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Behind the Scenes of Creating our Microlearning

By: Aftan Lynch, Research Associate II

One of my favorite parts of working for SPS is the opportunities to get creative with our products, even when that creativity forces me to step outside of my comfort zone—and in front of the camera!

Last fall, our team partnered with Alaska’s Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) to develop the first video of a three-part microlearning series on facilitating coalition meetings. (For a refresh on microlearnings, check out Brittany’s blog post HERE.) We’ve partnered with our clients to develop microlearnings in the past, but this was a unique challenge in that we wanted to personalize this series using the faces of the SPS team. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the lessons we learned during this process and we’ll introduce the final product.

Crafting a Universal Script

One of the initial challenges we faced was composing a script that resonated with a variety of audience members. The prevention field is made up of practitioners with a range of capacities, levels of experience, backgrounds, and roles. We wanted the content to appeal to as many people as possible, both serving as an introduction for beginning learners, and a re-fresher for the seasoned preventionists. After several draft versions with multiple reviewers, we were ready to begin filming.

Lights, Camera, Action

We did our firsts trial run where we ran through the entire script on camera to see how things would turn out. After the trial run, we identified a few elements that were needed to enhance the video quality, including improved lighting and sound. We ultimately intended to add engaging visuals to the video post-production, so we left the background clear of any distracting content. However, we felt the blank background didn’t align with our messaging, so we selected a few plants to enhance the appeal and a add a bit of warmth to the scene. The differences in video quality between our first and final takes can be seen below:

Take 1, Take 2, Take 3…

As with many things in life, recording the microlearning was not a one-and-done process. It took quite a few takes to get it right with many flubs along the way. We learned you can’t predict when you’ll get a knock on the door for a postal delivery or when you’ll slip up on the script. But with each new take, we learned a bit more about how to improve the overall video—whether it be a minor script adjustment or a change in speaking pace. As an unexpected bonus, the resulting bloopers made for a lighthearted outtake reel when we completed the project.

Outtake 1:

Outtake 2:

Drum Roll Please….

We’re proud to present the final product here:

We’re excited that we’ve learned another way to support communities through offering dynamic, customized microlearnings and that we’ve developed a resource that contributes to the learning repository available to practitioners. We plan to apply what we’ve learned in other products we develop —especially the next video in the series which will begin production this summer. While it will feature a new face at SPS, it’ll incorporate the same commitment to developing useful and relevant content for communities. Stay tuned for that!


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