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  • Writer's pictureMadhumita Chakraborty

Small Format, Big Impact: Unleashing the Benefits of Microlearning

Have you ever wondered why mirrors reflect horizontally instead of vertically? Curious about how touch screens function? Interested in the origins of mathematical symbols?

You can learn or find answers by watching short 5 minute videos which are addressing these questions.

This is Microlearning !!


Welcome to the world of microlearning, where knowledge is easily accessible and digestible.

microlearning

Beyond fascinating trivia, microlearning extends beyond platforms and includes various approaches to presenting ideas in small size, in other words “bite-sized units”. Statistic Brain's data reveals a significant decline in human attention span over the years. In 2000, it was 12 seconds, but as we approach 2015, it has reduced to only 8.25 seconds. This decline increases the need for innovative educational methods like microlearning.

Microlearning, adapted to cater to the requirements and preferences and has demonstrated its effectiveness in terms of increased engagement, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.


But what exactly does this type of training involve?


Let us understand all the essential information about the microlearning method, its definitions, established benefits of microlearning and practical examples. Explore the world of microlearning and unlock its potential to revolutionize your teaching approach.


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What is Microlearning?


Microlearning is a method of teaching and delivering content to learners in a small, easily manageable short format that last around 3 to 5 minutes. This approach focuses on providing specific and targeted learning outcomes at the exact moment where they are needed. In this particular type of learning, learners have control over what and when they learn, allowing them to complete their training at their convenience, fitting it into their busy schedules.


Think about how you consume information in your daily life. You probably come across short snippets of content on your social media feed or receive brief news updates on your mobile phone. Microlearning takes advantage of this behaviour by presenting information in a similar way—manageable short bursts that are engaging and easy to understand.


The idea behind microlearning is rooted in the Hermann Ebbinghaus forgetting curve, which shows that when people are exposed to a large amount of information, they tend to forget a significant portion of it over time. In fact, within a month, individuals typically lose about 80% of the knowledge they initially learned.

forgetting curve

Microlearning addresses this issue by breaking down information into small, manageable chunks. It allows learners to revisit the training materials over time, reinforcing key points and improving retention. By incorporating microlearning into their daily workflow, learners can better retain and apply the knowledge they acquire.


Examples of microlearning


Microlearning content comes in various formats, but the most important aspect is that it is short and to the point.


Here are some examples of microlearning formats:


Text: Brief paragraphs, messages, or hints.

Images: Illustrations, photos, or visual aids.

Videos: Short and engaging explanatory videos, similar to what you see on social media.

Audio: Short snippets of speech or music.

Interactive elements: Quizzes, games, flashcards, and other interactive activities that make learning fun and engaging.


Here's a table showcasing how microlearning can be utilized to deliver various learning solutions:

Learning Solution

Microlearning Approach

Product Knowledge

Short video modules explaining key product features

Language Learning

Interactive flashcards with vocabulary and pronunciation exercises

Compliance Training

Infographics or animated videos highlighting key regulations

Sales Techniques

Micro-simulations presenting different sales scenarios

Software Skills Development

Bite-sized tutorials on specific software functionalities

Customer Service Training

Role-playing exercises through short video demonstrations

Onboarding Orientation

Quick modules providing an overview of company culture and values

Leadership Development

Case studies or short scenarios highlighting leadership skills

Safety Procedures

Animated videos demonstrating step-by-step safety protocols

Professional Development Tips

Short text-based tips or quotes with actionable insights

Benefits of Microlearning


Microlearning offers several key benefits, here are some details about the its advantages:


1. Quick to complete: Microlearning presents information in bite-sized modules that can be consumed in a short amount of time. Learners can fit these short sessions into their busy schedules which leads to a higher completion rate.


2. Easy to deliver: Microlearning can be delivered through various formats such as text, images, videos and interactive elements. Its adaptable nature allows for easy distribution across different platforms and devices which ensures better accessibility to learners.


3. Better suited to the modern learner: In the age of information, the modern learner prefers quick and focused learning experiences. Microlearning caters to their needs by delivering specific knowledge or skills


4. Boosts engagement: The compact nature of microlearning, combined with interactive elements and multimedia content, enhances learner engagement. It captures attention, maintains interest and promotes active participation in the learning process.


5. Increases knowledge retention: By breaking down information into manageable chunks, microlearning helps combat the forgetting curve. Learners have the opportunity to revisit and reinforce key concepts over time, leading to better retention and application of knowledge.


6. Enables self-paced learning: Microlearning empowers learners to take control of their own learning journey. They can progress at their own pace, revisiting modules as needed and focusing on areas that require more attention. This flexibility promotes personalized and effective learning experiences.


Limitations of Microlearning


While microlearning offers numerous benefits, it also has some limitations to consider:


1. Limited depth: Due to its condensed nature, microlearning may not provide in-depth knowledge on complex subjects. It focuses on delivering specific information or skills, which may not be sufficient for comprehensive understanding or mastery.


2. Fragmented learning: Microlearning modules are often standalone units, which can lead to fragmented learning experiences. Learners may struggle to connect the dots between different concepts or lack a holistic understanding of the subject matter.


3. Lack of context: Microlearning typically focuses on isolated topics, which may lack the broader context or real-world application. Without contextualization, learners may find it challenging to transfer the acquired knowledge or skills to practical situations.


4. Limited interactivity: While interactive elements can enhance engagement, some microlearning formats may have limited interactivity due to their brevity. This could restrict hands-on practice, collaborative activities, or immersive simulations that are valuable for certain learning objectives.


5. Potential superficiality: Due to time constraints, microlearning may provide a surface-level understanding of a subject. It may not allow for deep exploration, critical thinking, or in-depth analysis, which are necessary for complex or nuanced topics.


6. Compatibility with all topics: Microlearning may not be suitable for all types of content or learning objectives. Some subjects may require a more comprehensive approach or longer durations to ensure thorough comprehension.

microlearning | best practice

Microlearning best practices


To ensure the effectiveness of your microlearning initiatives, it's essential to follow best practices. Here are some key points to consider:


1. Make your microlearning mobile-friendly: With the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, optimizing your microlearning content for mobile devices is crucial. This enables learners to access the materials anytime, anywhere, aligning with their on-the-go lifestyles.


2. Provide seamless access: Make it easy for learners to access microlearning content. Utilize a user-friendly platform or learning management system that allows for smooth navigation and intuitive access to modules, ensuring a hassle-free learning experience.


3. Use videos: Videos are highly engaging and effective in delivering information in a concise manner. Leverage videos to explain concepts, demonstrate procedures, or present case studies. Ensure the videos are short, visually appealing, and feature clear audio.


4. Use gamification: Incorporate gamification elements, such as quizzes, challenges, or leaderboards, to enhance learner engagement and motivation. Gamified microlearning experiences provide a sense of accomplishment and make the learning process enjoyable.


5. Keep it concise: Remember that the essence of microlearning lies in its brevity. Keep the content concise and focused on specific learning objectives. Break down complex topics into easily digestible modules, enabling learners to grasp key information quickly.


Microlearning FAQ


Let's review some frequently asked questions about microlearning:


1. What exactly is microlearning?


Microlearning is an approach to learning that delivers information or learning modules in short, bite-sized bursts. It focuses on providing specific and concise content to learners, typically lasting a few minutes, with the aim of delivering targeted learning outcomes.


2. What are the benefits of microlearning?


Microlearning offers several benefits, including increased learner engagement, better knowledge retention, flexibility for self-paced learning, efficient use of time, and ease of access through various devices. It aligns well with the preferences and needs of the modern learner.


3. How can microlearning be implemented?


Microlearning can be implemented by breaking down larger training programs into smaller modules, delivering them through various formats like videos, infographics, or interactive activities. It can be integrated into learning management systems or accessible through mobile apps or online platforms.


4. Is microlearning suitable for all types of learning content?


Microlearning is effective for delivering specific information, knowledge, or skills. It may not be suitable for complex or in-depth topics that require a more comprehensive approach. However, it can complement other learning methods and be a valuable component of blended learning strategies.


5. How can microlearning enhance learner engagement?


Microlearning often incorporates multimedia elements, interactive activities, and gamification, which make the learning experience more engaging and enjoyable. The short and focused nature of microlearning also keeps learners motivated and less overwhelmed compared to longer training sessions.


6. Can microlearning replace traditional training methods entirely?


Microlearning is not meant to replace traditional training methods entirely, but rather to complement and enhance them. It is particularly effective for just-in-time learning, reinforcement of knowledge, or addressing specific learning gaps. Blending microlearning with other approaches can create a more comprehensive and effective learning experience.

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Jul 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

A good read.... Fantastic blog... The content is well organized and engaging. Good to read about the valuable insight written over... Thanks for writing. 💯

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