The world of education is rapidly evolving and embracing new technologies. At the same time, this innovation has never been more crucial. Recent years have seen a marked decrease in learner attention spans, placing more emphasis on how to keep training engaging and efficient. With organizations increasingly looking for ways to address these challenges by reevaluating their learning strategies, many have found that microlearning could be the answer.
What Is Microlearning?
Microlearning is a method of eLearning that delivers short, focused bursts of content and learning activities to an audience. These bite-sized lessons and tasks have found favor with learners and it’s generally acknowledged that microlearning meets the following criteria:
- Easy to access
- Short and focused (usually less than 10 minutes)
Freed from the resource and time demands of the traditional learning environment, microlearning is revolutionizing how people access and consume educational material.
Here are some benefits of incorporating microlearning into your strategy:
1. Microlearning Facilitates Flexible Learning
After the upheaval of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations found themselves faced with the challenge of how to deliver online learning in a remote environment. Without face-to-face contact and the continuous feedback that it offered, it became more important than ever to find the most effective methods for communicating information in both a digestible and memorable format. Video learning was soon heavily relied on in this remote environment, giving learners the freedom and flexibility to access materials at their own pace.
Statistica projects that by the end of 2021, there will be more than 6.3 billion smartphone users worldwide, meaning that most people’s device of choice for accessing the internet will be their phones. Having lessons readily available via a mobile phone and optimized for that platform means that people can learn on the go at whatever time they have available.
2. Short Burts of Information Can Improve Learning Retention
A study published in 2019 by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests that the global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information thrown at us. This means that long-form learning materials may no longer be an efficient way to help learners retain knowledge. Instead, short bursts of information, rather than long lectures and training courses, could be vital to helping learners take in more information.
This claim is supported by RPS Research, which found that microlearning improves learner focus and supports long-term retention by up to 80% in employees when used as a tool to reinforce learning. Where microlearning is not used, employees can forget between 50% and 80% of what they learn. If attention spans are diminishing, it’s reasonable to suggest that long lectures and course material may no longer be suitable for today’s learners.
3. Microlearning Provides a Solution to One of the Big Barriers of Workplace Learning
|A 2019 LinkedIn Workplace Study found that the biggest barrier to learning in the workplace was, unsurprisingly, time. Employees are missing out on L&D opportunities due to their hectic work schedules, and microlearning could solve this issue. With microlearning materials, a spare ten minutes in an otherwise busy day becomes an opportunity for employees to advance their learning. With microlearning activities typically being under 10 minutes long, this is the perfect way to overcome the time barrier and account for learning opportunities.|
4.Learner Results Have Been Shown to Improve With Microlearning
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to delivering learning. One of the benefits of microlearning is its versatility. There’s a natural connection between gamification and microlearning—together, they create a fun and personalized solution for the user. But adding elements such as instant feedback, rewards, and progress tracking can help to improve learner results and boost engagement.
Research conducted into the effectiveness of different teaching methods found that students who were educated with challenge-based gamification raised their performance by up to 90% (89.45%) compared to those who were only taught with lectures. Similarly, a study undertaken by Australian Catholic University into the effectiveness of video learning found that when higher education students were exposed to highly edited video clips alongside more traditional teaching methods, their grades rose from B to A.