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Inspiration: MicroLearning Video

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As I said last week, developing microlearning objects has been on the brain for a few days. In one conversation, I was talking with a person who described their current microlearning efforts as basically making video out of PowerPoint presentations and adding voiceover. Then she asked how I might try to augment this approach, given that the development speed for a project was super fast (nothing like the timelines I get for a long-form project currently). I answered that I would probably start moving away from the typical PowerPoint slide look (text and bullet points) and move towards a TEDed type model of video with the visuals, movement, and voiceover to make the short piece more engaging and more memorable. Now obviously, most places don’t have access to the motion designers and animators that a TEDed video had, but I know that PowerPoint is an incredibly powerful tool and really beautiful designs can be fairly easily created in it. Late last week, I stumbled upon a less than two minute video that does a great job in illustrating the design concept I described.

The Science of Us: Kitty Communication

Take a good long look at this video, What’s it made of? Simple (though really interestingly drawn) images with subtle movement (nothing too flashy; simple cuts, appears, a few subtle zoom actions). The images change to match the narration. The whole piece has a good pacing with no image being on the screen for too long. All that is synced up with good, conversational narration and a light background music track. Easy peasy and something you can definitely accomplish in PowerPoint. But it didn’t feel that way when you were watching it, did it?

When you watch this video, you will be focused on the story it tells. A story that they could have easily told in text and bullet points but decided to use images for. And when you watch the entire thing, focused on its content, it feels like animation, in the same way that this slick TEDed video is animated:

Though the TEDed video required the use of some animation software (and probably something like AfterEffects), both videos feel the same. Their both memorable, their both engaging. But from a development standpoint, the first is much more accessible.

How do you handle microlearning video? What does it look like for your organization?


  1. August 10, 2015 - Reply

    […] post, I posited that, for microlearning type video, you could easily create a more engaging animated presentation in a tool like PowerPoint. This could provide an easy way to take microlearning objects that had merely been bulleted slides […]

  2. August 31, 2015 - Reply

    […] For example, I recently spoke with folks at an organization that said that, to fit their business, their ID consisted mostly of making short videos using PowerPoint slides and Camtasia. Start there! Here’s an example of a video I did using those two […]

  3. Mike W
    July 17, 2016 - Reply

    Hey Kristin,

    Do you know how the interactive Spent was created?

    • July 17, 2016

      Hey Mike! Not sure. Upon inspection, there doesn’t seem to be any framework involved like PhaserJS. It could well have been created from scratch using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, with varying levels of knowledge and elbow grease, it could be recreated with a game engine such as Construct 2, or Unity, or a framework like PhaserJS, or even an authoring tool like Captivate or Storyline 2.

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