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Everything You Need to Know About Microlearning Right Now

Technology has erased geographical borders and helped the world emerge as one global village. Even during the pandemic, work did not stop, thanks to technology. Lots of organizations have turned to YouTube and other eLearning platforms to stay up to date with ever changing and emerging technologies and experienced different methodologies of learning. But how efficient can this learning be? Can microlearning help?

According to German Psychologist Ebbinghaus, learners will forget 90 percent of what they learn within 30 days, if not given some help to retain what they learn. He also added that learning is effective when it is spaced over a period of time.

Explore how blended learning can beat the forgetting curve.

So, what could be the learning approach for a world of employees with jam-packed schedules, dwindling attention spans, a hundred tasks to do, and a ton of distractions?

Well, it is microlearning!

What is Microlearning? 

Microlearning is a training approach that deals with relatively small learning units, each focusing on a single learning objective. In simple words, it is a learning bite of information that a learner could complete in about 5 to 10 minutes to achieve a specific learning objective. Learners should be able complete a microlearning asset in in one go.

Advantages of Microlearning for Corporate Training 

Time: As the name suggests, microlearning has a short learning structure that doesn’t take up much time, and can fit anywhere in busy schedules. The course delivery time is much shorter and is available to the learner at their moment of need.

Accessibility: Microlearning is meant to be accessed at any point in time, which makes it a perfect way to learn on a smartphone or tablet. It also includes a variety of content types such as videos, audios, GIFs, quizzes, etc., according to one’s preferences.

Flexibility: Microlearning can be used for almost any subject or topic. It can also be accessed from almost anywhere and at any point in time. They can be accessed in one’s spare time or while traveling or waiting for a doctor’s appointment.

Engagement: These small courses that take a few minutes to complete engage learners easily from the beginning to the end. Microlearning modules have high completion rates and provide a sense of accomplishment that in turn motivates one to learn more.

Better retention: Studies have shown that microlearning is ~17% more efficient in transferring knowledge than typical classroom training. Research has proved that information delivered in short, focused chunks is easy to learn and remember.

Types of Microlearning Solutions

Microlearning can be used in almost any area of corporate training. The solutions can range from small paragraphs of text to infographics, videos, PDFs, and more.

For example, for learning a language, microlearning can be in the form of:

  • Flashcards for vocabulary
  • Infographics showing meanings of words
  • Short audio clips that teach pronunciation
  • Micro quizzes for testing knowledge

Microlearning Formats

How Does Microlearning Differ from Traditional eLearning or Classroom Training?

Unlike classroom learning, microlearning is not meant to provide a comprehensive or detailed learning experience but only short bursts of content for learners to study at their convenience. Classroom learning can have multiple learning objectives whereas microlearning focuses on a specific objective.

Classroom learning has a scope for personal interaction and once it’s done, learners can’t easily get to meet the facilitator easily. A microlearning course on the other hand can be taken multiple times and can also be reused to serve different purposes i.e., what is an introductory course for a beginner could be a refresher course for an expert.

The microlearning experience is meant to be action-oriented and helps learners practice what they’re learning. It can complement classroom learning by helping revisit, revise and assess what was learned.

What Corporate Training Problems Can Microlearning Help Solve? 

Microlearning Negates the Effects of the Forgetting Curve 

Learning is a continuous process. And the key to beat the forgetting curve is to revisit learners’ knowledge periodically. Teaching the same thing again or bringing back learners to the classroom may not be feasible. Microlearning can be used to review and reinforce already learned content and ensure employees continue to go up the learning curve over time.

Microlearning Preps Learners for Online/Classroom Training

Quizzes, flashcards, or infographics can be used to recap information.

Learners’ existing knowledge can also be assessed with the help of mini quizzes which will also ensure that their knowledge is refreshed.

Microlearning in the form of video GIFs, infographics and short videos can be a good way of introducing a topic, giving them a hint of what’s going to come their way.

Promotes a Learning Culture

Continual opportunities for learning will promote a learning culture. Training content can be reused and configured into multiple microlearning assets providing learners a choice to pick the topic they want to learn – in their preferred format.

Various Formats of Microlearning Assets

Offers Performance Support/Refresher Training

Short size and availability in different formats makes microlearning ideal for performance support as well as refresher training. Microlearning modules are fast and easy to develop, update, and maintain, thus making training fast and flexible. 

Parting Thoughts

While microlearning could be the solution you were looking for to address most training problems, it might not work in a few situations – where the subject is too complex, technical, or when learners are new to a subject. However, microlearning can still be used to complement other training formats in such cases.

To understand more about microlearning and how to use it, check out this eBook.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Where Does Microlearning Fit in Your Learning Strategy?