What is Microlearning?

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As people spend more time on their devices—socializing, shopping, watching tiny hamsters eat tiny burritos, or doing anything but nothing attention spans are shrinking.

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The obvious challenge for managers in the workforce is how to convey training content without instantly losing the attention of their audience. Gone are the days of assigning whole chapters or lecturing for 30 minutes. New methods have been developed to keep up with today’s fast-paced world. One that has proven immensely successful is known as microlearning, which is designed to work with, not against, our modern attention spans.

What is Microlearning?

John Eades, writing for eLearning Industry, defines microlearning as “a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in small, very specific bursts.” Microlearning is often associated with online learning and relies heavily on video and animation to convey content. Indeed, learning platforms such as Bridge are ideal for hosting microlearning modules. Rather than casting a wide net, lessons are intended to hit a very specific target. Oftentimes, lessons are interactive and students are asked to respond or perform a task.

A module you would use to train a sales team on a new product, for example, might involve a short introductory video that highlights its marketable features, discusses what it improves upon, and shows why a customer would want it. From there, employees might read a series of illustrated infographics outlining how to generate need, approach potential clients, and answer common questions. To keep learners actively engaged, a brief quiz would follow, testing employees on the content of the video and infographics. By keeping learners engaged, you can ensure they pay attention and even improve their retention. Essentially, microlearning is a highly concentrated and participatory activity.

Why Should You Use Microlearning?

It might be easy to shake your fist at the wandering minds of today’s workers. Or, you can engage them with modern technology. Relying on older, more traditional methods of training and instruction is not only ineffective, but costs time, energy, and money. The genius of microlearning is that it brings the learner into a digital, visual environment in which most people feel comfortable. By keeping things brief and to the point, it helps you avoid exhausting learners, so they’re fresh and ready for the next lesson. With technology changing the ways we do things, it’s important that methods of learning also change and keep pace.

Have you used Microlearning? Tell us about it in the comments below.


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