Designing Micro-Learning Experiences with Gloria Southerland

We recently got to sit down with one of the premiere human resource guru’s around — Gloria Southerland of Human Resource DesignGloria has more than 27 years of management consulting experience, primarily in the areas of leadership development, talent, performance management and customer service. We got to talk with her about where micro-learning has been, where it’s going, and how you can leverage Jubi to create an incredible learning experience. 

1.  What is the difference between how you designed learning even 5 yrs ago as compared to today?

 5 years ago, everything I did was Power Point based for visuals and then scripted either in Power Point or Word for facilitator guides. If there was video involved, it would not be embedded in the training, but the facilitator would be prompted to show all or a portion of a video and then discuss it. The majority of what I created was classroom based, facilitator-led training. I have helped create some e-learning programs, but had to partner with e-learning designers and technicians to convey what I wanted to have happen and how I wanted it to look and they would build it. Then it was tremendously time-consuming to proof and request edits to the e-learning modules.

Now, I still create a lot of classroom based training, but can intersperse it through online platform based learning. This lets me take content that really doesn’t need to be facilitator-led out of the classroom experience and can now be done as pre-work, interval learning, or post-work after a workshop. So workshop time can be dedicated to what truly needs to happen in an interactive, team-based style.

But now, I also have the capability to create training for clients who don’t want to do classroom style training, or for whom bringing in people from various locations or pulling them out of work for a day or more is not feasible. By creating learning on Jubi, I can still create interactive learning but in a different way, through network conversations, sharing, etc. Learning can be created in smaller chunks, so learners can complete it in segments that fit into their schedule.

When using Jubi, instead of scripting everything into a facilitator guide for a facilitator to say slide by slide, I now move a lot of that into video scripts that are 2-5 minutes in length, so learners can watch/listen to a section of content, do some kind of reinforcing activity or reflection with it, and then move to the next challenge at their own pace.

2.  When you start a new project, what are the basic considerations you take into account?

I need to understand who my “learner audience” is and what it is that they need to learn or master. I typically build an outline of the topics/content and keep fleshing out the outline until it starts becoming evident how to break into Quests. The nice thing is that in Jubi, I can start building, and then if I later decide that content should be in a different order, I can just slide it around. Once I’ve got my outline built out, I start identifying the subtopics in each Quest, which are the challenges. I figure out what information needs to be delivered, and whether it needs to be in a video, visual or an assignment, etc.

I think a lot about how to make each challenge interesting and unique, so it never feels like you are doing the same thing challenge after challenge. I try to use a wide variety of the question/activity options that Jubi has built into it, and I try keep the visuals engaging and a bit quirky (if appropriate to the audience). I think about how to encourage online sharing and where it is most beneficial to do that. I think about what could/should be pushed to “To-Do” items for the learner to do away from their desk, on their own time.

3.  There’s lots of talk today about the modern-learner, does that refer to just the millennial or is that a reference to an overall shift in learning?  

I think it’s both. There is definitely a need to create training for the millennial audience that wants shorter bursts of learning, is comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas in a “social media” network, and appreciates instant feedback/gratification of knowing whether they got an answer right or not, or whether others think the same way they do about something. But, I also think modern-learning means accommodating companies’ needs to deliver training in interesting, engaging ways that don’t require everyone to physically sit in a classroom together to learn something at the same time.

4.  What is it about JUBI that helps you as an ID achieve your objectives?  

 It gives me an alternative platform for creating interactive, engaging training beyond the classroom. It also helps me shift pre-work and post-learning follow-up to a fun platform, allowing me to be creative. It’s easy enough to learn the authoring tools that you don’t need to depend on e-learning technology folks to build things for you. It’s fun to work in the platform, so I truly look forward to getting to my desk to work on a project or start a new project! It’s also created an opportunity for me to learn some new skills and a new technology, so it keeps design work fresh for me. After 26 years of primarily building classroom training, it’s really nice to get to learn something new and put it into action.


Gloria has more than 27 years of management consulting experience, primarily in the areas of leadership development, talent, performance management and customer service. She specializes in developing and implementing customized learning programs, tools, and training, all designed to address the unique business drivers and culture of each client. Her in-depth subject matter expertise, keen strategic insights and effective communications skills uniquely qualify Gloria to help companies and leaders convey what needs to be said in ways that people inherently understand and embrace.

With a background in Human Resource management and consulting, Gloria has taught Principles of Management and Organizational Behavior for the schools of Business Administration at a number of universities in Georgia, and is guest lecturer for Kennesaw State University’s Executive MBA program. She holds a BBA and an MBA degree in Human Resources/Organizational Communication from the University of Georgia, and certifications in the Judgment Index, DISC Inventory and Hogan Assessment Systems. Gloria is also the co-author of Roadmap to Remarkable! which brings to life the key messages and formulas for being a Remarkable leader and creating Remarkable cultures.

Ready to start your modern learning journey? Want to learn more about micro-learning?  Download our free resource – The Shift to Modern Learning.

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