As L&D professionals, most of us are familiar with microlearning, which has become a common form of eLearning that focuses on creating short, digestible learning modules that engage learners. In recent years, microlearning has expanded beyond just one singular learning style, and has begun to encompass many different L&D strategies. One important facet of microlearning is something we like to call micro-video—as the name suggests, these are short, focused videos that aim to help the learner reach a specific goal. Typically no longer than 30 seconds, micro-video is a great way to keep learners engaged, but also provides an opportunity to make training programs efficient and unique. In 2021, we see micro-video as an essential part of many L&D projects, so here is how we recommend you get more acquainted with this unique instructional style and use it to its fullest.
The best thing about micro-video is its flexibility in learning programs. Micro-videos can be used as standalone pieces designed for a specific learning outcome, or they can be implemented alongside other L&D strategies as supplemental content. This means that micro-video can be used across training solutions and is highly adaptable to different delivery methods. Still not convinced? Here are some more reasons why you should consider investing in micro-videos.
- Video is the most engaging form of eLearning. If given a choice, learners will almost always choose to interact and pay attention to video as opposed to other delivery methods.
- Micro-videos are a great format for storytelling. Storytelling is one of the most engaging learning formats, and micro-videos are perfectly suited to give learners quick bites of information that contribute to a greater, overarching storyline.
- Video content has been proven to show better retention rates than other types of media. Learners seem to do best when they are presented with bite-sized video content, which is exactly what micro-videos are.
- Micro-videos are a great “moment of need” resource. Sometimes learners need quick bits of information to help them solve an issue, and micro-videos are just that. Much like consulting YouTube when trying to learn a new skill, micro-videos can become a go-to method for learning in the moment of need within your organization.
While micro-video has been gaining popularity across the internet, it is especially applicable in L&D for its accessibility. Micro-videos don’t require long, in-person sessions, nor to they require a particular platform. Videos are accessible almost anywhere these days, which means that micro-video content you create will be available to your learners on mobile devices, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Furthermore, if you choose to deliver your content on a platform such as YouTube, you and your learners will not have to worry about reformatting or changing content to make it work on all devices.
We’ve talked about a bunch of different ways micro-video can be used, and also many of its benefits. Let’s dive deeper into specific micro-video applications that are relevant to L&D in your organization.
- Learning a new skill. This is the most straight-forward way in which you can use micro-video in L&D. Use the video to explain a specific skill clearly and concisely, but keep it simple. Don’t try to cram too much information into a single video, as this can reduce its effectiveness.
- Solving a particular issue. Maybe employees are having issues logging into a new portal you’ve implemented. This is a great way you can use a micro-video—create a 15-30 second explanation and visual representation of how to use that new technology.
- Reviewing content/refreshing skills. Sometimes learners just need a r-fresher, and there is almost no better way to review content that with micro-videos. If learners are consistently getting hung up on something that they have already learned and may have forgotten, providing them with a micro-video may do the trick to get them back on track.
- Diving deeper into a specific idea. If you want your learners to sit back and absorb more complex information, micro-video can help. L&D professionals have found that micro-video content can save time and effort when trying to convey complex ideas and procedures.
- Culminating and reviewing what has been learned. Micro-videos are a great way to wrap up training modules because they can quickly and accurately summarize information learned, and are great at keeping learners engaged when their attention may be fading.
Now that you have a good idea of how you can effectively use micro-video, here are some best practices to keep in mind. First, its important to make sure each micro-video is built for a specific purpose and learning outcome. Whether you are creating the content in-house or working with a partner, make sure that each video has a clear learning goal in mind. Second, do your best to avoid unnecessary details. The entire point of micro-videos is to be concise and informative, and including information that is not necessary may make the content too long and attention-divertive. It’s easy to try to cram more and more information into a video to save money, but resist this urge. Finally, don’t be afraid to supplement micro-videos with additional content. No matter how great the video is, certain learners may require more information, so make sure they have that available. This can be something as simple as a contact they can reach out to and as complex as a related article or blog post on the subject.
The online emergence of micro-videos in recent years is no coincidence, and many technology professionals see video as the future of content. In fact, 50% of all content on the internet is already in video format. As L&D professionals, it is our duty to understand these trends and their utility, and bring that innovation to our learners. When creating your next training program, consider micro-video. It will more than likely save your company money, time, and create a pleasant learning experience for your employees.