Microlearning Design Tips

03 February

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Microlearning Design Tips

With learners increasingly opting for their smartphones as their learning devices, LMSs (Learning Management Systems) are required to become mobile-friendly. It is evident that microlearning and mobile learning have a clear connection as the demand is growing for short, bite-sized learning nuggets that can be accessed quickly on smartphones. For learning designers, this is where microlearning takes centre stage due to its mobile responsiveness. (Click to read more about Microlearning & The Benefits) 

Whether you’re designing for one learner or thousands, microlearning can easily be misinterpreted as simply just short learning experiences. But done well, microlearning can transform how you train employees, complete further education, or simply learn new skills. Below are 6 tips for every person designing a microlearning experience.

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Microlearning Design Tips

Below we have compiled some tips for effective microlearning design: 

1. Simplistic design

Microlearning modules should have a simplistic design that focuses on delivering the core content in a clear and concise manner. Avoid cluttered layouts or overwhelming visuals that may distract learners and will be hard to read and experience on a mobile device or personal tablet. Use a clean and minimalist design approach that helps learners easily navigate through the content and focus on the key information. 

Simplistic design also lends itself to clear UX design and help the learner navigate the precise learning experience you have designed for them as a digital learning designer. Lastly, since these are micro learning experiences, learners should be able to easily navigate the learning experience in a short amount of time. If learners are spending time confused because of the design, then the microlearning experience was not effective.

2. Use graphic and visuals

Visual elements such as graphics, images, videos, and infographics can enhance the effectiveness of microlearning modules. They can help illustrate concepts, make content more engaging, and aid in information retention. Use relevant visuals that align with the content and learning objectives to reinforce key messages and make the learning experience more memorable.

Because the aim is to ensure this learning can be done in a quick and effective manner, ensuring the visuals are easily digestible and do not have a lot of text to scan is pertinent. Designers should also be sure not to have big blocks of text, or if text is needed, to break up the text with visual elements.

3. Short and Consistent

Microlearning modules should be short and focused, typically lasting no longer than 5-10 minutes. Learners have limited attention spans, and shorter modules allow them to learn in bite-sized chunks without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, consistency in design and structure across microlearning modules helps learners easily understand the format and flow of the content, making it easier for them to navigate and retain information.

Learning designers should keep in mind when and how learners will be digesting this. Many learners might be working in a corporate environment, and these times to learn could be in between meetings or during learning meetings as jus a segment of a training. Some learners might not have the benefit of having large chunks of time available to them for learning, fitting learning in between their lives or work responsibilities.

4. Diversity of learning formats

Try to use a mixture of micro learning resources so that learners have a toolkit available to choose from. Incorporating a diverse range of learning formats, such as quizzes, simulations, scenarios, and interactive activities, can make microlearning more engaging and effective. This allows learners to engage with the content in different ways and caters to different learning styles.

Since not every learner is the same, having a variety of styles and then subsequently data to see how those learners did, provides learning designers an opportunity to see how to best teach their learners. This could also lead to more personalized learning practices.

5. Encourage social learning

Social learning can be integrated into microlearning modules through discussion forums, peer feedback, or collaborative activities. Encouraging learners to interact and share their insights or experiences can foster a sense of community and create opportunities for collaborative learning. This can enhance engagement, retention, and application of the learned content in real-world scenarios.

6. Follow UDL guidelines

Utilise the UDL framework to improve the accessibility of your micro learning content. UDL guidelines promote inclusive design that accommodates diverse learners, including those with different learning preferences, abilities, and backgrounds. Following UDL principles such as providing multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement in microlearning design can make the content accessible to a wider range of learners and ensure an inclusive learning experience.

Universal Design for Learning & Microlearning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. This tool is used during the implementation of UDL, offering concrete recommendations that can be utilized in any field to make sure that all learners can access and participate in important, ambitious learning opportunities. (CAST. 2022) 

By following the UDL framework while developing a microlearning course, it reduces the need for individual accommodation to learners. Furthermore, it supports a more diverse learner populations and allows learners to better demonstrate their knowledge. 

The Next Step

The EdTech industry is constantly evolving, and new opportunities are being created every day. Do you want to reach your professional development goals early this year? With our university credit-rated programmes in Digital Learning Design, you can advance your career and become job ready as a specialist in digital learning design. 

Furthermore, you can click here to read our blog about Webinar Highlights: Mobile Learning Fundamentals, which explores design principles, authoring tools, how to roll-out mobile eLearning & the future of the design trend. 

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  • CAST. 2022. About Universal Design for Learning CAST. [online] Available here.

  • Katambur, D., 2020. Microlearning Design Guidelines to Follow for Effective Online Learning. Rapid eLearning Blogs – CommLab India. Available here. 

  • Hays, K., 2017. 8 Guidelines for Designing Microlearning Resources.

  • 2018. UDL: The UDL Guidelines. [online] Available here

  • Universal Design for Learning Information for Educators | Mohawk College. (2021, July) Available here