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211 Reimagining Microlearning with a Practical, Practice-first Approach

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Wednesday, April 12

Tracks: Instructional Design

“Just-in-time” learning and “microlearning” are popular trends in learning design. As designers, we are often asked to deliver highly engaging self-paced online learning experiences that result in real skill development and behavior change but take as little time as possible. This is hard, but even harder when the focus is on developing leadership skills. What if there was a model for creating robust and meaningful short-burst learning experiences that engage—maybe even delight—the learner and result in noticeable skill improvement? 

In this session, you will learn how to create effective soft skills microlearning experiences, beginning with how to create a content “spine” that supports a robust and effective design. We will explore considerations for learning activities, how to think about learning objectives using video and other media effectively, and how to make the learning practical and skill-based while still including depth of content. We will also share approaches that allow learners to personalize the level of practice and content consumption to meet their needs, and how to create tools and takeaways that enable and encourage immediate use. And as a bonus, since we have been experimenting with this for the past year, we will share approaches and design ideas that didn’t work as well as we hoped (a “blooper reel” of sorts), and some ideas we have for future development.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to “chunk” content into effective short-burst learning
  • What learners value most about microlearning experiences, and what keeps them coming back for more
  • Microlearning design myths and pitfalls to avoid
  • Why a robust content hierarchy is essential for design and how to create one

Technology discussed:

Mursion , HBR LeaderLab

Jennifer Long

Director, Learning Experience Design

Harvard Business Publishing

Jennifer Long is the director of learning experience design at Harvard Business Publishing. In her role, she is responsible for innovative and effective learning design of new cross-enterprise learning products. Her most recent project is HBP’s first consumer-facing leadership development program, HBP LeaderLab, which is currently in the beta-test phase. Jen has been with HBP for eight years. Prior to that, she worked in client-facing and consulting roles for Accenture, AchieveGlobal, and Impact Performance Group. She has her BA in music/arts administration at Rice University, and her MA in adult development/holistic coaching from Lesley University.

Jennifer St. Amand

Senior Learning Experience Designer

Harvard Business Publishing

Jennifer St. Amand is a senior learning experience designer at Harvard Business Publishing. In this role, she is responsible for incorporating interactive learning experiences into HBP learning products. Jennifer joined HBP in 2021 with extensive experience in instructional design from her roles at Eversource Energy, Medical Specialties Distributors, and State Street Corporation. Jennifer has a Med in Instructional Design from University of Massachusetts Boston and a BS in business management from Bridgewater State University.