The five great advantages of microlearning

Renate de Jonge

We already wrote about microlearning in this blog. It consists of small pieces of learning content from only a few minutes long, which you can easily take in. It’s also called Bite-sized learning: i.e. learning in small, bite-sized pieces. That’s actually exactly the way we’re used to take in information during this time of scrolling and swiping.

PowerPoint trainings taking a day or longer are in the past. Users want the exact amount of information they need to achieve their goal, nothing more than that. That’s exactly what a microlearning offers.

We’ll discuss a few advantages of microlearning and discuss five tips for making a good microlearning right away.

Advantage #1: Microlearning is efficient

You’ll probably recognize this situation: in a classical session you listen for more than half an hour to the answering of a question of one of your fellow learners. An answer you already know. Or certain content is discussed, which was already familiar to you or is irrelevant for you. You drift of, staring out of the window. Does it also occur sometimes that you’ve read a whole page of text and you realise afterwards you haven’t remembered anything? 

Using online microlearnings you only take in the information you can use. This doesn’t only save time, but also ensures you remember the information better, or at all…. 

Advantage #2: Microlearning ensures more involvement

It’s difficult to remain continuously 100% involved in a longer course. Your thoughts drift to what you’ve to do for the next work day. The temptation is huge to just answer a few emails during the learning sessions. And… your focus is gone! Short microlearnings don’t have this disadvantage. They only take a few minutes and are focussed on one small sub-topic, so it’s easy to stay concentrated. 

Advantage #3: Microlearning uses the learning capacity optimally

Learning in a short period of maximum ten minutes corresponds with the capacity of our working memory and our attention span. Our brain isn’t made to be focused for hours. We learn the best way when the content is presented in short ‘bites’. Repetition also helps remembering. A microlearning is completely designed according to this.

Advantage #4: Microlearning is affordable

The advantages that count for online learning are also applicable to microlearning: you don’t need to hire a trainer for the whole day and you don’t have any costs for a physical location with accompanying facilities. Moreover, it costs much fewer time and thus money to make and present a course.

Advantage #5: Microlearning is optimal for the contemporary learner

All of us are swimming in a huge sea of information. Data through dozens of apps, mails and chats flood us. This way we take in loads of information the whole day through. No wonder that people find a long course overwhelming and moreover a bit ineffective. 

The bit-sized learning activities of microlearning suit this information-rich lifestyle completely. We have access to small pieces of information that we need that very moment whenever we want. This way the learning content is much easier to comprehend and remember, and moreover directly applicable.

These advantages translated into 5 tips for your microlearning

It’s clear that bite-sized learning offers us a lot. Would you like to get started? Read the tips down below. 

  1. Ensure your microlearning looks like social media: interesting, short and with lots of images. 
  2. Ensure optimal involvement: even though a microlearning is short, the user will drift of when the content is boring. 
  3. Be specific. Focus on the ‘how-to’ and leave the theories and background stories out.
  4. Limit your microlearning to one idea or (sub)topic.
  5. Make use of chunking when your subject is too big: group and divide the content in pieces of short and relevant learning content.