Micro-Learning: Everything You Need to Know

Denoted as a form of learning where learning materials are broken into bits, and each bit is delivered within a relatively short time span. For each micro-learning unit, there is usually one learning outcome or objective. In a bid to be effective, this learning objective should be properly communicated to students prior to the delivery of the lesson, so they can assess their understanding of the subject matter in light of the learning objective as the lesson progresses.

Microlearning appears with both benefits and drawbacks.

The benefits include:

Anytime/anywhere learning: With microlearning, students aren’t bound to a classroom setting. They can engage with the content at any time, from anywhere, and at their own pace. The availability of microlearning modules on different platforms makes it easy for students to consume the content. As microlearning is often informal training, it allows students to self-direct, focusing on the lessons they consider most valuable to them. This ease of access and self-direction leads to a notably fruitful return on their learning efforts.

High engagement: Videos, animations, slides, presentations, etc., are often included in microlearning courses. This multimedia variety captures the students’ attention and helps them remain engaged for a longer period of time. As microlearning modules come in small chunks, students are better able to invest time and effort in completing them. These small chunks also allow students to stay focused on a small amount of content at a time, without much time for boredom, distractions, or repetitiveness to obstruct their learning.

Better information absorption: When human brains are more relaxed, they’re better able to retain and recall what they’ve learned. According to research, learning that’s done spaced out over a longer period of time results in stronger retention. Microlearning reinforces the learned content by giving the student proper time to absorb the ideas and concepts presented in the course.

The drawbacks of microlearning include:

Not ideal for detailed courses: Microlearning isn’t ideal for teaching complex or detailed courses like quantum physics, for example. Easy topics, just-in-time objectives, and pointed tasks are the fundamental components of microlearning modules.

Difficult to see the big picture: The bite-sized nature of microlearning modules can keep the students from observing the bigger picture.

May lead to confusion: Building on the issue of the inability to observe the big picture, microlearning students may have a hard time connecting the dots. Developers of microlearning modules must design the content in such a way that the students can easily link seemingly fragmented bits of information.

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