On the Go: Designing Mobile Microlearning
If microlearning involves small chunks of content, then mobile microlearning relies on even tinier lessons. But how small are those lessons? And how should they be structured? Those questions are answered in a recent multi-phase study; researchers conducted a review of academic and industry publications and talked to industry professionals to uncover best practices and design principles for mobile microlearning. Here are a few of their recommendations.
Micro-content should be interactive and work to close skill gaps.
Interactive content engages users by requiring action, like simulations, quizzes, and drag-and-drop content. This content should also be designed for learners to psychologically engage with the content by using practical problem-solving. Don't just ask your learners to watch a short video - engage your learners.
Courses should be snackable.
These researchers recommend that content should be 30-90 seconds long and are focused on a single learning objective, topic, concept, or idea.
There should be instructional flow.
Microlearning lessons should be sequenced; one possibility provided by the researchers:
- An aha-moment followed by the objective
- Examples and practice
- A call for action
- Immediate feedback
The system design should support mobile-first learning.
How? By having apps, push notifications, a way to track progress, and a browsable catalog of content.
There's a lot to this study! Check out the full article (behind a paywall, unfortunately) for more.
Jahnke, I., Lee, Y.M., Pham, M., He, H. & Austin, L. (2020). Unpacking the inherent design principles of mobile microlearning. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 25, 585-619.