In the online training world, numerous software platforms and applications have made it possible to build very specific course topics. The phenomenon is called micro-learning, and it’s driving a revolutionary shift in corporate and academic e-learning. How can you build your own courses using these new tools and techniques?

Transcript: How To Maximize The Micro-Learning Phenomenon

Hello again. I’m Tom Bishop of KnowledgeVision. And today I’m talking about the micro-learning phenomenon, and how your organization can take advantage of it for training people.

Micro-learning is not new. It’s when companies and educators create narrow groups of courses or topics, like just teaching about copyright protection instead of business law, or covering a subject for a limited time, or using only a certain process, like flash cards or listening devices.

But the internet is especially well-suited for micro-learning applications, which is why online training and micro-learning are both taking off today.

The benefits of micro-learning include that it’s good for ‘pull’ instead of ‘push’ distribution, that means people who want to learn something very specific, like how to replace the headlamp in a Ford Focus, can easily find it.

Another benefit is that Internet technology such as XML allows you to easily categorize learning content to make it more manageable and searchable.

How do you Maximize Micro-Learning?

In corporate training and education, a lot of things you do already will help. You outline a curriculum, plan course materials and design a schedule.

Online courses mean you can teach people anywhere, anytime. For online delivery of your courses, you may need specific tools for managing materials, like aLearning Management System, or LMS. Universities like Stanford and MIT have fully engaged online courses, in many cases partnering with businesses such as EdX or Coursera. Companies use platforms like Skillsoft to store course materials, creating their own specialized universities.

And the biggest companies have caught on. For instance, Google has recently released Course Builder, an open-source tool, beyond its existing LMS app marketplace. And it’s also tied in with the Google+ social platform, where course providers and participants can use its Hangouts feature. This means online micro-learning just became mainstream. That’s huge.

It also means people in corporate training, who are plenty familiar with tools like Google Apps but not necessarily Canvas or Moodle, can take advantage of academic feature sets.

So you’ve got your course material, now you need people to deliver it. Online micro-learning tools let your content experts become your in-house professors. They don’t need to stand at a podium for 60 minutes to deliver an entire lesson. It may take 5 or 10 minutes to get the point across. The people on the other end may only have that 10 minutes.

Imagine your product leader showcasing a new feature for your product. How long should it take? You want to illustrate a new lunch policy. A few minutes at most. You have a new agency contract clause. A few minutes.

Micro-learning tools are online and easily searchable, so nobody has an excuse for missing or not finding it, and because online course tools let you track viewership and activity, you’ll know who viewed your new policies and who didn’t. Think about that kind of tracking, for employees who are supposed to watch a safety video, students who need a certification, outside sales professionals or agents who need to keep up with contract changes. You got ‘em.

Once you gather the materials and the people to showcase them, it’s time to plan your courses. Write a script, using existing slide materials, or simply turn on the video camera and let your content expert talk passionately about the topic. It’s easy to create the slides from the talk. Now you need a schedule, and a place to host your courses, where you can update and replace them on a regular basis.

You know who’s doing this well? TED talks. They’ve made hundreds of videos on various topics that teach and inspire. And they’re easily sharable through social media.

So what do you need to do to maximize micro-learning? First, determine what kind of schedule you’d like to fill, daily, weekly, monthly and so on. Decide whether to use a course management platform, create a number of topics to cover, get people on-board who can present and keep people listening, create the materials, and publish it.

You do not have to be a huge organization to do this. The Khan Academy started with one guy making a few instructional videos for his friends.

Micro-Learning is a wave worth catching. Hop on.

Thank you for watching.

Originally published on The KnowledgeVision Fresh Ideas Blog