Microlearning 101

"Micro learning is learning in small steps: Scientific, Effective, Easy


A. "What Is Microlearning: A Complete Guide for Beginners" (post; doc) introduces guiding principles for "small learning units or short-term learning activities."

1. Key Point: "Microtraining delivers short bursts of content for learners to study at their convenience."

  • "Content can take many forms, from text to full-blown interactive multimedia, but should always be short."
  • Though more common in industry, it can be successfully used for chunking a lecture or content, for online or in-class active-learning activities, or as introduction/review exercises.
  • Note: While microlearning cannot replace a course or lectures, it is an excellent supplementation strategy for introducing, reviewing, summarizing, practicing, and reinforcing focused knowledge and skills.

2. See also

B. "What Is Microlearning: A Complete Guide for Beginners" (post; doc)

1. "Microlearning Content Examples"

  • "Text (phrases, short paragraphs)"
  • "Images (photos, illustrations)"
  • "Videos (of the short variety)"
  • "Audio (short snippets of speech or music)"
  • "Tests and Quizzes"
  • "Games (e.g. simple single-screen challenges)"

2. "Benefits of Microlearning"

a. "It’s Faster To Deliver"

  • "Fewer things to write means shorter course delivery times."
  • "This lets you respond faster to changing ... goals and new ...demands."

b. "It's More Affordable"

  • "You don’t ... need any special 'microlearning tools' to create your content; a regular LMS content editor will do." 

c. "It's Flexible"

  • It "can cover any subject that regular eLearning courses can, just in a bite-sized way."
  • "[C]reate courses that give a broad overview of a subject or ... for complex topics."

d. "Learners Find It More Engaging"

  • It is more like "checking your favorite social app on your smartphone, compared to the 'serious study' feel of regular training."

e. "It Boosts Knowledge Retention"

  • "[W]hen you study something repeatedly and revisit it when you are close to forgetting it, you retain it much better."
  • "Such repeated study fits nicely with microlearning units since they are small, self-contained, and easy to return to."

f. "It Gives Learners More Freedom"

  • It "lets your learners enjoy casual learning whenever they have some spare time ... [and is] also easy to download and take with you when offline."

3. What Are the Limits of Microlearning?

a. "It's Not Ideal for Complex Concepts"

  • "It’s still possible but will require more effort."
  • "[Y]ou’ll need to break down the concept into simple parts."
  • "That said, a bite-sized course is a great way to give a high-level view of a subject."

b. "It's Not Suited for In-Depth Training"

  • "For example, you can use it to learn conversational German, but not to study German literature."
  • "Still, in many cases ... a short self-contained course is exactly what’s needed."

4. Microlearning Best Practices

a. "Check Whether It’s Right For Your Use Case"

  • "If your subject matter is complex, requires in-depth study, or calls for in-person training, microlearning is probably not for you."
  • "That said, it might still be a good fit as a supplementary training method."

b. "Skim the Fat"

  • "Don’t just paste chunks of your regular eLearning material into a microlearning unit and call it a day."
  • "Write short and focused content that captures the essence of what you’re trying to teach."

c. "Use Multimedia to Spice Things Up"

  • "Text alone will bore your learners."
  • "Add relevant multimedia assets such as videos, photos, illustrations, and animations to keep their interest."
  • "Choose the multimedia carefully ... [to] add to your subject, not just make it look 'pretty.'"

d. "Turn on Gamification to Boost Engagement"

If your microlearning platform supports gamification, add a few elements to your courses. Gamification, the not-so-secret engagement weapon of regular eLearning, is even more engaging if you combine it with a mobile-based microlearning experience.

e. "Use Micro-Assessments to Assess Progress"

Microlearning goes well with, you got it, micro-assessments. Use mini tests and short quizzes to make sure your learners are progressing with training goals.

C. Types of Microlearning Solutions (p. 13)

Microlearning can be created in a wide variety of forms: animations, GIFs, interactive resources, infographics, simulations, curated resource portal, ebooks, quizzes, audio, mobile apps, flipbooks, broadcasts, games, videos, digital flashcards, concept & process maps, whiteboard animations, blog


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