September 27


Is Micro-learning the answer?

Micro-learning is the process of learning complex skills in short, focused segments less than 10 minutes.

Providing training by video, short articles and reflection exercises, on multiple devices through various web technologies.

Micro-learning can be undertaken in short bites, so there is less cognitive load on learners and information is easier to absorb, retain, and recall. This matches the human brain processing capabilities and makes it a fit for today’s fast-paced and busy professional life.

It seems to be an ideal learning approach for many situations because:

  • Information changes quickly
  • People find it difficult to keep up with things
  • Resources are freely available online
  • Newer technologies support it
  • Bite-sized learning suits modern lifestyles

Characteristics of Micro-learning

Regardless of whether it is used informally or as part of a structured learning experience, microlearning has a few consistent features.

  • Brevity: Microlearning events are short
  • Granularity: Due to their brevity and purpose, microlearning focuses on a narrow topic, concept or idea
  • Variety: Micro-learning content can be in the form of a presentation, activity, discussion, video, quiz, book chapter, or any other format from which someone learns.


Like any type of learning, microlearning has strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few of its benefits.

Immediate Results. One benefit of effective microlearning is that it enables a person to quickly close a small knowledge or skill gap. For example, some universities are using a microlearning strategy to help students learn about collaborative and social technologies.

Quick achievements. Because people can typically process around four bits of information at a time, it’s easier for a learner to achieve success from a short learning intervention.

Diverse formats. For both unstructured and structured learning, microlearning has the potential for using a very blended approach to instruction.

Lower cost. Production costs for microlearning should be much lower than costs for full course production. The vision of microlearning is smaller and laser-focused.

Fast-paced culture. Microlearning is a solution that busy workers will appreciate because it is not as disruptive as a day of training or even an hour or two of eLearning


There are some disadvantages to using a microlearning strategy:

Learning fragments. For long-term learning goals, micro-learning interventions could end up as content fragments that are not tied together.

Lack of evidence. There is insufficient research to know whether micro-learning is an effective strategy for reaching long-term learning goals.

Potential for confusion. If a micro-learning solution includes a wide variety of formats, some learners could have problems switching between them.

Here is a sample on



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