What is “Microlearning”?
Microlearning can be defined as eLearning that delivers content to learners in small, discrete chunks. Typically, the learner is in control of what and when they’re learning. Or put more simply, “short content” – that’s often referred to as “snackable”.
But business buzzwords often get a lot of attention, which isn’t necessarily justified by the evidence. So…
Is Microlearning hype, or helpful?
We can consider some of the “best practice” approaches to delivering good-quality learning – specifically as regards microlearning.
a) Make quality not quantity our goal. Sadly, some e-learning producers hide behind bulk content. Short-form approaches expose content producers to much closer scrutiny. Microlearning allows good producers to hone the content development process, to create small amounts of great content. This can be a really big win for eLearning – yet, surprisingly, microlearning is often more expensive to produce.
b) Move from learner ‘push’ to a learner ‘pull’. We know that learning is far more successful when the learners are given control of their learning. The nature of microlearning tends to enable this – with “snackable” content driving both uptake and learner exploration.
c) Focus on one key learning objective per content piece. With long-form course content, it’s tempting to “pad out” the material, leading to slow, boring learning – which often lacks structure. Microlearning is terse, precise and succinct. This gives learners a rapid sense of progress, reduces barriers to uptake, and improves engagement. The inherent structure of microlearning can also help learners acquire better mental models of key concepts.
If you’d like to see examples of microlearning in action, the following general-purposes courses make use of this technique.
- Social Media Awareness, by Learning Heroes – a 5 minute animated module, together with an assessment quiz. This explains Social Media, and the 10 steps that people should follow to ensure they use it responsibly. Just what’s needed to get the key points home with no wasted minutes.
- Unconsicous Bias, by Marshall ACM – a 10 minute video-based module with individual lessons assessments. This features a subject matter expert from the ENEI (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion). The course shares everyday examples, where unconscious bias comes into play – and how individuals can take practical steps to avoid it.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on microlearning – so please reply to this email, with any questions or comments you have. We can also help you choose courses – whether microlearning, or traditional.