Getting Started with Micro Course Content

Earlier this year I made a prediction: micro-content is going to increase in use in 2017 and hit the scene in a big way in 2018.

All signs are pointing to this as more online courses going the route of the micro-course.

If you have an online course or are thinking about creating one then you would do well to get in on this early. In fact, it is a lot easier than you think.

The great thing about micro-content is that you don’t need any fancy technology to implement it. It has more to do with how you design your course for the learner than it does the tools you use to deliver it.

Where Did Micro-Content Come From?

The micro-learning surge is not rocket science by any means. It has everything to do with how we learn online and how short our attention spans have become when it comes to consuming online content.

You can thank mobile devices for this – but also all the great websites & applications that we have available to us.

Our attention can only be in one place at a time, and we don’t like to stay there long.

Thus we have the rise of micro-content.

More often than not if we have the opportunity to learn something in two minutes versus 20 minutes, we’ll opt for the two minute route.

For example, let’s say you need to learn how to bake a cake. Will you watch the 30 minute video on YouTube first or the five minute video? Chances are you will choose the five minute video first to see if that gets you what you need.

By using micro-content you can piggyback on this information consumption trend. The result? Learners will actually take (and finish) your course content!

Some Simple Micro-Content Strategies

Micro-content is about keeping it simple. Here are some straight-forward things you can do right now in your course:

  1. If your course is 1-hour in length, split it to a minimum of two courses.
  2. Maximum video length should be eight minutes (shoot for three to five minutes in length).
  3. Replace bullet points and text with infographics. You can use a free service like Canva.
  4. Stick with singular lesson objectives with no more than three objectives per course.
  5. Break-up larger quizzes to smaller three-question quizzes throughout.

There are other strategies you can implement but these five are the lowest hanging fruit. Micro-content techniques inherently create momentum for a learner, and this momentum will help to improve your completion rates – which is the ultimate goal of an online course in the first place.

Author

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

4 Responses

  1. In a couple of the courses I teach face-to-face, I use a flipped approach in which students are to come to class having watched the video(s) assigned for the day. The videos tend to be shorter, though some can reach 15 minutes for certain problem solving examples. I mention this to indicate that I see value in delivering content in “bite-size” chunks. That being said, it concerns me that students are so used to carrying out a google search to find a quick answer, that they weaken their ability to devote the time and mental energy necessary to comprehend more challenging concepts. Anyway, just a quick note to say that I am enjoying learning to use LearnDash and hope that it can help me achieve my goal — improved student outcomes.

  2. Just purchased learndash, loving it so far. Came across someting and wonder if anyone has a workaround for it. I am trying to generate a task list or to-do style list for our students to be able to check off as they do it and have us be able to track and see if they are doing it. Is this possible in learndash either with a 3rd party plugin or even an integration? Thanks in advance

  3. It is great to read your articles friend!

    I made a great choice for your LMS software Learndash is the best software for LMS and create courses quickly!

    Thank you!

    I’m very happy !

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