Small is the new big, and corporate learning is no exception. Learning is no longer limited to classroom environments or heavily structured learning. People, especially professionals, prefer learning on-the-go or in spurts to support their multitasking endeavors and convenience.

This ease can be achieved with modularized learning that is to-the-point and interactive. One technique, Microlearning, breaks large chunks of information into bite-sized nuggets to make content more comprehensible and to promote better employee focus.

The average employee only spends close to 1% of their workweek on learning and prefers to consume knowledge in short bursts; microlearning is a clear solution for the shorter, more concise transfer of knowledge and retention.

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a method that incorporates purposefully small learning units and short-term learning activities. This method is usually used in e-learning and related fields in mediated environments. Microlearning meets specific learning goals in less time with better outcomes than the standard, in-depth training.

Microlearning is delivered using various media: video, audio, social media, FAQs, and short-form written content are just some of the common avenues of delivery.

On average, Microlearning content lasts between 3-10 minutes. If your content is longer, you may want to consider splitting it into smaller modules. Here are other characteristics of Microlearning:

  • Focus on specific skills, concepts, ideas, or topics.
  • Using a variety of mediums: text, presentations, infographics, video, audio, and gamification.
  • Usually designed to be delivered via multiple devices like mobiles, tablets, laptops, etc. (Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device).

Accessible from Anywhere

Whether your employees have to work from home (in the current COVID-19 scenario) or have to digest a quick bit of technical information on their way to a presentation, Microlearning has got you covered with anytime and anywhere access.

Small learning modules can be designed for when a learner has time. This flexibility allows for cost-effective information distribution, no matter where employees are located (without time zones impending learning).

Better Attention Rate

The digital age has impacted how we process instantly available information and our individual attention spans. Microlearning makes learning modules easy to process and gives a learner the option to come back later.

When learning is broken into 3-10 minute segments, it appeals to shorter attention spans and increases the overall knowledge retention rate.

Higher Completion Rates

With increasing workloads and looming deadlines, it only becomes more challenging to complete lower priority learning sessions.

Employees complete learning tasks that are small and easy to finish. Thus, Microlearning promotes a higher completion rate and closes skill gaps faster with minimum effort.

Easy to Create and Update

Business learning content needs to be kept up to date as businesses continue to change. The content must reflect this change and be held at par. With microlearning modules lasting only a few minutes, it is easy to update content on-demand.


Organizations are increasingly investing in more effective and fruitful learning methods. It becomes challenging to complete highly professional training for an upcoming project within weeks with a fixed budget.

Microlearning helps address this concern with online training that is significantly less expensive than in-classroom training.

Increased Employee Engagement

Microlearning helps demonstrate to employees that you care about their learning in a way that elevates engagement.

Software Advice has reported that 50% of employees are more engaged by taking microlearning courses than more extended and monotonous training that impacts their daily work. Employees tend to disengage when uninterested.

Here’s a depiction of how the audience engages with shorter video lessons versus longer conventional video lessons.

What is Microlearning? The Definitive Guide [2020]
Image Source: Valamis

Boosts Knowledge Retention

Based on research conducted by the Journal of Applied Psychology, “learning in bite-sized modules makes the transfer of learning 17% more efficient.” With this newly absorbed material that bolsters retention, learning can quickly be applied to real-world problems.

Promotes a Learning Culture

The success of employee learning in an organization depends on how happy and informed the employees are. Microlearning is a continuous endeavor that replaces a one-time learning experience.

Microlearning allows employees to be informed of IT compliance or company policy changes even long after the onboarding process.

Benefits for Instructional Design and Technology

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By far, the benefits of Microlearning outweigh its limitations. However, it’s not a panacea, and there are applications for which microlearning is not suited.

Not Ideal for Complex Concepts and In-depth Training

Technical concepts are more complex, and learners need to align ideas with extensive and practical hands-on experience. Microlearning offers minimal scope for in-depth and hands-on training in less time.

It is better to deliver high-level ideas and cover more complex material; you will need to break it into modules covering specific topics.

Tips for Developing Microlearning

Check if Microlearning is the best approach for your Content

If your subject matter is complicated or requires an in-depth study, Microlearning may not be the correct approach. Complex concepts and learning based on ideation will need a more discussion-oriented learning approach.

Capture the Key Ideas

You cannot copy and paste a chunk of the entire Content and call that microlearning. It would be best to take out the content’s main ideas that capture the essence of the core topic or skill-based training.

Add Diverse Media to your Content to keep Learners Engaged

Using just text can cause your learners to lose interest. By embedding videos, animations, infographics, and interactions into your content, participants align more with the relevant, interesting, and relatable content.

Using Micro-assessment to Check Progress

Instead of having a long comprehensive quiz at the end of the training, put in short knowledge checks at the end of your module to ensure learners are aligned to your training goals.

Employ Microlearning to supplement Formal Training 

Many employers make the mistake of completely doing away with formal training and implementing a microlearning-only approach. Using microlearning strategically is critical.

Consider adding microlearning between the formal training sessions as an augmentation to aid retention and enhance skill acquisition. And use it to support continued interaction with SMEs after the formal learning intervention has concluded to keep the flow of knowledge open and the forgetting curve to a minimum.

Radiant Digital has been successful in utilizing Microlearning effectively for the learning needs of our designers and customers. Call us to learn how you can too.