So, you want to sell courses online and you already have some learners in the door? Nice work! However, after completing a few modules, suddenly, they stop. What could be going on?
According to educational researcher Katy Jordan, an estimated 15% of learners of massive open online courses (MOOCs) actually complete them. Even when users pay good money upfront to access course content, they often don’t consume it.
Low completion rates are worse than just sunken financial costs for learners. It can mean higher subscription cancellation rates for businesses selling courses online and a lower likelihood of consumers purchasing extra-curricula.
The reality is, that our attention spans are getting smaller. According to a study done by Microsoft, the average person loses concentration after 8 seconds. In other words, consumers need more substantial reasons to remain invested in education.
We measure this investment through engagement rates – higher rates of engagement result in an increase in course completion.
So, how do we make course content more engaging? Enter microlearning – this blog will cover how microlearning improves overall course quality and how to sell more courses online using this method.
What Is Microlearning, and Why Should You Care About It?
Microlearning is a method of learning that involves consuming educational content in small, easily digestible formats.
It can exist in various forms, including video, infographics, audio, text, quizzes, and more. At its core, microlearning is about efficiency and engagement.
Microlearning can be a crucial part of your marketing and user engagement strategies if you wish to sell courses online.
Microlearning can be a game-changer for your learning business. Watch this webinar to understand all about microlearning with effective examples.
What benefits can microlearning offer course creators?
- Takes less time for users to complete
Data from LinkedIn suggests that adult learners have less time than ever for learning, spending just 1% of their workweek on education. Long-form content packed with filler is not an efficient way to spend that time. For professionals, access to short, to-the-point content can mean the difference between having and not having a knowledge gap in their respective fields.
- More accessible and mobile-friendly
Not every learning experience happens behind a desk – an estimated 50% of internet traffic is from mobile devices. Creating more short-form content is one of the best ways to optimize content for mobile devices. Having micro-content available on the go is especially helpful for non-desk jobs, remote, and other types of mobile positions.
- More engaging
Studies show that engagement tends to fall with video length. According to data from Wistia.com, which analyzes over 500K videos, the two-minute mark is the sweet spot, as engagement remains steady for videos up until 2 minutes. After that, engagement tends to fall. Similarly, content in other formats such as text and infographics benefits from shorter lengths.
- Improves knowledge retention
As a course creator, your #1 priority should be arming users with knowledge that provides long-term success. Studies show that excessive information can flood our brains instead of feeding them. Short bursts of data over time, rather than large amounts of information consumed at once, are more likely to be retained long-term.
- Easier to keep up-to-date
In the digital age, learning materials change frequently. When materials are presented in bite-sized pieces, updating small pieces of information is as simple as updating a 2-minute video or a sentence in an infographic – not reshooting a 30-minute module.
How to use microlearning based training effectively
- Keep content relevant to your audience
Personalizing content to your audience's needs and skill levels is the best way to keep an audience engaged. When creating microcontent, it’s crucial to be cognisant of topics that may be too complex for your audience to grasp in shorter content formats. On the flip side, knowing what information your audience would find more digestible in a quick video or infographic is also essential.
- Regularly survey your audience
Keeping content relevant goes hand-in-hand with regularly surveying your audience and collecting feedback. Feedback can help you gain critical audience insights like:
- Common knowledge gaps
- Preferred content mediums
- Predominant learning styles
Gaining feedback is especially important when producing microlearning content since it can come in so many different formats. It's essential to know which ones resonate with your audience the most!
- Get creative and use multiple mediums
Speaking of various formats, the only way to know if formats resonate with your audience is to get creative! Try incorporating everything from flowcharts to graphs, audio clips, and everything in between. Mixing up your mediums keeps things interesting for learners, and it allows you to test out what works and what doesn’t.
- Keep it mobile-friendly & accessible
A key benefit of microlearning is mobile-friendliness, but it shouldn't stop there. There are more ways to optimize your micro-content for mobile. Consider adding subtitles to videos for headphone-free learning or create an audio-only experience, perfect for learning on-the-go. Keep in mind that certain forms of content may not be suitable for mobile, such as any type of downloadable files.
- Use an LMS that supports microlearning
Mixing up your mediums requires that you use a learning platform that supports various microlearning formats. Platforms like Lambda Solutions can allow you the flexibility to offer formats that support all learning styles while helping you optimize your course for mobile devices.
When should I use microlearning in course creation?
Microlearning has so many applications and can fit into almost any learning strategy. Here are some of our favorite use cases:
- Using microlearning to get hold over the learner
Microlearning can be an excellent marketing strategy to sell courses online since the content is more shareable and easily digestible for audiences. If you’re considering offering free introductory training as part of a marketing strategy, consider using microlearning in your sales copy and videos to intrigue your new audience with valuable information without overwhelming them. Leveraging microlearning in your sales and marketing strategies allows you to save the more complex topics for longer, paid formats.
- Creating take-anywhere training modules
Suppose you’re creating training modules for professionals with mobile jobs (e.g., trades, salespeople, etc.) In that case, short-form mobile content that can quickly answer questions on the fly is a great way to make training instantly applicable. Even for users that have undergone the training, mobile microlearning makes refreshing their skills significantly more accessible.
- Creating a training program that keeps learners engaged
The success of a training program or any course depends on metrics like completion rates to determine whether a user is teed up for long-term success. If you look into your analytics and notice that completion rates are low, implementing some microlearning tactics can be a great way to boost engagement, therefore course completion. An excellent example of this is when Sandler Training leveraged Lambda Solutions to implement microlearning into their program, increasing course adoption and engagement by 200%.
Depending on how you choose to apply it, microlearning can exist in many forms and boasts benefits like more engaged learners, optimized marketing strategies, and knowledge longevity. Pro-educators host micro-content on platforms suited to microlearning using a combination of mixed mediums, mobile optimization strategies, and audience insights to get the best results.