So whats Microlearning really all about?

Faisal Khan
.
May 21
.
5-8 mins

Table of contents

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Microlearning

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a technique for learning new knowledge in small increments. Microlearning sessions are typically under ten minutes long and can be completed in as little as one minute. While there is no official definition of microlearning, all microlearning-based training has one thing in common: it is brief. Small learning units or short-term learning activities could be used.

Micro-training provides learners with small bursts of knowledge to study at their leisure. Content can take numerous forms, ranging from text to fully interactive multimedia, but it must always be concise. 

It's worth noting at this point that not all microlearning apps support all of these content kinds. Even though bite-sized training has been increasingly popular in recent years, it has a long history that predates computers. But it took off when it came into contact with the modern smartphone. So much so that the most popular microlearning platforms resemble a cross between Twitter and Instagram, but for education.

Microlearning is a near-perfect training paradigm in this day of hectic schedules and short attention spans. It can also be utilized for many types of training. Employee onboarding, compliance training, and skills training are all examples of microlearning.

What are the benefits of Microlearning?

Micro eLearning isn't simply a result of our internet-age short attention spans or a mediocre eLearning methodology for when we don't have much time. In reality, science supports it as a reliable and effective learning tool.

It's proven by research that we learn more when we study in short focused bursts rather than sitting through an hour-long lesson. Microlearning also happens to be a fantastic fit for the present age, when everyone has a smartphone and many individuals have plenty of free time, such as long commutes, to work.

While primitive forms of microlearning, such as flashcards and quiz books, have been around for over a century, when combined with modern eLearning, they become even more powerful, as they can access vast content repositories, and add multimedia, use gamification strategies, and use techniques like spaced repetition. 

However, the following are the benefits of microlearning. 

1. Quick content consumption 

The key benefit of microlearning is its speed. It should take no more than five to ten minutes to complete a module. Learners can consume the content on the go or while performing daily chores. When talking about workplaces, employees can still learn new skills for their employment if they take the time to do so. Microlearning is a method of learning specific aspects of your job in little chunks with less time commitment and additional benefits that employees can use on a regular basis.

2. Improves learners' engagement

Even persons with long attention spans may find it difficult to stay focused during long learning sessions. People are considerably more willing to sit through learning or training when they know it will only take a few minutes. Most people are wired to engage with new knowledge for shorter periods of time rather than longer. This is addressed with microlearning, which keeps people engaged.

3. Improves knowledge retention

Small activities can readily be integrated into ordinary tasks. Microlearning supports self-directed lifelong learning as we are more likely to remember information if we recall it over and over again. Learning in between and on-demand can be done in little steps with small chunks of information. Small doses of information to review what has been taught aid in the reinforcement of knowledge and memory. Microlearning allows for continuous training and the retention of knowledge over time.

4. Enables on the go learning

Microlearning can be easily accessed by any device, not just computers, because it focuses on brief, bite-sized training sessions. Employees may find it challenging to keep up with larger training courses and might lose interest or forget past information, forcing them to retrace their steps before continuing. Microlearning and mobile learning work together to allow you to learn on the go. Short, bite-sized lessons can be simply included in a hectic schedule. Learn almost anywhere, at any time.

5. Supports self-paced and personalized learning

With microlearning, people can use a learning style that suits them. They can find a customized solution in microlearning rather than having to adhere to a rigid, scheduled course of study. Traditional training and learning courses can be tough for people to complete since they often contain knowledge that isn't relevant to their profiles. Microlearning allows you to build your own learning paths out of brief, useful learning modules that don't include any unnecessary material. It also makes it easier to recommend different modules and subjects based on your interests, allowing for more personalized and flexible learning routes.

How does Microlearning work?

The learner is typically given 3-6 minutes in any particular module to accomplish one specific objective by completing an action item such as:

  • Answering a question after seeing a short instructional video.
  • Playing an online educational game that teaches a specific skill.
  • Answering a short series of questions after reading an executive summary.
  • Looking at an infographic and answering a few questions.
  • To prepare for a quiz,  I used virtual flashcards.
  • Participating in a scenario-based simulation.

Microlearning modules are typically downloaded as needed, but they can also be assigned as part of an employee's monthly or quarterly goals.

What are examples of Microlearning?

Content for microlearning can take many different forms. Unsurprisingly, the one non-negotiable is that it must be brief.

Here are some micro-learning formats to consider:

  • Flashcards and short paragraphs are used as text.
  • Illustrations and other visual aids
  • Short and basic explanation videos
  • fragments of voice or music on audio
  • Quizzes or games that put the learner's knowledge to the test

Microlearning solutions that use a range of information formats and imitate the experience we have when scrolling through social media will engage your audience the most. It's all about making learning enjoyable and convenient for the end-user so they can immediately resume where they left off while remaining inspired to keep going.

From onboarding new employees to implementing company-wide safety initiatives, this method of learning can be useful in a variety of situations. Microlearning-enabled businesses have witnessed significant increases in retention and productivity, with some reporting a 99 per cent reduction in time to productivity.

What is the difference between Microlearning and Macro-learning?

Micro-learning

Macro-learning

  • Microlearning is a need-based approach. 
  • Macro-learning, on the other hand, is considered for the development of skill or competence. 
  • Modules generally take around 5-12 minutes to complete. 
  • The macro-learning modules can go for days, months or years as well. 
  • Based on a single concept, skill or problem statement
  • Mooc courses, classroom sessions and educational programs
  • It can be learned through videos, articles, quizzes and games.
  • It includes reference books, practice and graded exercises
  • Available on internet, apps or indexes 
  • Requires human interaction to learn from

Faisal Khan

Faisal is a content marketer at Engati who also dabbles in brand management. As an MBA graduate and a spoken-word poet, he manages to marry his business acumen with an artistic flair.

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