Microlearning or bite-sized learning is the use of small learning nuggets for online training. Microlearning units or short learning bytes are designed as brief and focused modules to help in the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Owing to their bite-sized nature, they suit the short attention spans of learners. They learn something of value from these small learning nuggets that do not consume much of their time. This has an impact on how it is designed.
Some believe that designing microlearning involves dividing a large portion of content to small pieces and delivering it to learners. It is not as simple; a lot of thought goes into its design and execution.
- A microlearning module is based on a single learning objective
- The content is based on the objective
- The duration of the module is not more than 10-15 minutes
These design characteristics of microlearning make it flexible to adapt to any format of online training.
For training managers, the distributed practice and spaced repetition facilitated by microlearning modules is the answer for training reinforcement. Microlearning is succinct because it contains content which is absolutely necessary for the learners to be aware of rather than boosting their knowledge base. Since the content is purpose-based, it’s easier to recall and more result-oriented because it’s based on learning objectives.
Moreover, the short duration and accessibility on mobile devices allows for anytime, anywhere learning and appropriate formats can be used for performance support and just-in-time learning. Their mobile compatibility provides learners accessibility to use it at the point of need.
The microlearning content can be sent to the target audience in various ways, such as via RSS Feed or flash card-based games in an email. It can also be designed and shared as videos, podcasts, slide shares or infographics. Learning designers love this flexibility.
How your company can benefit from microlearning?
The small size makes it easy to update and upgrade the modules. The modular structure of the modules allows for repurposing of the content to suit various training needs. The modules can even be mixed and matched to create new content.
Microlearning has become a strong trend in organizations using online training because they understand the advantages of providing targeted and specific knowledge in short bursts. They like the benefits-better knowledge retention, learning reinforcement and just-in time support.
VILT had become a popular mode of training during the pandemic, but has its own issues in maintaining the attention of learners, which dwindles and even vanishes in longer classes. The VILT method was invented during the pandemic because of social distancing, but now it has taken a more advanced form in microlearning as elearning nuggets to help learners facing upskilling issues caused due to the pandemic. Hence, it is no wonder, that microlearning continues to be one of the top trends in online training in 2022 as well.