That's Microlearning with 7taps!


Kate Udalova, founder of the micro-learning authoring tool 7taps.com, joins me to discuss the surprising and diverse ways in which 7taps is being used by course creators. We also take some time to answer crowd-sourced questions about microlearning from members of the Linkedin community.


Special thanks to everyone who submitted questions: Bhavani Nadakumar, Priyanka Wheatley, Chris Karel, Richard Mendoza, Diana Salazar.


Try out 7taps at 7taps.com.


Connect with Kate on Linkedin.

The following transcript was auto-generated and may contain spelling mistakes or typos.


Leslie Early

Okay, today, I am super excited to have my guest, Kate Udalova here with me, she is the founder of Seven Taps, a web-based authoring tool that allows for creating bite-sized courses super fast. And she is here to talk with me today about microlearning. And for the first time ever on That's Awesome ID, we're going to answer some questions from some of your connections on LinkedIn. And that's really exciting. It's the first here. So thank you so much for joining me, Kate.


Kate Udalova

Likewise, say it's a pleasure to join you today. Actually, I don't know what to do for this introduction. Because you have already mentioned all I have to say, I can only say that. Previously, before I embarked upon my startup journey, I worked in a training and consulting company where I dealt with marketing, l&d product development, and they also work closely with clients as a consultant. And I'm a huge fan of micro learning.


Leslie Early

So your product, Seven Taps, this is an authoring tool. And I'm seeing it everywhere. Right now people are like loving this, because you know, it's a chance to create these micro learning courses or micro learning experiences, but it's, it's pretty streamlined. Like it's pretty easy to do that. And so before we get into too much detail, you know, answering questions about micro learning. Did you just maybe want to start with a brief definition of what that is? I mean, I'm sure people know what that is. But maybe we should just give a little definition.


Kate Udalova

Yeah, absolutely. microlending illustrates the delivery of educational content in short nuggets, and each negative addresses one learning objective. And I want to add one more thing that is often ignored. Micro learning should be organized in a way that a learner can access the content quickly and easily. Because, you know, if a learner spends 10 minutes to find a three minute long course, it's not a micro learning. It's weird, to say the least.


Leslie Early

Right, right. So so it should be easily accessible. Yeah, sure. That's what I'm hearing.


Kate Udalova

Yeah.


Leslie Early

Okay. Yeah, that's a good point to clarify. Um, so you, seven tabs is relatively new. Like I remember, I think you actually contacted me maybe last summer sometime when you were first trying to like circulate it and get users interested. So how long has it actually been around? How long have you been working on this?


Kate Udalova

We launched seeds. I think in the end of November, and I think I reached out to you in November to attend flew too fast.


Leslie Early

It feels long, longer, it feels like it was summertime for some reason. But you know, this year has been a long year, this past year. So um, yeah. So it is still relatively new. And so um, how how has you know how people are actually using it? versus what you thought people would be using it for? Like, are people using it? How you how you thought they would? Or I don't know, I'm just curious to see now that you have some time to see people using it what your experience with that has been?


Kate Udalova

Yeah, that's a great question, actually. Because initially, we built a free to to train frontline personnel. And then customers invented 100. Other ways to use sound tips. And I'm not exaggerating now. Because now there are courses on language learning, K, 12, education, corporate communications, customer onboarding, portfolio building, and many, many more. And recently, we have added features that enable users to deliver courses via QR codes and via SMS. And this has opened up new possibilities for the use of the product key. For example, one user said that he was going to print QR codes in the form of stickers and placed them directly in trucks, these companies in the transportation business. And as for the livery via SMS, I have already witnessed a couple of examples help people applied. For example, there is a cleaning service company whose employees are not so digital saving, and sharing courses via SMS is just the on the way to reach out to them. And just to sum up, I would put it this way people use now sound taps is a Knowledge Transfer Tool. I cannot say that we didn't anticipate it cos we were striving for it. But we didn't anticipate such a scale of challenge.


Leslie Early

So that's very interesting. So people are using this just a different way differently than how you first imagined it. So that's kind of exciting, right?


Kate Udalova

Yeah. It is actually.


Leslie Early

Yeah. Yeah. And so speaking of which, there people are using this and I see people using it on LinkedIn all the time. And so you had a great idea when we were brainstorming this episode to maybe ask some of those users or people who are curious if they have questions, because maybe it's something that you are I wouldn't have thought of. So let's transition into some of those questions. And we got this off of your LinkedIn post. And so I will attempt to pronounce these people's names correctly. And if I don't, I apologize. But the first the first question comes from Bhavani, nada Kumar, and they ask, how can we deliver a differentiated learning experience using seven taps? Can I incorporate audio and video components to the micro learning experience?


Kate Udalova

That's a great question, actually. And we should start by defining what a differentiated learning experiences and when needed actually, because, you know, he has proven that to a certain extent, learners have a predisposition to like verbal riddles and visual puzzles. And this facilitate memorization process, though, I've seen interfaces that are not intuitive to users and are too disruptive for an optimal learning experience. And I think it all started with the advent of technologies because there are many products on the market whose product vision seems to have been driven by software developers and not educators. And users are just feel tempted to back in their courses with all possible features, and sometimes at the expense of the educational value. And speaking about certain tabs, you can spice up courses with various types of cards, which are enough to keep the learner engaged, but at the same time, don't distract from the content itself. And I think it's very important. You can mix text based cards with GIFs images, with quizzes with audio components, we call them sound bites. And also you can use links and send learners to your website page to YouTube or to a longer form traditionally learning course, if you want. And as for the video components. That's a question I receive quite often. And currently, we do not support them. But this choice is well informed. You know, video creation takes time and tons of efforts, actually, you have to write a script, to shoot the video, then process the file, then hosted somewhere, and let alone You need a team and good equipment. And if you need to update some information, you'll have to reshoot everything. And I worked on several projects where we created video based courses. And I know all the pitfalls very well. So one of the advantages of sound camps is a lightning fast creation of content. And there are many other cool products to help you shoot and upload videos. And with seven taps link card, you can always attach this video to your course. And by the way, sound bites are perfect alternatives to video. They are cost effective. They're fast in production, and they're pretty engaging as far as I can see from the statistics.


Leslie Early

Yeah, yeah. And you make that's a great point, it does take a lot to produce your own custom videos. But there's nothing stopping you from linking out to some of those resources if you do have them or linking out to like YouTube or Vimeo or things like that, that are generally available to the public. So I think that's, it's, it's interesting that you've put that much thought into it. It's not just like, Oh, you know, we just don't have the structure to support that type of functionality. It's like, no, this was a conscious choice. And we keep it this way. So that it so that your authoring processes is as fast as possible, because that's sort of the point, right?


Kate Udalova

Yeah.


Leslie Early

So, the next question here is from Priyanka Wheatley, and they say what key points should be kept in mind in the design and delivery of micro learning for a varied audience? And how should one go about it?


Kate Udalova

Another great question actually. And I suggest starting with defining a specific learning objective, think about what is the purpose of your micro learning course. Then make an estimate of the current average level of knowledge of the audience on the topic and if that's difficult to estimate, then assume no previous knowledge, it's important then, based on the specific learning that objectives and current level of knowledge of the audience make the decision if micro learning is the appropriate tool to reach your goal? If their answer is yes, then consider the resources available. And then find the key concepts related to the topic you want to teach to avoid bombarding your learners with unnecessary information. And, you know, if there are too many key concepts you, you want to deliver that consider creating multiple micro learning modules. Don't forget about the cognitive load of your loaders. And if we speak about designing the course, think about who are the subjects of the load and how they're defined? Where they're allocated? Why did they learn what makes them make the effort? And what are the outcomes of learning. And also, I personally support the idea of inclusivity. When it comes to designing courses, I suggest keeping in mind gender neutral language, or pictures with people of different backgrounds and color of skin. For instance, our users explore the full potential of using gifts in their courses. You know, instead of a human, you can include a Final Fantasy character or a cute animal. And learners are relaxed and entertained. And there's less room for accusing an educator of being prejudiced. And I personally tried to do my best to help educators to be in the picture. by posting about this issue on LinkedIn, you can also take advantage of one of my favorite courses, which is devoted to using gender neutral language. You can check it out on the sand taps landing page. And when it does


Leslie Early

I looked at that one this morning. Like a few minutes ago.


Kate Udalova

How did you like it?


Leslie Early

I really it was great. And it is very succinct. And yeah, I think it's a great application for micro learning. So yeah, I really enjoyed it. Yeah, me too.


Kate Udalova

Actually, I share all the author's opinions. And it's a fantastic course. I'm crossing my fingers. That I have to be impartial about our final leaf. Yeah. Well, when it comes to delivery, you should keep in mind where your learner's are. Most probably they're on their phones, right? So I suggest double checking the way your content looks on smartphone screens. And so seven tabs, we guarantee that your course will look great on any device. And in contrast to add a course author into seven camps is my bio First, well adaptive to desktop. No, not vice versa.


Leslie Early

So yeah, so I hope that that was helpful. That certainly shed a lot of light for me. So I hope that was helpful for Priyanka. But let's move on to this one comes from Chris corral, who is actually a former guest on the show. So and they Yeah, yeah. So he was here for communities of practice. So I'm excited to see he has a question for you. How does seven taps work in a learning stack doesn't replace the LMS or work within it?


Kate Udalova

Well, technically seven tabs is a learning management system itself. It's a free browser based course author into and it has the ability to deliver your courses and to track the performance. However, seven taps was designed to work within your existing elearning ecosystem. And we are not aiming to replace our the LMS. Your seven tabs to warm up and engage your learners before a training session. Use it to create summaries, reminders, follow ups to boost knowledge retention afterwards, or use it to deliver instructions and some tips. Nevertheless, there are some cases where seven camps can be used as the only solution for personal training. But this applies to micro businesses where there are no training specialists, no instructional designers. And there are no budgets actually. And in such cases, the business owners themselves create courses and deliver them. And for such companies certain tabs, you know, is a kind of a game changer.


Leslie Early

You actually mentioned a lot of things that I think about when I think about seven tabs and that I seen maybe some examples of this. I like that it's like as a summary, maybe or Cliff Notes, you know, the company cliff notes that gives like the summaries of books and things for like college students similar to that. And also I like the idea of What you just said, which I hadn't seen, hadn't considered, but using it as, as a way to remind people, it could be a summary function. But like, as you said, like, at intervals after they may be finished a different course or a different learning experience, and use this as a way to like, fight against the forgetting curve a little bit. I think that's really clever that I had not considered that before. But I can see that being a very useful application of it, especially with the SMS functionality that you you have added.


Kate Udalova

Yeah, and you know, companies who have already introduced seven taps into the E learning ecosystems, or at least have tried it once can see their statistics. And it speaks volumes about the efficiency of this approach, without reminders and without follow ups. knowledge retention is noticeably lower. So yeah, it's a great way to start.


Leslie Early

Yeah. So um, let's move on to this one comes from Richard Mendoza, he says, would it would be great to hear strategies on changing the outdated views of learning to modern micro learning experiences? I guess he's just thinking about your thoughts on this. And I'm sure you have a lot.


Kate Udalova

Yeah, actually, this is my favorite question, sir, about this? Because, you know, it sounds like a tricky question, actually. It somehow contrasts outdated approaches to more than micro learning, is if my cologne was supposed to replace something. But that's not the case. Good. An effective learning is always a blend of experience and micro learning makes sense as a part of a strategy. And as you prepare for the stakeholder conversation, I suggest you starting from the questions that must be answered to set the page. The first one, what is the desired business outcome? The second one, what is the root problem? And the third one, what kind of training is the idea of solution? Once you've determined that microlearning is the best solution, then it all depends on who you're going to convince. Because as for instructional designers, they love exploring new tools, and you don't have to talk anyone into it. Just give them a to show them how it works, and they will be happy to adapt it. And as for organizations, and l&d managers in particular, you know, they usually just need to see the figures, if you consider creating micro content with seven taps, it is cost effective and 10. Saving. And that's actually what any company is looking for. And the way we've achieved this efficiency can be easily explained. Seven tabs is a web based tool, you don't have to install any software, all you need is a desktop browser and the internet. It doesn't take much work on your end, as everything in seven tabs is already pre designed for you. And that's the fastest way to create mobile frustrating natural not to say that we provide one click sharing and one click access to the learning content. Seems we have a forever free Community Edition. Anyone can try it and see how seven tabs may benefit your organization. You know, I don't even have to sell the product. Actually. I have to ask people to give it a try. And they fall in love with beads. Just you know, in a clique in a snap. It's all about the product.


Leslie Early

Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. And and I think you're right that I don't think necessarily that modern micro learning has to replace anything. I think a lot of things are going to stay the same. We just know now that the biggest challenge for instructional designers and learning experienced designers right now, I think, is answering those three questions that you mentioned. Because there is going to we're experiencing the renaissance in solutions. Like we have a lot of problems, but we're getting more and more options for how to solve these problems. So if micro learning is the best solution, then we have something like seven tabs readily available, but that's not replacing, that's not going to be the solution to every problem. Right. So I like that you point that out that that's that's a something to consider is that, you know, we have so many options available and I think that's exciting and we have so many tools and seven taps is just an amazing tool for This very specific type of problem or type of learning experience. So that's my two cents on that. Thank you for the question, Richard. Um, let's keep going. Okay, we have a question from Diana Salazar, it says, How can one integrate micro learning into traditional learning concepts? Like workshops? So this sounds a little bit similar to Richards I think it's also trying to find the the the space, the niche for micro learning and how that fits in with, you know, other types of learning experiences. Yeah, yeah.


Kate Udalova

You know, I can add that micro learning ideally feeds into traditional learning concepts, it enhances their efficiency, actually. And, to start with playing with it, I suggest adapting the practice of bite sized modules to what you already have in your company. just divide the information you want to deliver into short learning nuggets or guidelines, which you can send learners before a workshop or another traditional trading activity. And afterwards, as a summary, just puts your main ideas, contacts, some inspirational materials, some useful links. And I'm confident that great Schilling micro learning, and seven taps will become part and parcel of your learning ecosystem. Because the content is fast to produce is to consume and you'll see how your learners will love it. So just just standing in it. Nice big device.


Leslie Early

Yeah. Yeah. And specifically, the thing that stands out to me about Diana's question is she's asking about workshops. So in my head, based on your answers to all of the questions that came before this one, I'm thinking like, okay, imagining a workshop, whether that's a virtual workshop, or in person workshop, when we can do those, again, I'm having something like seven tabs ready to go, like, yes, you have your workshop, but maybe you know, these all day long workshops, it's a lot of content to absorb, you know, an eight hours worth of information. So having a few seven taps, micro learning reminders, or summaries, as you said before, like these little things that sort of can come out a week after the A few days after the workshop a week after the workshop, something to take away from that. And to remind you, of what you have learned. So that you don't, it doesn't you go there for one day, and then you forget it next week, it's all gone. So I imagined that that's a great use of seven taps in a way that it can be integrated with a workshop experience. But that's just me thinking out loud.


Kate Udalova

You realize the potential, because after just an hour learner will forget nearly 60% of delivered information, you know, without reminders, you will to have enough and actually with your learning content.


Leslie Early

Yeah. So thank you. I mean, I feel like we covered a lot. I'm so grateful to these. Yeah, I'm grateful to these people who have submitted their questions. And I'm so grateful to you, Kate, for taking the time to answer them. And coming on That's Awesome ID and talking about microlearning a little bit more with me.


Kate Udalova

Yeah, me too. It's a pleasure for me.


Leslie Early

Yeah. So I guess there's so much more just this short conversation with you. I can tell you have so much more to say about this. So if people had more questions or wanted to connect with you, what's the best way to you know, continue this conversation?


Kate Udalova

Well, you can find me at LinkedIn. I'm Katie de Lobo, founder of seven tabs, and I enjoy meeting new people and I'm open to communication. Or you can email me directly. Kate at seven taps that comm I will respond as fast as they can.


Leslie Early

Yeah, you must be very busy running a business you must be very busy. But yes. So again, thank you so much for joining me and I look forward to seeing all of these amazing Seven Taps examples that I keep seeing it's it's a lot of fun.


Kate Udalova

Yeah. Thanks for having me.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai