Word of Caution About Using Micro-Content

Have you heard? Micro-content is on the rise and will continue to become one of the leading methodologies for course creation.

It is no secret that I am a fan of micro-content. In some respects it has even influenced the way content is shared on this very blog.

If you aren’t aware of micro-content and how it works then I have written a few pieces on the subject. Some that may interest you:

Just a quick read through those and you will have a grasp of it.

I felt the need to take a moment to discuss micro-content implementations. Specifically, the importance of understanding both how and when to use micro-content. Just because something is consider “good” doesn’t mean that it should be used in every situation.

First and foremost you have to consider the target audience for your courses and whether or not they would prefer micro-content.

You could even consider asking them how they prefer to learn. However, you should also consider whether they have access to the tools that are ideal for micro-content (such as smartphones).

As a rule of thumb micro-content is not the best format for complex training. Heck, e-learning often isn’t the best option for elaborate topics but rather live training events. If you still go the e-learning route then there are other methods for building courses content.

While it is a good idea to leverage leading tech tools for delivering interactive experience, you don’t want to go overboard. If you use videos then keep them short and only keep the essential material. You can add gamification as well but be smart about how much of it you use in accordance with your audience expectations.

In the end the content you create in any course comes down to the production quality, and this is especially true for micro-content. You have to convey important information in snappy intervals to your learners.

If the production quality is poor then they won’t even bother. Place a premium on videos, images, graphics, and the overall learner experience.

As with most things in life it is important that we don’t get carried away with the latest and greatest trends. While micro-content is here to stay (and grow) for the foreseeable future we would do well to be objective about when and how to use it.

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

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