust test engine for generating assessment quizzes, exams, and exercises for each lesson.
  • A learner feedback form for evaluating course effectiveness and learner experience.
  • The ability to add multimedia elements such as videos, images, presentations, and other materials that enrich lessons.
  • Gamification elements such as leaderboards, badges, and coins to drive learner engagement and motivation.

2. A way to create courses easily and quickly

GoSkills’ native course builder provides ready-to-go templates for common corporate training subjects such as cyber security, customer service, workplace safety, and onboarding. It comes with the powerful AI content assistant, Genie, that can help you generate a well-structured lesson in seconds. 

With just a few simple prompts, Genie, GoSkills' AI assistant, generates comprehensive course outlines, lessons, and quizzes in minutes.

You can use the course builder to create different types of learning content:

  • Resource page that may include videos, text, images, and links.
  • Single lesson course.
  • Multi-lesson course.
  • Import course (upload existing course content via SCORM, AICC, and other elearning standards).
  • Live course (schedule a live online class).
  • Certification of completion for successfully finishing and passing lessons and courses.
  • Test engine for generating assessment quizzes, fun challenges, and practice exercises.

GoSkills user review

3. The ability to measure the impact of your efforts

  • An administration dashboard for managing users, assigning courses, and generating reports. 
  • Comprehensive reporting and data analytics to enable full visibility into learning activities and optimize training outcomes. 
  • Notification options for tracking progress and improving participation rates. 
  • Personalization/customization options to implement branding and configure learning paths.
GoSkills offers sophisticated, insightful reporting tools that provide comprehensive performance tracking for both individual learners and course content.
The GoSkills course builder allows creators to add a review form to gather qualitative feedback from their learners.

Over to you

Even in the age of AI and machine learning, humans remain the core catalysts for business innovation, differentiation, and growth. The more skilled and talented your people are, the better positioned your company is on the market. 

That makes corporate training a crucial element in organizational success. But unlike machines and artificial intelligence, people can be moody, unmotivated, and hindered by distractions, schedules, and conflicting priorities. Instead of forcing employees into lengthy, unimaginative training programs, microlearning adapts to modern lifestyles, enabling businesses to upskill their teams more effectively.  

Using powerful tools like the GoSkills LMS, you can develop microlearning programs faster, at a lower cost, and with more impact. Meanwhile, your employees are engaged and acquire the skills they need to meet their personal and professional goals.

Customize your training

Create your own training resources with an easy-to-use course builder.

Try it now
Joseph Mapue

Joseph Mapue

Joseph Mapue wears his writer's hat wherever he goes, crafting top-notch content on business, technology, creativity, and innovation. He is also a dreamer, builder, father, and gamer.