Time is a precious commodity
In the internet age, brevity and speed reign supreme. Just look at our social media feeds, which are melting pots of information, filled to the brim with small and enticing bites of content, designed to capture the most precious and fleeting resource any of us have: time. In this modern environment, hours of content spread over pages of information can easily feel like a daunting time commitment.
Learning should not be daunting, and thanks to microlearning, it doesn’t have to be. Microlearning is a way to learn through bite-sized pieces of information, creating easily digestible lessons. Here is quick explainer video if you are new to the concept of microlearning or if you are confused by the myriad of resources out there on this hot topic.
Make a meal of microlearning!
Microlearning comes in a variety of forms, it can be the first engagement with a topic, which focuses on building foundational knowledge prior to a larger scale learning experience. Think of this type of microlearning as the ‘appetizer’ that prepares the palette for what’s still to come.
If this is an appetizer, then microlearning can also deliver the core of the topic as a hearty dinner. In this case, the microlearning is the main source of transferring learning to the audience. Despite being a main meal, it is important to remember that the information is still served up in bite-sized chunks, easy to eat and not leaving the learner in a state of discomfort!
At the other end, we have our ‘dessert’; more microlearning to close out the topic, which compliments the primary learning experience using reminders of key aspects, terms or ideas found in the main course of the learning experience. Our dessert serves to remind and re-enforce ideas learnt in both the appetiser and main courses.
These examples are only a sampling of the different types of microlearning available. There are plenty of other options on the menu and different combinations will be right for different people. Whether you deliver your learner an appetiser, main course or a sweet treat to finish on, there is bound to be an option of microlearning to satisfy everyone.
Our three top reasons why microlearning has value:
At first glance the old adage of ‘less is more’ may seem counterintuitive, but the benefits of microlearning prove that wrong. Here are three reasons you should add microlearning to your menu.
|1:||Microlearning helps learners retain concepts better.|
Studies have found a 20% increase in information retention when microlearning is employed. It may be tempting to assume that the more information given to a person, they more knowledge they end up with. In some cases, this may be true, but another angle to approach this idea from is that the more information is person is loaded up with, the more they have to lose. Imagine trying to carry ten eggs at once, you may start with all the recipe calls for, but with that many you are bound to drop a few. Rather than risk cracking an egg, it is much more productive to carry only what you can manage at a time and finish with every egg intact.
To translate this analogy into learning development, microlearning allows the learner to carry as much information as they can easily hold, before giving them some more once the first lot is safely stored away in their memory.
|2:||Learners report an increased level of engagement.|
The world is becoming increasingly fast paced. It seems that everything is expected instantaneously: you can pay with your smart watch to save the time of getting a wallet from your pocket, have a package delivered across the country in a single day and answer any question with a few quick words entered into a search engine.
A person who lives in this world of instantaneous access faces an uphill battle when asked to engage with hours of content consumption, but short and sharp microlearning content will fit right into their existing lifestyle.
There is a greater demand for speed and microlearning certainly delivers. With a focus on brevity and immediacy, using microlearning as a means to teach quickly and conveniently are an absolute necessity in the modern world.
|3:||Microlearning improves abilities and performance.|
It is all good and well to say that microlearning increases engagement, but the real question is whether these factors create an effective and rewarding system of learning.
The research-backed answer is yes!
A 2018 study found that students abilities saw an 18% increase in abilities and performance when microlearning was used, comparative to traditional learning methods. While this study was conducted within a school environment, it can be extrapolated out to a wider view of learning. Microlearning will not only save a learner precious time, but it also seems it will hone their skills even further than traditional learning methods.
By keeping up to date with the modern world, increasing information retention, aiding engagement and sharpening learners’ skills to the highest degree, it becomes clear that microlearning is a system full of potential.
Microlearning is a recipe for success, so will you be adding it to your menu?
Giurgiu, Luminiţa. “Microlearning an Evolving eLearning Trend.” Scientific Bulletin, vol. 22, no. 1, June 2017, pp. 18–23. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1515/bsaft-2017-0003.
Leong, Kelvin, et al. “A Review of the Trend of Microlearning.” Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 13, no. 1, Apr. 2021, pp. 88–102. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.1108/JWAM-10-2020-0044.
Sirwan Mohammed, Gona, et al. “The Effectiveness of Microlearning to Improve Students’ Learning Ability.” International Journal of Educational Research Review, vol. 3, no. 3, Apr. 2018, pp. 32–38. DOI.org (Crossref), https://doi.org/10.24331/ijere.415824.