Millennials and attention spans shorter than goldfish – these are typical justifications you hear as to why Microlearning is a valuable part of a modern learning plan.
I think this is the wrong way to rationalize the value of Microlearning. The reality is that evolutions in technology and learning science means that learning can be produced and delivered with how most modern learners learn best – in spaced, short sessions rather than large single session information dumps.
Microlearning is the name given to short, easy to access learning chunks that a person can access on demand, and/or as part of a continuous learning flow to build successful behaviours.
Microlearning can weave learning into a person’s day so that rather than learning being an event it’s part of their work flow helping promote a continuous learning environment.
Some attributes of a successful Microlearning strategy include:
- Tight focus and reduced cognitive overload, usually one actionable objective per learning chunk,
- Spaced learning events, giving learners time to contemplate, reflect and apply knowledge,
- Access at time of need on device of choice – pulling content on demand,
- Reduced cost at a greater speed of delivery with lower maintenance cost,
- Learning chunks can be mix and matched to create unique learning paths, performance support or communication tools.
Microlearning is typically delivered in these modalities. The selection of the modality is determined by the objective and the learning content.
- Infographics /Interactive Infographics
- Flash Cards
- Simple learner-paced courses that are optimized for mobile devices
As part of a Microlearning strategy, it’s important that the learning content is easy to access by the learner. So a user-friendly LMS with good searchability and content organization is important. Pushing content to learners is also a good strategy so that a constant learning flow can effortlessly be maintained.
Microlearning is not the “silver bullet” solution for any training need the format works very well with some content while other content still is better suited to a deeper dive. Think of it as another tool in your learning toolbox.