Advantages and Characteristics of Microlearning

We all live in a fast-paced environment where we are always on the go. At home or at work, we are mostly busy and overloaded with information while our attention span keeps decreasing. So, how do how do we squeeze in time for learning things that will impact our personal and professional life? Microlearning is the answer to this.

Microlearning is a holistic approach to skill-based learning which deals with relatively small learning units. Thus, in this article we will discuss about microlearning in detail.

What is microlearning?

People do not like to spend much time pouring through online courses in order to upgrade themselves. Thus, the current generation wants information given in short spurts. Hence, microlearning is being implemented in organizations to enhance retention. It is easy to assume that microlearning simply refers to bite- sized training assets, but it means more than just small.

Microlearning is not only compact, it is focused, offering just the right amount of information necessary to help a learner achieve a specific objective. This makes microlearning valuable. Microlearning is an approach to learning which is very convenient in today’s fast paced world. It is considered as a small and informal self- directed learning experience arising from one’s personal learning environment.

Characteristics of microlearning

Like eLearning and other modes of learning, microlearning also possesses some characteristics.

Some of these are :

  • Brevity – Due to its brevity and purpose, microlearning focuses on a narrow topic, concept or idea.
  • Graininess – Microlearning excels in situations where people need immediate help or assistance at a granular level.
  • Variation – Microlearning is not only compact, it is focused, offering just the right information through various mediums necessary to help a learner achieve a specific objective. Microlearning can be a small piece of a larger learning program.

Advantages of microlearning

Microlearning has caught the attention of organisations and employees alike. It provides various advantages which has made it a favoured option among eLearning developers as well as users.

Some of its advantages include:

  • Short attention spans – Today’s learners want information to be available in small bursts which they can go through without spending much time. Microlearning meets that need.
  • Provides multi device comparability – Microlearning courses can be delivered on several devices. Learners have the flexibility to access training on the device of their choice, be it a laptop, computer or a smartphone. They have the luxury of learning anytime, anywhere and on any device. Moreover, they are not bound to stick to their desks.
  • Promotes work-life balance – The flexibility provided by microlearning, does not impinge on the work – life balance of the learner, but promotes it. The comfort of learning at all hours, anywhere, and on any gadget, is very appealing to the learners since it does not hinder their schedule.
  • Provides just in time learning – Microlearning modules provide brief, specific knowledge to learners when they need it. This aspect of microlearning not just engages learners but also meets their demand to get information at the time of need.
  • Promotes updated information – With information going through dynamic changes, learners want the latest information on a subject. Microlearning courses can be easily updated with the recent facts because of their detailed structure.

Differences between eLearning and microlearning

Elearning and microlearning are not completely against each other but are more different than similar. So, neither can take charge of the functions of the other completely.

The differences between eLearning and microlearning are:

  • Purpose – Elearning is useful when you have to teach specific skills or impart in depth knowledge to on a subject to the learners. Microlearning is accessing information at the moment it is needed. The eLearning keywords are structured, formal and time bound while the microlearning keywords are on demand, just in time and context aware.
  • Design – The screen is larger in eLearning, the information is detailed and there is more space for complex graphics. There is more media and interactivity. While in microlearning, there are small screens and learners peeking at them while they are on the go. Modules are bite – sized and there is only one idea per screen.
  • Duration – There are longer and broader courses in eLearning and the recommended duration is 20-30 minutes maximum. In microlearning, the design is completed in bite sized modules and the recommended duration is 3-5 minutes maximum.

Microlearning is the process of delivering learning content in the form of small chunks. Short learning courses go a long way in engaging the learners effectively and facilitate better comprehension and retention of the material. Bite sized modules are very useful and can be developed quickly.

Hence, microlearning is highly flexible as learning nuggets can aware reused and re- purposed. The enormous growth of the smartphones and rise of millennials in the workplace, make microlearning the perfect learning and development solution for any skilled workforce.

Hence, with the flexibility to deliver personalized learning, everything stays relevant and targeted for the learner.