Microlearning: Bite-Sized Lessons for Digestible Learning

Modern professors and employers are discovering that traditional education practices are no longer sufficient for today’s students and employees. Innovation is necessary to help audiences retain information. That’s where microlearning comes in. This form of educating has been shown to promote learning by approximately 18% when compared to traditional methods.

Understanding Microlearning

Microlearning is an education and training approach that breaks from tradition. It emphasizes the use of small, hyper-focused training sessions to help learners retain knowledge. Rather than being focused on a long-term curriculum as conventional educational lessons tend to do, microlearning focuses instead on helping learners develop very specific knowledge and actionable skills. The ultimate goal is to allow the learner to use what they learned during a microlearning session and immediately apply it to real-life scenarios.

Attributes of Good Microlearning Lessons

Are you still unsure of what a good microlearning lesson should look like? That’s OK! Microlearning concepts are still relatively new, so it’s a great idea to research them in greater detail. Here are some of the attributes of effective microlearning lessons:

  • Responsive: The most effective microlearning lessons provide learners with prompt feedback. Microlearning lessons need to be intentionally responsive to learning needs for best results.
  • Timely: Microlearning lessons should always provide knowledge just in time for real-world action. If your place of work is implementing new software, for example, a microlearning lesson will educate learners on how to use that software as it’s being implemented. That way they can immediately apply the knowledge they received instead of being expected to retain it for weeks or months before they’re able to apply it.
  • Customized: There’s no such thing as an effective generic microlearning lesson. These types of lessons should always be customized to deliver only the information the users need at that moment. No unnecessary theory or background information should ever be included in a microlearning lesson.
  • Entertaining: Though the primary purpose of microlearning is to educate and not to entertain, it’s still important to make sure the content is entertaining enough to hold the viewers’ interest.

These attributes all help ensure that the microlearning lesson is as effective as possible and produces immediate, measurable results.

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Microlearning Examples

Microlearning is a broad term that includes a variety of techniques. Some of the most popular types of microlearning include:

  • Microlearning videos
  • Microcopy
  • Infographics
  • Micro-challenges and games
  • Microlearning apps
  • Social media

Many teachers and businesses use a combination of these microlearning techniques to achieve optimal results in the classroom or office.

Benefits for Classrooms and Businesses

There are many great reasons to incorporate microlearning into your classroom strategy or training strategy. It could be the tool you need to improve learning and development or productivity goals. Here are some of the top benefits this type of learning can offer your classroom or place of business.

1) Flexible Learning

Due to the highly targeted nature of microlearning lessons, it’s easier to fit them into busy schedules. These lessons are also typically made to be viewed on tablets or mobile devices, which makes them easier to view from any location. This means your students or employees will have an easier time learning what they need to know without disrupting their normal routines.

2) Higher Engagement

When done right, microlearning lessons are more successful at keeping learners engaged than more traditional educational or training lessons.

3) Easier and Quicker to Consume

Microlearning focuses on small tidbits of highly targeted information, which makes each lesson shorter and easier to consume in one sitting. It’s even possible for employees to still complete their daily tasks while squeezing in brief and effective microlearning sessions.

4) Results in Higher Retention

Since all the unnecessary fluff is eliminated from microlearning lessons, learners have an easier time retaining the critical information they learn. Small segments of training or education that focus on a single concept, task, or idea at a time are easier to absorb than traditional lessons.

DISCOVER MORE | ‘6 Reasons Why Higher-Education Institutions Should Start Offering Microcredentials

How to Create and Incorporate Microlearning Content

To create and incorporate microlearning content into your classroom or office space, keep your target audience in mind. You’re creating content to educate and train a new generation of learners with different expectations than learners in past generations.

When creating microlearning content, make sure you check off the following boxes:

  • Quality: It’s much better to create a few pieces of high-quality microlearning content than dozens of sub-par lessons. Thanks to technological advancements, learners expect high-quality content. Make sure you deliver on those expectations.
  • Have a Single Objective: Remember that every piece of microlearning content needs to be hyper-focused on something. Have a single objective in mind for each lesson and stick with it.
  • Get the Timing Right: Microlearning videos should never go longer than 10 minutes. Otherwise, you defeat the entire purpose of microlearning.

Once you create and implement your microlearning strategy, take note of the results. How are your students or employees receiving the new teaching method? Are you achieving quantifiable results in the classroom or office?

Want to learn more about microlearning and how you can create it in your LMS? Or, alternatively, do you need help with eLearning content creation? Talk to us—we’d love to help!

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