Microlearning is all about getting eLearning training in small doses so that learners can quickly comprehend the content, in contrast to the hefty texts that one had to pore over at school. Few examples of microlearning include
- Watching small 2-5 minutes instructional videos on YouTube.
- Flashcard learning: this involves applications that present the learner with small cards (flashcards) with limited content such as new foreign language words, parts of the human anatomy, countries, chemical elements, etc., to aid in memorizing them.
- Solving mini training quizzes
- Receiving small nuggets of information through email, sms, IM, etc. (e.g. “word of the day”)
Today microlearning is going beyond being tiny bursts of knowledge, to becoming part of elaborate training materials for both individuals and businesses. Let’s understand the reasons why.
Learner-centric: Microlearning nuggets empower learners by giving them a higher control in defining a personalized and flexible learning path. The varied formats used to create these nuggets are more likely to match individual learning styles.
On-demand: These nuggets are available to them precisely at the moment of their learning need. They are also available on demand i.e. learners can pull them rather than being pushed into going through them (as it is in traditional learning)
Flexible delivery: Microlearning is generally designed for multi-device delivery, from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones thereby providing higher flexibility to learners to learn on the device of their choice.
Rich media: It is now common knowledge that rich media formats lead to better retention of knowledge and hence are used extensively in microlearning nuggets.
Time saving: Microlearning is ideal for learners who are stretched for time such as adult learners with a shorter attention span and millennial learners.
The same benefits apply to teams and organisations as well. Some more benefits include:
Affordable and agile: Due to short training duration, the microlearning costs are lower and they can also be created and deployed much quicker than traditional eLearning.
Shorter development cycle: Due to their short run and the typical formats used to develop microlearning, these nuggets have a shorter development cycle.
Iterative: Based on feedback, Microlearning nuggets can be repeatedly updated and corrected, and that too quickly, to enhance their impact.
Varied application: Microlearning can be applied for formal learning or as Performance Support Tools (PSTs). You can use these nuggets as stand-alone assets or they could be part a series of microlearning courses.
Focussed impact: By definition, microlearning nuggets are designed to meet a narrow but specific outcome that accelerates learning and application. Hence they are often used to create training material that targets behavioural change.