The concept of condensing your existing training into microlessons can be intimidating at first. However, with effective planning and research, the process doesn’t have to be stressful.
Research and plan
When designing your microlessons, you should first scope out with What, Who, Why and How.
Why - Define your purpose. Why is this training needed? Why do these individuals need the training? What are the benefits for individuals and the organisation?
Who - Define your audience. Who is to be trained? What are the characteristics of the learners? (such as motivations, experiences, interests, language and literacy levels, competencies)
What - Define your content. What topics will be covered? What standards will be used to prove competency or skill development? What is the intended and measurable change for the learner?
How - Define your methods. What is the structure of the content? What methods of delivery will be used? What resources or equipment will be used?
Create a learning program
Create a learning program. The more time you can dedicate to planning out your learning program, the better. A learning program is a document which provides definition and structure to the learning and teaching process. You can use this document to guide you throughout your planning and implementation.
Your program should include sections such as:
- Aims of training (purpose) for the organisation and individuals
- Standards or measurements of learning (units of competency, skills developed etc)
- Overview of the content and structure of the learning program (such as an EdApp course) (including content sequence, activities, resources and learning materials, criteria and method for assessment). You could use the sections of What, Who, Why and How to structure your program.
Create a session plan
A lesson plan or session plan, is a detailed map of the sections of the learning journey in the session or course. It breaks down the subject matter into a series of sequenced learning topics, including how long they should be, information which is emphasised and the process implemented to assess the learners understanding.
Some tips for structuring your lesson plan:
- Have a logical sequence of activities / content (for e.g. reflects a real life procedure)
- Ensure the complexity of topics moves from easy to hard as the session(s) progresses
- Ensure the topics are interesting and relevant to audience
- Ensure the information is manageable and matches the level of understanding of the audience
- Identify resources and materials and make sure they are accessible
- Identify assessment points
- Identify opportunities for learner feedback
Move your content into a microlesson
The purpose of microlessons is to break the content into bite-sized chunks which are easily digestible. This does not mean that the information must lack complexity, it does mean however that you must be considerate of your learners attention and retention. EdApp courses typically contain 4-5 lessons, each focused on one particular topic or task,
If you have existing material which you are transferring to microlessons, consider these tips:
- For a text document, look for subheadings and title breaks. They can give you a rough estimate of how to split up long pieces of information.
- Highlight phrases and annotate areas with links to your objectives.
- For presentation slides, rearrange slides and add titled section breaks to split the presentation up into smaller sections and delete slides which are not necessary.
If you are going to research material which you would then transfer to microlessons, consider these tips:
- Look for reputable sources such as articles, guides or handbooks written by industry professionals or government websites. These sources often provide links to further context and information if you need it.
- Consider whether the information would purely being used to fill out the lessons - Does it relate to a task or action or scenario your learner would face? If not, perhaps you don’t need it.
- Consider whether the information is suitable to your learning environment and context - Could this information work in micro format or can it be adjusted to suit this format?
- Consider whether the information is necessary for your learner to know in order to perform the assessment or other measures of competency (such as a task or procedure in their job)