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Micro-learning Tutorial: how to create micro-learning in under 1 hour

microlearning tutorialMicro-learning was the #1 eLearning trend picked by the experts for 2018.

But how to you implement that at your organization?…

Is it just taking a longer course and chunking it into sections?

Is it a mini-scenario?

A short video?

Here’s the good news…

According to micro-learning expert Ray Jimenez, the media you use doesn’t matter.

It’s more about going out into the workforce and solving real problems.

Based on the advice from Ray, I’ll help you launch your first micro-learning event in under an hour.

And now, let’s launch your first microlearning event!

Micro-learning Tutorial: 60 Minute Quick-Start Guide

Goal: Launch a micro-learning event in under an hour

Time required: 60 minutes (+/- 15 minutes)

Worksheet: Here’s a link to a free micro-learning worksheet to keep you on track.

Overview

In the next hour, here’s what you’re going to accomplish:
0: Learn the basics of micro-learning
1: Identify a person to interview
2: Prepare your question
3: Ask your question
4: Create your micro content
5: Distribute your content

0: Learn the basics of micro-learning (20 min)

If you’re already familiar with micro-learning, feel free to skip ahead to step #1…

If you want to learn more, check out this 20 minute micro-learning overview interview with Ray Jimenez:

And here’s a quick recap/highlight of our discussion:

  • What is micro-learning? Micro-learning is a way of helping workers fix, solve, and improve things at work. It’s a way of learning with answers and solutions. It’s low in effort, easy, fast, and ready to use. And USEFUL.
  • What about all this buzz about micro-learning? There’s too much focus on content, but this is more the classroom approach. Breaking a longer course into smaller “chunks” misses the point of helping REAL people DO things. Micro-learning works best in the real world.
  • What are the benefits of micro-learning?
    • The biggest benefit is to refocus on doing task the real world (instead of teaching in the classroom)
    • Also, the time to do tasks is getting shorter and the skills to do those tasks is changing quickly. Microlearning focuses on getting people short lessons quickly to do their job
  • What are the criticisms of micro-learning: That people will not be taught enough info or retain things. But that assumes a “recreated world” (i.e. classroom) that’s about memorizing, not doing. The reality is we only learn by doing small things at a time. You may have attended 1 hour, 1 week, or 1 month course. In practice, you’re not going to apply all the concepts from the course. Micro learning is about what’s useful in that course.
  • What are the best micro-learning tools & platforms? It’s not about the content delivery. It’s about helping people do their jobs. It can be an email, Google Doc, video scenario, mini-scenario, short video, or even a text message.

1: Identify a person to interview (5 minutes)

Who to ask: Let’s not start with the CEO just yet. Let’s dip our toes in first.

I suggest finding someone:

  • In one of these 3 roles: I can’t think of an organization that doesn’t have operational, sales, or HR functions, so let’s pick an one of these.
  • Non “C-level:” Pick someone who if this doesn’t go 100% right, they won’t feel like you wasted their time
  • Respected by their peers/reports: Get someone who people will want to listen to because they value their opinion. Not the new hire. Not they guy everyone thinks is a clown 😉

Have a person (or a group of people) in mind, right it down. Let’s do this!

2: Prepare your “Goldilocks” question (15 minutes)

Pick a question topic that can be answered in 50-100 words of text. Not so short that the answer is yes, no, or a single-word response.

Not so long that it turns into a 30 minute response or an essay.

So… It needs to be specific, but not yes/no.

Not too hot, not too cold, but just right… A Golilocks question

Don’t worry, I have examples below.

All of the sample questions below will look for at least 1 of these 2 elements:

  • What’s the biggest pain and how it can be relieved?
  • What’s is working well for them that you can share?

Here are a few question ideas that I think fall into the sweet spot for each of these 3 roles I mentioned above:

Operational role

  • What’s your #1 tip, trick, or hack for [INSERT ROLE] to [DOING A SPECIFIC TASK]?
  • What’s the biggest challenge [INSERT ROLE] are running into? What is 1 practical tip that can be implemented today? (more for managers)

Sales or product: (New product release/update)

  • What’s the #1 problem you’re running into with selling the [PRODUCT]? What’s your best tip for addressing that with customers?
  • What’s the single best thing you’ve been doing when communicating the [PRODUCT] with customers?

HR: Onboarding

For a specific role:

  • If you could go back to your first week on the job as a [INSERT ROLE], what 1 piece of advice would you give yourself?
  • What resource have you found most useful outside of the formal training process?

General HR question

  • What’s the most painful task to you/HR during the onboarding process? If you could get one message across to everyone during the onboarding process, what would it be?

3: Ask your question (5 minutes)

You can do this in a live meeting, but I want to make this accessible as possible…

So let’s just assume you’re going to ask the question by email.

Later, I’ll show you how you can do fancier things like video.

You can ask just a single person, or, if you want to step up your game, ask a few people and then compile the responses into an “expert roundup.”

Just copy and paste this email and change the sections in brackets to match the question you chose above:

Hi [INSERT NAME],

I’m working on a quick lesson to help [new customer service reps] do their job better.

I’m hoping to get 5 minutes of your time to share your experience.

Can you please answer this one question for me?

What’s your #1 tip for [ACME customer service reps] to [handle an angry customer]?

Again, this shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes. I only need a few sentences (50-100 words).

Please just reply to this email with your response and I’ll get it out to the team.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Best,

[Bryan]

4: Create your micro-content (10 minutes)

I wouldn’t do much here. But I do like to pull out a single line of text and make it into something more memorable…Like a short quote that summarizes the main point.

In my expert roundup posts, I often turn these into image quotes, but you can also just make it text based.

Here’s an example of how I edited my own response to an expert roundup post on how to make eLearning more engaging:

  • Question: What’s your single best tip for creating engaging learning?
  • Full Response: “Having content pushed on us in the form of bullets and slides is clicking boring. What people care about isn’t information, but how to USE the information to do something. Flip eLearning content from “push” to “pull.” Create realistic scenarios that force learners to make decisions. Let the content be pulled through choices and feedback.”
  • Shortened Quote: “Create realistic scenarios that force decisions…Let content be pulled through choices and feedback.”

Note: There are a ton of ways to format this content. I’ll get more into re-purposing this content in the science-based learning tutorial.

5: Distribute your micro-learning event (5 minutes)

There are so many ways to distribute content (Google Doc, PDF, KB, text message, video, etc), but let’s not waste time formatting this first version.

Let’s just send it out by email.

Copy and paste this email and send it out to your organization TODAY.

Like… right now. 🙂

Subject: [#1 tip for handling angry customers]

Body:

Hi [customer service] team. I had the pleasure of interviewing [Dave], one of our [top customer service managers] and asked him to answer a single question:

What’s your #1 tip for [ACME customer service reps] to [handle an angry customer]?

His response was great and I think could help all of you. Here’s his tip:

[INSERT SHORT QUOTE]

[INSERT FULL RESPONSE]

Thanks,

[Bryan]

6: BOOM! You just created and distributed micro-learning

Next steps for Micro-learning

Dig into Ray’s content

See what other experts have to say

Check out what 19 experts have to say eLearningMicro-learning as a trend

 

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  • Bruce Graham

    Excellent article. Love the “In the next hour, here’s what you’re going to accomplish:” – so much better than the usual “…what you are going to learn”!
    All about “doing” – so great to hear.