Find the microlearning solution that is right for you.
Microlearning is the delivery of short pieces of content to multiple devices on an “as needed” basis. Although the term microlearning seems to have originated in behavioral research with mice in the late 1950s, it has laid mostly dormant over the years until recently. But, the last five years have seen a spike in the use of the term, as learning technology companies realize that this approach is ideal for the world of short-attention spans, hyper-competition, and constant change.
Searching for the term in a collection of 60 databases of academic articles produced this graph showing a jump in reports in the previous two years, which is projected to more than double again by the time 2017 is over. So, it is not surprising to see a jump in the number of exhibitors offering microlearning solutions at DevLearn 2017 (October 25-27).
The offerings in microlearning at DevLearn can be broken down into four broad categories – 1) microlearning platforms (open to any content), 2) microlearning authoring tools, 3) microlearning off-the-shelf content, and 4) microlearning support and services. Based on these four categories, I identified five exhibitors who illustrate the possibilities in each group.
Microlearning Delivery Platforms
Microlearning can only be delivered online through specific “platforms” that find and serve up the appropriate content in small “bite-sized” units at the right time. There are generally two kinds of microlearning platforms – those that try to do everything from authoring to analytics while speedily presenting content on multiple kinds of devices, and those that pull together many different sources of content, deliver it, and integrate with analytics software of a client’s choosing. The first type of platform is generally proprietary and keeps everything within the confines of the application, while the latter type utilizes tools and content that an organization may have already produced or has purchased off the shelf. Here are five microlearning platforms being shown at DevLearn 2017 that would be well worth investigating:
|Disprz||Knowledge sharing app||927|
Microlearning Authoring Tools
If you decide to purchase a microlearning platform that does it all, then you won’t need (or maybe can’t use) any of the authoring tools that have been available for the past few decades for the development of learning materials. It is important that any authoring system be able to generate small chunks of content and not just lengthy courses. One of the trends in microlearning is the development of short, snappy video clips, delivered to tablets or mobile phones. Here are five exhibitors offering authoring tools at DevLearn 2017.
|TechSmith||Suite of video editing tools||221|
|Vibons||Animated Video Tools||728|
Off-the-Shelf Microlearning Content
If you want to offer microlearning for your employees, but don’t want to get into the business of content production (which can be expensive), then check out those vendors at DevLearn 2017 who have content libraries or sets of content templates. Here are five who will be happy to show you their offerings:
|Accel5/EBSCO||Collection of videos, audio||104|
|BizLibrary||Short business courses||215|
|ej4||Library of short videos||517|
|eLearning Brothers||Learning content templates||528|
Microlearning Support Services
Finally, like any emerging learning technology, microlearning has sparked the rise of service companies who are there to help with tasks that can be outsourced. Need translation of your content? Need a cloud solution for storage? How about turning your microlearning content into games? There are companies exhibiting at DevLearn 2017 who will gladly assist you. Here are five vendors at DevLearn 2017 as examples:
|Amazon Web Services||Cloud Storage and Analytics||913|
|Cinecraft||Custom video production||429|
|Indusgeeks||Gamification of content||421|
|SwissVBS||Burst – 90 sec. custom videos||214|
|Yet Analytics||Visualization of data||709|
Float’s microlearning platform, SparkLearn, crosses several of these categories in that it easily integrates small units of content whether they are authored in-house or bought off-the-shelf, adds metadata for tracking, delivers the right content seamlessly to the intended learner, and using APIs, feeds data to analytical program(s) of your choice for a review of results. And, Sparklearn is considerably less costly and easier to set up than implementing a full-scale learning management system. For more information, drop by Booth 929 or contact us before the conference to set up a meeting.
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