Microlearning: The key to effective learning
Learning and development (L&D) professionals are always looking for new and effective ways of information delivery for corporate training programmes.
Microlearning is an effective way of delivering bite-sized information. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is microlearning?
Microlearning is a method of learning where educational content is broken down into short, focused, digestible pieces of information that can be easily understood. Typically, microlearning sessions are short and capitalise on the limited attention spans of learners.
By delivering learning sessions in small chunks, microlearning allows for learners to quickly absorb complex concepts. Learners can later apply any new information to real-life work scenarios.
In a fast-paced, modern world, microlearning is an efficient method of delivering information in a corporate setting. Many organisations are opting to take the microlearning route when designing learning and development programmes.
Because microlearning is a short method of learning and has been proven to be effective, many organisations use it as a cost-efficient way of training and upskilling staff in a short amount of time.
What are the different types of microlearning?
Videos are one of the most popular ways of delivering microlearning content. Videos can easily be tailored to meet the needs of all learners, with both a visual and auditory aspect.
There are different types of video learning methods that can be used. The type of video depends on the learner a digital learning designer wishes to target and the type of training programme or training session. Here are a few microlearning examples:
- Animated videos
- Whiteboard animation videos
- Pre-recorded webinars
- Kinetic-text videos
- Interactive videos
- Expert explainer videos (animated or real-life).
Learners can reinforce their learning with a micro-assessment. Course leaders can establish the effectiveness of the development training programme by assessing the scores of learners.
Gone are the days when corporate training was boring! Digital learning design has revolutionised the world of microlearning and has pushed the boundaries of what was previously understood to be effective.
Micro-games are effective in engaging learners, reinforcing knowledge retention and making training programs enjoyable.
Infographics can deliver bite-sized information by combining text and graphics to deliver information in any subject matter. This can be a particularly effective method if there is a lot of data that can be presented in charts and graphs, using colour to differentiate each piece of data.
Podcasts have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Many people find it enjoyable and informative to listen to people speak about an informative topic. Because micro-podcasts can be listened to anywhere, from the car to the office, they serve as a great method of mobile learning.
Micro-articles serve as short, informative pieces of content. This can be anything from a relevant news article to a blogpost.
Micro-presentations are slideshows that present short bursts of information in a visually engaging format. These can be exhibited through a power-point presentation or video presentation.
This is an effective microlearning strategy for allowing learners to demonstrate their learnt knowledge in a simulated real-life scenario. Not only can this be fun and engaging, but performance can be assessed by course facilitators to determine how effective the microlearning course was.
What are the benefits of microlearning?
There are many advantages to microlearning in a corporate training setting. Here are a few of them:
Due to the short, bite-sized format of microlearning, learners can stay engaged through the programme. This results in better learning outcomes and increases workplace competency.
Microlearning is an effective way of delivering information, as learners find it easier to retain information when it is delivered in small chunks. The bite-sized course is much more digestible for learners than overwhelming them with large amounts of information all at once.
Short learning periods are time efficient as they don’t take much time out of the work day. For employers, this is effective as it means workplace productivity isn’t halted while upskilling staff.
Many microlearning platforms and methods can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Busy learners can use microlearning as a method of developing their skills in pockets of free time.
Training sessions can be lengthy and expensive. Microlearning can have the effective qualities of a macrolearning experience, while eliminating many of the costs. This is a particularly great option for small businesses who have a limited budget.
Best learning practices can differ from person to person. Microlearning can be adjusted and customised to suit the learning styles and preferences of each individual.
Microlearning can develop workplace skills and reinforce learning. This is an effective way of upskilling staff and boosting workplace competency.
Because microlearning is typically conducted via digital platforms, it is accessible for all. Most people have access to a smartphone or laptop, especially in the workplace. This means everyone in the workplace has the ability to develop their skills.
Microlearning is versatile. It can be scaled up or down depending on the size of the organisation. It can also be used alongside macrolearning to reinforce any gained knowledge.
Frequently asked questions
Is micro learning the same as eLearning?
Microlearning is a method of information delivery. eLearning is a mode of information delivery. Typically, learning and development managers opt to use eLearning as a platform to deliver microlearning content, but the two are completely separate.
You can have a microlearning module entirely offline, for example an article or infographic on a sheet of paper.
When should you not use microlearning?
Although microlearning is versatile, it may not always be the most effective method of information delivery.
Microlearning best practices consist of easily digestible, small chunks of information. However, more complex topics that require deeper understanding and explanation may require a different learning experience, like macrolearning.
What are the challenges of microlearning?
It takes experience and expertise in the field of learning and development and digital learning design to develop microlearning courses.
If you want to learn how to develop microlearning courses, check out our Digital Learning Design course and enrol today.
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