The big guide to microlearning

The big guide to microlearning

Alicja Greaves King
Alicja Greaves King

Senior Content Manager

Microlearning is a great way to introduce and teach courses. They're engaging yet quick to make and can help boost the effectiveness of in-depth courses. The popularity of microlearning has increased greatly in recent years, in part due to the capability of technology and changing needs.

Microlearning courses should be no more than 15 minutes max per piece and can be delivered in many ways.

Examples of Microlearning

It's very likely that you would have enrolled in microlearning yourself, even if you didn't realise. A big example is 'how-to' videos on YouTube. If you've ever looked into how to light a BBQ, change your car's oil or unblock a drain, you've been microtaught! (New word!)

Similarly, TedTalks can be classed as microlearning. Introducing a new topic in a short, interesting segment that motivates the listener to learn more.

Then comes elements like Duolingo/Babbel/ tests and flashcards, bitesize pieces of information that serve to reinforce a topic you're learning.

Moreover, smartphones (aren't all phones smart now, should we just call them phones?) are perfect for microlearning as they fit the bitesize information approach - like succinct copy, short character counts, and brief videos - as we get used to social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok.

Benefits

  • Better knowledge retention

Studying something repeatedly and revisiting information means you retain it much better. Since microlearning is small and easy to return to, it allows itself to be revisited regularly and therefore, remembered better.

  • Flexible learning

Shorter courses means you can pick up and learn something when you have 'spare time' such as commuting, during lunch, or after work. Plus with eLearning, you won't lose your progress or misplace the training.

  • Quicker to produce

Fewer tools and fewer words means less time spent on producing the content. Whether it's video, audio, quizzes or written content, companies can create microlearning courses with ease and cut back on 'frilly' unnecessary language.

  • Cheaper to produce

Fewer resources and instructions means you can produce a microlearning course for less money, while still delivering great content.

  • Create interest

Microlearning can be used to introduce a topic and increase motivation to learn something new. Very often, the beginning of a course can be the most interesting and engaging aspect, using microlearning, especially in the beginning can encourage people to enrol.

When NOT to go micro

  • In-depth topics

When you have a subject that requires in-depth learning, microlearning may not be suitable. You may need more time and more words to teach a subject, requiring longer sessions, and therefore a different style of eLearning.

  • Technical topics

Topics that require hands-on learning or extensive explanations can't be taught with microlearning as learners will need more time and resources to learn the subject. For example, eLearning and traditional learning methods are beneficial to medical students learning pathology, but microlearning (such as flashcards) will only be beneficial for memorising facts.

Optimising microlearning

  • Know when to use it

Before or after in-depth training, or for small, simple topics.

  • Gamification

Make microlearning addictive) so learners are more motivated to return) with gaming elements, like scoring, ranking, quizzes etc... Discover how to gamify your courses.

  • Learning Paths

Add microlearning to a learning path so learners get a mixture of ways to learn, in one, personalised journey. Read more about building learning paths here.

  • Golden nuggets only

Take only the best information from a topic to put in microlearning courses. Strip away anything unnecessary so you don't waste time on useless information.

  • Make it easy to revisit

Make your micro courses downloadable, accessible, reviewable, everything! You want your learners to go back to them again and again.

  • Test after

After a micro course, do a micro test! Make sure the learners didn't skim information.

  • Remember

Microlearning is an effective tool and can be used to bolster longer courses. Don't make everything micro, but don't make everything long-winded either.

Make microlearning courses today

At myskillcamp, you can create, upload and edit multimedia courses from scratch on our platform, including microlearning courses. You can even download readymade courses from our marketplace.

If you want to create a learning environment full of great content, why not book a free personalised trial.

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