Guide: Converting Classroom Training to Effective Microlearning
There is a reason why repurposing learning content across things like podcasts, videos, blogs, and infographics is such a hot topic in today’s ever-evolving digital age. After all, content is key in just about any situation, especially when it comes to eLearning and various microlearning methodologies. That reality in conjunction with being able to recycle existing content is the most strategic avenue to take to gain the most developmental course growth with the least amount of redo effort.
Sounds like a win-win, right? That’s because it is when done mindfully and pragmatically!
But there is a bit of a zinger to this process. As great as that all may sound in text, actually repurposing learning content into rich microlearning use might feel a bit overwhelming once you start venturing under the surface level of it all. Because of that, below are some fundamental tips and insight on how to get started on the right foot and make this repurposing endeavor nothing but a successful one.
1. Perform an Existing eLearning Content Deep Dive
Before anything else, you are going to want to plan for an existing eLearning content deep dive. That equates to evaluating what you currently have, taking a full inventory of the content itself, and determining if there are any spots where you can expand, improve, or repurpose. For instance, it is not just about what information you have; it is about how you deliver it that will both captivate and convert data into learning opportunities. In short, start your process towards more strategized microlearning content by examining the assets (including tools and resources) that you have to work with and creating a detailed outline of all the repurpose-potential findings.
Tip: Keep an eye out for text that can be transformed into actual learning materials! There may be several pieces that can go from simple text into a much more immersive experience. To be confident that you didn’t miss any of those texts, make sure to have more than one set of professional eyes scanning for them (i.e., a respected subject matter expert, aka an SME, and other involved team members).
2. Develop A Comprehensive Microlearning Objective Timeline
Call it an eLearning storyboard if you wish but developing a microlearning timeline of the repurposing opportunities from the deep dive is next up on the to-do list. That means charting out those said findings starting with the areas first to tackle to the last ones to gain the desired repurposing learning content outcome. The timeline can include dates and inch-stone goals in-between each objective to ensure you stay on track to reach them. For example, let’s say you want to convert your existing eLearning content into a podcast series. In this scenario, you will want to list out every step on how to create that specific scene from start to finish, including the integrated speaking points, voice software investments, and coinciding facilitations to make it happen.
3. Leverage the Power of Video Content
Did you know that about 65% of the global population are deemed, visual learners? Furthermore, humans are known to respond and process visual data 60,000 times faster than plain text. That right here is part of the reason why the traditional saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has genuine truth behind it. In a nutshell, people are not only hardwired to absorb visual stimulation better, but videos hold the ability to deliver important information quickly, a timesaver people generally seek. That all becomes the catalyst for videos to hold a powerful role in both content marketing and eLearning spheres, making repurposed learning content into attractive videos one to highly consider opting for in this day and age.
4. Maximize Learning by Minimizing Length and Complexity
Have you ever heard of the popular K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) approach designed by the Navy back in the 1960s? Well, it applies in eLearning as well. All in all, it may feel tempting to cram in every little detail possible, but doing so can make the actual eLearning content way too long to where it loses interest altogether. Instead, shoot for a more minimalist approach and repurpose it in such a way that conveys key points in the most digestible way possible. That means reducing microlearning course length, getting rid of unnecessary “fluff,” and implementing resources like indexes so users can skim to the areas they are interested in the most. That is where the 5-minute or less module rule of thumb takes a front seat. These minimizing complexity strategies allow you to deliver vital repurposed learning content upfront while reducing the risk of it being forgotten later due to lengthy presentations or podcast episodes that dilute it.
5. Keep Cohesiveness A Priority When Repurposing Learning Content
Keeping cohesiveness as a top priority is arguably the most pinnacle aspect of repurposing learning content. Many times, repurposing content to gain more valuable microlearning results can backfire due to being disorganized and lacking structural flow. That is usually caused by the fact that you will be grabbing existing content from all different areas and trying to unify them together into one revamped piece. If done with cohesiveness in mind, it can all come together nicely, ideally matching the new style and tone in a smooth manner that converts. On the other hand, sometimes meshing different data points can look messy and out of place. The best advice for this one is to instill stringent quality assurance checks internally (and perhaps work externally with a vetted SME) so you can obtain that ideal cohesive-flowing content blend you envisioned.
Tip: Though you can save your quality checks for the very end of the process, think about having examination check-points as you navigate through repurposing. That will help you catch mistakes early on and avoid the risk of needing to redo extra layers of work later on.
6. Take Advantage of a Quality Authoring Tool
If you have been involved with the eLearning scene for some time, then you likely already have an authoring tool to help optimize your existing content. If not, then now is no better time to get on board with investing in one. Authoring tools are exceptional microlearning agents that can guide you towards transforming outdated content into something much more engaging and interactive. These resources essentially take the content you have right now and helps you reuse it through master layouts and templates that eliminate the need for module/course rebuilding. Even more, an authoring tool can position your microlearning content to adapt to whatever device it is being viewed on, ultimately amplifying the user’s experience and your reputation.
Summary – Gain More Miles with Your Existing eLearning Content
In summary, you already put in countless hours on creating your existing eLearning content from scratch, which is commendable on all fronts! Though you certainly have the option to do it all over again to match the current eLearning and microlearning market demands, think about saving that time and energy by repurposing learning content instead. Going this route means you already have a solid foundation to build upon, polish, and tweak, all of which enable you to gain many more miles from that already established base.
Overall, whether you run a podcast, blog, or an industry-specific microlearning website, take advantage of the hard work you have already done and avoid reinventing the wheel. Even more, utilize the tips and tricks above that will help you capitalize on your content in the most seamless way possible. Because in the end, you just might be surprised at how much potential your eLearning content still holds after giving it a bit of revitalizing TLC.
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