Microlearning: when do you use it?

Renate de Jonge

Microlearning is an efficient way of learning, which results in increased engagement of users in your online academy. It’s learning in small manageable bits of text that completely suit the way we absorb information. They can easily be done during work because they only take a few minutes and are accessible via your smartphone. But, yes there is a but, there are situations in which microlearnings are not the best solution. We explain when a microlearning is ideal and when you should probably opt out.

👍 When microlearning is a perfect option

New information is always within reach. Actually, we’re flooded by it. You can find something about every little detail online. Discussions about statistics and facts are freely available. As an employer you want your employees to radiate your company’s character. To be able to do that, you have to provide the necessary information. What better way than through a microlearning offered by you, rather than searching for information themselves and drowning in the offer. 

 

Microlearning is an effective way to learn technical skills that are connected to a specific process. It answers questions like: ‘How can I …?’ For example, instead of overwhelming a new employee with days of training, they can search what they need to know the moment they need to know it. 

 

It’s also ideal to test and expand your knowledge of a bigger training. Microlearnings strengthen what has been learned earlier on. 

 

Be aware of frustration! When your employee needs just-in-time support, but doesn’t have access to that one small, but very important, part of the training this will cause frustration. The pieces of knowledge must thus be very easy to find in your learning hub. 

 

👎 When you should probably opt out

Learning content isn’t always simple, autonomous and manageable. Sometimes it’s complex and difficult to understand. It’s about multiple ideas and concepts that are interconnected in which the understanding of the whole process is essential. Microlearning is in these cases less suited. Not all content can be divided into smaller pieces. You must also see how the pieces fit together, otherwise you lose overview. 

 

Microlearning is a great way to fill in short-term-holes in your knowledge. But knowledge goals for the long term are also important, these can’t optimally be achieved with microlearnings. Some topics can’t be discussed in less than 10 minutes. They need more attention, discussion and examples. And thus a different learning strategy. 

 

In short, nothing is black or white in this world and the microlearning isn’t an exception. It can be the best solution to many training issues with which organisations have to deal. But on the other side it doesn’t suit all forms of learning. You should always choose the best learning technique for your learning goal.