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How you can use rewarded micro-learning to get your social or customer community to boost your organization's performance.

There is a trend where individuals are seeking to become a better person through micro-learning opportunities.[ref brookings.edu]  Micro-learning consists of small learning units or short-term learning activities [ref elearningindustry.com].

Given the opportunity a member of an organization or a customer will devote on average 10 minutes of time to learn something they feel will make them a better person [ref td.org].

If there is even a small reward attached to this process the participation levels increase significantly [ref hbr.org].

What are the benefits and what can you expect from such a program?

Everybody remembers their teachers especially those who have made a major impact on their life.  The education process creates a special bond between the teacher and the pupil [ref completewellbeing.com].  A form of this same bond happens wherever a person finds value in learning something new that he or she feels will make them a better person.

The end product of this relationship is more interaction and greater loyalty.  This is what any community wants from its members and businesses from their customers.

What are the tools you need, what do you offer and how to you create a micro-learning program?

Start with brief instructive and entertaining videos that speak directly to the person in a caring and kind manner that are of no more than 5 minutes long [ref talentlms.com].

Here are a few free ways to start that you can use.

  1. Adobe Spark Video (online) - Easily create animated videos in minutes
  2. Animoto - (online) Turn your photos and video clips into video slideshows, quickly and easily.
  3. Openshot video editor - free video editor
  4. Quicktime - Mac screen record yourself
  5. Widows 10 - Screen record yourself (in gambe bar)

You can host your videos for free on youtube.com or vimeo.com.

Your quiz should be no ore than 5-10 questions.  They should focus on the main message and should be easy enough that 90% of the people who watched the video can ace the quiz.  Multiple choice provide a way for quick recognition of the right answer as apposed to wrong answer.  Make the right answer look more obvious. The idea is trigger the right answer and give that feeling of achievement rather than failure.  Quizzes that are too hard or long will be abandoned.

Free form text is not advised because it requires too much thought and they don't lend themselves to be graded right or wrong in an automated way.

There are a number of free online services where you can use to create and publish a quiz.

  1. Google Forms Forms lets you manage event registrations, create quizzes, analyze responses, and more
  2. Wordmint Create your own worksheet, quiz, or puzzle, and print copies
  3. Flexiquiz Create, send and analyze tests, quizzes and assessments
  4. Anycoop - Integrated community services News, Forums, Events, Surveys, Training, Faqs etc.

Your rewards can be cash, coupons, discounts, free time and training.  It's not how big our rewards are, it's all about accessibility.  They should be easy to get and easy to use.  Ideally you can provide a QR or short code that the participant can use.

Ideally you want to make sure your rewards relate to your community or business. Avoid sending your members or customers somewhere else.

Here are two examples of how micro-learning can be implemented for a (1) co-operative and (2) a business.

(1) Coffee grower co-operative (example)

This co-operative is a community of small coffee growers in Kenya.  There  are about 150,000 coffee farmers in Kenya.  This co-op has 100 members.

Their primary mission is to share resources, operational, and market information.

Let's start with a challenge: Kenya exports unprocessed beans and then imports international coffee brands for consumption. [ref zakenya.com]

Program goal: Create 10 micro-learning courses with the following objectives.

  • Overview - introduce the idea of coffee shop chains using our coffee
  • Franchises - what is a franchise and how can we start one
  • Selection - how to select the finese beans for roasting
  • Market - what kind of roasts do Kenyan's like
  • Production - what is needed for roasting coffee
  • Distribution - how does distribution work

All modern mobiles have video capabilities and with a selfi-stick you can make very interesting and informative videos.  We took one form the internet as an example.

Overview:  Create a short video that covers the 10 best coffee shops in Kenya and why they are so great [ref theculturetrip.com]

This video was not made for this presentation.

The reward that is given out will be a free coffee and cake at the Kenya Coffee House for any score of 90% or more.

This will create an incentive plus indicate who is interested in learning more about coffee shops and the next course about establishing a franchise.

We used the Anycoop community service web widget to create a combined video and followup quiz using the built in training service.  

At the end of the quiz the participant gets a score which can easily be followup by the admin to dole out rewards.  In Anycoop,  you will be able to view or export the results in CSV format.

(1) Coffee shop (example)

There are 29,000 coffee shops 8,149 of which are franchise coffee shops in the UK and the leading chain Costa having 2,422 shops [ref statistica.com].  

The large chains have the economies of scale and big budgets to spend on advertising while the small independents don't have very small budgets if any to spend on advertising.

So what can a small independant do to be more competitive. They can provide micro-learning classes followup by hands on classes as a reward.

This is an effective strategy to create loyalty and make the customer feel like they are a part of the business.

Make them an honorary Barista in 10 easy micro-learning classes.  As an honorary barista they are entitled to a free coffee per month.

  1. History of coffee
  2. Our favorate beans
  3. Basics of roasting coffee
  4. History of coffee machines
  5. Our coffee machine
  6. Making that perfect coffee
  7. How to make espresso
  8. How to make that americano
  9. How to make cappuccino
  10. How to make caffee late

As a small coffee shop you don't need to create everything yourself.  There are hundreds of freely available videos out there supported by passion or advertising that you can use.

There is a 5 minute history that covers many different topics and we found one that focuses on the history of coffee.

The other videos can be made with a smartphone or using the built in screen recording on your laptop while commenting over a slide presentation that you can make for free using Google docs presentation.

You can use google forms or any of the other services to create a quiz.  The only disadvantage is that you don't get full advantage of incorporating other services together such as news, forums, faq etc. and to be able to use that data to generate additional reasons for promoting loyalty.

Using the anycoop service it is only a matter of a few minutes to create a quiz prefaced by a video.

If you want to see these tools in action you can create your own community for free at https://anycoop.zone and try it out for yourself.  After you create our own community go to your PROFILE from the main menu and switch to the Anycoop community to see and experience the examples given in this article.