What is Microlearning? The perfect Guide For Beginners

Why does hot water turn into ice faster than cold water? How do Dolphins sleep with one eye open? What shape is the planet earth? You can get the answers to these questions and learn relevant skills from short video courses ranging between five to ten minutes. This is what microlearning is about.

The advancement of technology and introduction of ultra-speed internet coupled with the dwindling attention span of most individuals has increased the popularity of microlearning and microlearning systems. But what exactly is microlearning, and how does it differ from the conventional way of learning?

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Table of Contents

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning refers to the system of learning where information is delivered in small, highly focused, and easily digestible chunks. Large course contents are broken into smaller learning units and activities. It is an ideal way to find quick solutions to specific problems.

These short, highly focused, and easily digestible contents take many forms from text to interactive multimedia so learners can study at their convenience. Some forms of microlearning content are Text, Short Videos, Snippets, Images, Games, Test, and Quizzes.

Although this learning concept has been in existence for a while, many do not see it as a potent tool for learning until this era of busy schedules and very short attention spans.

Microlearning is a good training model that has gained enormous influence and popularity in corporate training and education. We now use it for all types of training. Some examples include skill training, employee onboarding, and compliance training.

Microlearning features

A recent survey by Gallup reveals that microlearning improves the retention of knowledge, increases learners’ engagement by fifty percent, and reduces operational cost by half. This has made microlearning an automatic choice for most organizations and trainers.

However, microlearning is not limited to being compact and all about smaller training modules only. There is more to it that makes it an ideal learning and training strategy for most individuals. Here are some of the features which distinguish it from the conventional style of learning.

Increases Attention Span

With an average attention span of nine seconds, it is an arduous task to arrest the attention and engage the average learner of today. But with the design of microlearning, a learner need not invest more than seven to twelve minutes in completing a module.

The modules are always in the form of a podcast or video, an interactive PDF, or infographics with only one objective per module. This feature of microlearning makes it the best fit for today’s learners with tight schedules and short attention spans.

●       Accessible On All Devices

Microlearning is self-paced and designed to be accessible to learners at their place and time of convenience.

Hence, there is no need to always look for a computer to access a microlearning module. Instead, the modules are designed to be accessed on any mobile device; tablets, smartphones, notebooks, or iPads.

Focuses On One Learning Objective

A learning objective is the end goal or impact of a training on its learners. It defines what the learner stands to gain after completing the training. With eLearning courses, the modules are designed with numerous learning objectives.

At the same time, microlearning focuses on only one performance objective per module. This ensures a hierarchical learning method and makes sure the learner clearly understands the previous course before moving to the next one.

Delivers Content in Various Format

Microlearning is aimed at engaging the attention and increasing the interest levels of learners. The modules in microlearning are presented in a different form from that of a traditional eLearning course.

The modules are offered as independent learning units in various forms such as a podcast, whiteboard animation, short videos, quiz, infographics, interactive PDF, or games. This helps in increasing the interest level of learners.

Provides Specific Information

Training programs always cover two types of information; nice-to-know and need-to-know. Convectional eLearning covers both, but microlearning covers only need-to-know information.

It provides the specific information needed to solve a problem or learn a skill. This saves time and eliminates the confusion of which information is essential and which is not. This feature of microlearning makes it ideal for learning specific skills.

Benefits of Microlearning

There are many benefits associated with the use of microlearning to learn. The following is a list of benefits that you can enjoy by using microlearning.

1. It’s engaging

I can confidently say microlearning is the most engaging learning and training strategy available. The experience of using microlearning can be likened to surfing a social app such as Twitter and Instagram on your smartphone, compared to the severe and laborious study feel of conventional learning.

2. Very Flexible

Microlearning programs are designed to be very flexible so they can cover any area of interest that regular eLearning courses cover. This is achieved in an exciting and bite-sized way. With microlearning, you can create and simplify courses for complex topics.

3. More Affordable

Compared to the conventional eLearning methods, microlearning courses are cheaper to produce and consume. The process of creating a microlearning course is straightforward, and it only requires few resources.

4. Higher Retention Capacity

A recent survey by Gallup reveals that microlearning improves the retention of knowledge. This is because you retain information better when you interact with them repeatedly and revisit them when you are about to forget it. The bite-sized attribute of microlearning makes this easy and possible.

5. Self-Paced Learning

Convectional learning is designed to fit the average learning speed of the learners. This builds a disparity between quick learners and slow learners. Microlearning solves this problem by offering learners the opportunity to study the content at their own speed and comprehension rate. Since microlearning modules are small, it also allows you to download the course content to use when offline.


The adoption of microlearning by many trainers and organizations has improved the learning engagement and retention of the skills and knowledge being imparted. In today’s dynamic environment, this is invaluable.

Now you have a basic idea of what microlearning is. Still, the best way to fully understand the impact of microlearning is to experience it yourself. Hence, it would be best to look out for a microlearning course you can enroll in and enjoy the big possibilities in small offers.

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