So many things to learn, so little time. Attention spans are an important aspect in the learning process and in the Internet age, these have become shorter than ever before. The average adult learner in 2018 has an attention span lesser than that of a goldfish, which is less than 9 seconds. How then do we learn? This is where Microlearning comes to the rescue.
What is Microlearning?
Micro-learning is bite-sized learning. It refers to lessons that are compact and focused on offering information that helps learners achieve a specific goal, objective, or skill.
- are short and to the point
- cover small topics
- require very little effort from the learner
- optimize time by not straying away to unrelated topics.
Microlearning has its roots in e-learning, and with it instead of gulping down the full bottle of your course at one go, you can take the course in small sips.
Here are some real-life examples of Microlearning which you may be familiar with:
- Watching small instructional videos on YouTube
- Receiving small nuggets of information like “Tip of the day”, via text messages, emails etc.
- The Inshorts news app which contains news in less than 60 words
With workplaces evolving, learning techniques also need suitable upgrades. The need for such upgrades is proven by the following data.
On YouTube, a 12-minute video does not manage to retain viewers beyond about 3 minutes. In a survey, Wistia reports that for a video of 4-5 minutes, less than 60% of viewers stay till the end; against 75% for a 1-2-minute video.
So, bite-sized learning or Microlearning seems to be the best way to go!
Over time, research has shown that people learn and retain more when they study in short bursts as compared to what they learn during hour-long lectures. But of course, our younger selves dozing off during classroom hours knew that already!
In Microlearning, the topics are broken down into tiny pieces, this helps the brain learn quickly and more importantly, retain information. It usually follows a “just in time” approach to learning, which means that training is provided exactly when and where it is needed. Why go through an entire video of a digital marketing course, when all you wanted was to learn how to create an effective Facebook post? For this reason, Microlearning is said to be the most effective form of its kind, with the learners in control of what exactly they want to learn.
Microlearning was initially used for computer-based learning and with the advent of smartphones, it was only natural that the two would eventually become a perfect fit. Today almost everyone has a smartphone and plenty of dead time in hand (especially while commuting). This makes Microlearning perfect for anyone who wants to learn on the go. The best part is that it hits all the sweet spots – it’s fun, it’s casual and it works!