How to Construct an Effective Micro Lesson

Posted by Isaac Dow,

March 7, 2016

A good description of microlearning is that it delivers content to the learner in bite-sized chunks. This helps to keep the learner interested and engaged, and it improves knowledge and skill retention rates. To create a micro learning course you have to produce a series of interconnected micro lessons.

There is a common misconception about this concept though. For some people it means taking a long, traditionally prepared course and chopping it up into smaller sections. This achieves the objective of delivering the content in bite sizes, but it is not the best approach to creating a micro lesson that will be well received, and that will get results.

What Does A Good Micro Lesson Look Like?

  1. Each lesson has a clear objective Before looking at the structure of a micro lesson it is important to understand some of the overall principles. One of them is making sure the lesson is short, but that is only the beginning. You should also have a clear objective for the lesson: at the end of this lesson you will know ABC; or, at the end of this lesson you will know how to do XYZ.

  2. Content should be concise A good micro lesson also engages the learner immediately. This means there should be no distractions, tangents, or waffle. The content should also be concise and focussed on the objective, and there should be no distractions.

  3. Intuitive to use In addition the lesson should be easy and intuitive to navigate, and it should work fast and smoothly on the learner's mobile device.

  4. Are interactive Finally it should include interactive features to check on the progress of learners, reinforce what you are teaching, and to keep them engaged and interested. This can be in the form of gamification, quizzes, competitions, etc.

Constructing A Micro Lesson

Before you start creating the content for your micro lesson you should decide on the objective. Keep this objective as narrowly focused as you can. This will help you keep the content of the course narrowly focused. Once you have decided on your objective you should write a punchy and descriptive title. You can then start creating your lesson, making a beginning, middle, and end.

  • Beginning - the temptation in the beginning of your lesson is to describe the lesson. You shouldn't do this. Instead you should get into the subject immediately. Establish the main concept, idea, or skill straight away.

  • Middle - this is where you expand on the topic, ensuring you do not give details that are not related to the objective. You should use an interactive feature (quiz, question etc) to check that the learner understands what you are teaching in the lesson. Then you should reinforce what has been learned using interactive features again (don't simply repeat the information, though). This will help the user learn by doing.

  • End - keep the closing minutes of your lesson precise and concise. The ending can include a final reinforcement feature, but don't waste time explaining what is next in the course as the user will be able to find that information easily.

With this micro learning structure your learners will get the information that they need, there won’t be any distractions, and what they will have learnt will be reinforced through engagement.