The thought of only having to spend a few minutes to learn something new is very appealing. Add the benefits of breaking learning into smaller pieces and it is no wonder that many training and learning and development teams are rushing to include more microlearning into their programs.
While there is much buzz around microlearning, there are also many misconceptions that prevent people from using this learning technique or have them using it in ways that aren’t effective. The use and appropriateness of microlearning is highly contextual and it needs to be used in the right place, at the right time and for the right purpose. In this blog, we break down many of the myths we have heard about microlearning and the real facts behind the stories.
- Myth 1: Microlearning Is Only A Few Minutes
- Myth 2: Microlearning Is Just About Breaking Up Your Content
- Myth 3: Microlearning Can Replace Traditional Training Programs
- Myth 4: You Don’t Need Microlearning Doesn’t Fit with Full Courses
- Myth 5: Microlearning Is Only Video
- Myth 6: Microlearning Can Be Used for All Learning
- Myth 7: Microlearning Is a Rigid Way of Learning
- Myth 8: Microlearning Is Difficult to Create
- Why Bust Microlearning Myths
- Getting Started with Microlearning
Myth 1: Microlearning Is Only A Few Minutes
People often think that microlearning is only for small bites of information, often only taking a few minutes to deliver. In reality this is not always the case. While some microlearning can be 1-2 minutes, the purpose of microlearning is to:
- Deliver training or learning of a single concept
- Reintroduce a concept your learners are already familiar with
- Answer a question about a task or concept that a learner may be struggling with
- Reinforce existing learning
- Incrementally add to the learner’s knowledge on a specific topic
To successfully achieve these objectives, it is not always possible to limit microlearning to a few minutes. Instead of worrying the number of minutes, focus on the scope of learning to a single concept or task.
Myth 2: Microlearning Is Just About Breaking Up Your Content
While technically true, microlearning is not about creating sections or chapters for your long training sessions. Instead, it is about trying to transfer knowledge in the most streamlined way possible. That could include chuncking your content by simply breaking it up, but usually it also involves condensing that content by removing typical training structures like longer explanations, repetition, exercises and test questions. Microlearning delivers a concise learning about a single concept that can be studied as a standalone topic, reinforced from previous learning and is typically related to a larger topic.
Myth 3: Microlearning Can Replace Traditional Training Programs
Microlearning is not a substitute for your traditional training programs that may include instructor-led training (ILT), elearning, other modalities and relevant coursework. Instead, it is best to see it as another tool in your chest for building an effective training program.
As mentioned, microlearning typically strips out some of the traditional structure from training to make it as streamlined as possible, but that traditional structure is still relevant and important because it is designed to provide information to learners in a way that supports the retention of the information. Losing those parts of training that help solidify the content for your learners makes microlearning great for quick how-to videos, introducing a topic, reinforcing a concept or providing learning for just-in-time tasks, but does not replace the need for an overall program to build expertise on what you are teaching.
Myth 4: You Don’t Need Microlearning Doesn’t Fit with Full Courses
Microlearning is designed to complement your other learning modalities, like ILTs and eLearning. You can include it in a full course by using it to:
- Introduce concepts or test your learners before instructor-led training
- Gamify a learning objective during an eLearning course
- Add interaction or reinforce a concept
- Make learning available to solidify participants learning after a course
- Make learning available on mobile devices
Myth 5: Microlearning Is Only Video
While many organizations choose to use video to deliver microlearning, almost any medium can be used. Other modalities to consider when delivering microlearning include:
- Microlearning apps – think Duolingo and Word of the Day
- Social media
- Short webinars
- PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides and other presentation tools
- Podcasts and sound bites
- FAQ on a public website or support portal
- Knowledge base articles that can be searched
Myth 6: Microlearning Can Be Used for All Learning
Microlearning is typically not applicable for situations teaching physical tasks, where activities require exercises or is enhanced by social learning. Instead, it can be used to introduce concepts and reinforce learning after the fact. When you really need your learners to become proficient with a new tool, process or skill, microlearning will not provide enough detail for that information to be retained by your learners. Include it as part of the learning journey, but don’t expect it to be the entire journey.
Myth 7: Microlearning Is a Rigid Way of Learning
Quite the opposite! Since Microlearning delivers short learning of a single concept, learners can choose which courses they take and when. It also allows them to go back and review learning content that they feel they need to retake or answer any questions, without the time and effort of reviewing an entire course.
Myth 8: Microlearning Is Difficult to Create
Breaking content into microlearning may seem daunting, especially when you have invested so much time and effort to be build the full course. Fortunately, tools like LEAi can take your existing learning content and will create microlearning with the click of a button. Yes, it really can be that easy!
Why Bust Microlearning Myths
Microlearning is a great tool to improve the effectiveness of a training program. According to Shift Learning, microlearning training has been shown to be 17 percent more effective in knowledge transfer. RPS Research discovered that microlearning training increases long-term retention by up to 80 percent when used as a substitute for the actual event or as a supplement to the main presentation.
Not only is microlearning more effective, for employers and employees, microlearning delivers:
- Learning designed to fit into learners schedules
- Reduced training costs
- Reduced time when employees are absent due to training
- Encouraged participation through easy access
- The feeling that training is more manageable
- The ability to deliver customized training
Getting Started with Microlearning
As an AI-enable writing tool, LEAi can be used to effortlessly create instructor led training (ILT), eLearning, knowledge base articles, virtual class content, presentations, webinars, video scripts and microlearning!
LEAi, uses 3 ways to create microlearning content from existing content you already have:
- Chuncking: Logically break the content into smaller, easier to consume pieces.
- Condensing: Condenses the content into a smaller, shorter piece of learning while still covering the main learning objectives.
- Concept-based: LEAi uses AI to analyze the content and determine the concepts being taught and breaks it into one microlearning course for each concept.
You don’t have to be a trainer or an L&D specialist to use LEAi to create microlearning. Simply upload the content from your subject matter experts and LEAi does the hard work for you – in minutes. If you are considering adopting a microlearning strategy, creating more microlearning content or updating existing content and you need a tool to help you accelerate the process, talk to us!