Numbers Don’t Lie: Why Microlearning is Better for Your Learners (and You too)


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While we all have different learning styles, most people get easily bored and disengaged when dealing with long, traditional training or courses.  And when we’re not attentive and engaged, we often don’t retain the information learned in the long-term memory. And that’s where microlearning comes in.

Microlearning is one of the most effective ways of delivering courses in small chunks of content that are digestible and easily accessible anywhere and anytime. Microlearning content can take the form of video, audio, games, quizzes, or even images. Like playing your favorite slot machine games such as rickety cricket, microlearning content makes the learning experience more engaging and improves the long-term retention of knowledge.

Here are some of the reasons why you should include microlearning content into your learning programs.

1. Short Bursts of Content Improve Focus And Support Long-Term Retention

According to a study by the Technical University of Denmark, our attention span has reduced dramatically in recent years due to the amount of information we’re bombarded with daily. Studies show we’re likely to forget as much as 50 to 80 percent of information after a training event if the learning isn’t reinforced. Additionally, we can only retain up to seven new pieces of information in our short-term memory.

This makes traditional learning methods ineffective when it comes to helping learners retain knowledge. However, the small chunks of microlearning content don’t clutter the learners’ memories with irrelevant information, making knowledge retention easier. Also, microlearning improves focus since the content is engaging and more digestible, which makes comprehension easier for your learners. This, in turn, improves their information retention.

2. Modern Learners Prefer Microlearning Content to Long-Form Content

A recent survey showed that Millenials, including the younger Generation Z, account for nearly one-half of the US workforce, actively use smartphones and prefer microlearning to traditional learning methods. This makes microlearning content the ideal solution for these two generations since it allows them to look up for solutions to work-related problems, discover new skills, and manage their workflow better.

This way, professionals have realized the efficacy of microlearning in improving the learning experience for millennial learners. This is crucial in addressing the needs of modern learners who want training programs and content on-demand, informal, and designed to their needs. Creating microlearning content means that your learners can digest concepts faster, have the ability to multitask, and better retain information learned.

3. Short Bite-sized Content Creates More Engagement

Learners are more likely to get bored and disengaged when dealing with long-form courses.  Besides boredom, longer courses can be difficult to digest and retain for your learners. Microlearning is designed to be exciting, which makes it a great option for your learners. And it allows you to engage them from the beginning to the end of the course.

You can make your courses more engaging with microlearning content, including videos, infographics, animations, interactive game slides, and other interactive and visually engaging features. These strategies result in greater learner engagement and focused attention to your content. Microlearning content on smartphones also helps keep your learners’ engagement levels high since it employs different kinds of media content to keep them captivated. This also makes learning content readily accessible, so they can learn at their own pace.

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4. Cuts down Training Costs and Saves Time

Using microlearning content as a supplemental or alternative strategy to your training program can help cut down your training costs and save a lot of time. Microlearning eliminates the need for renting or buying physical classrooms or equipment such as desktops, saving you lots of money. You also don’t need to pay an instructor for his time.

Additionally, with microlearning, you and your learners don’t have to schedule valuable work time for learning. This is because microlearning is designed to be performed independently by learners. Since microlearning courses are modular in nature, it’s much simpler and less time-intensive to roll them out. It’s also easier, less time-consuming, and less costly to update digital content than reprinting training manuals and conducting classroom training sessions.

5. Encourages Faster Learning

Research shows that employees, on average, spend 1 percent or 24 minutes of their work week on learning activities. This means it’s nearly impossible to complete a corporate eLearning course in a week, considering it typically runs between 20 and 30 minutes long on average. Also, on average, an employee spends only 20 seconds browsing one piece of digital information before clicking on the next one.

We cannot maintain focus for long. Instead, we learn best when content is delivered in small chunks of information and in shorter bursts of time. With shorter microlearning courses, learners can effortlessly complete multiple training modules per week. Also, microlearning is meant to deliver personalized, on-demand training, which suits the style of learning of an average modern learner. So, if you don’t want your learners to spend a lot of their time and effort going through lengthy training content, provide them with short bursts of content in bite-sized amounts to encourage faster learning. Repetition also helps reinforce learning and improve knowledge retention.

Conclusion

From improving focus and supporting long-term information retention to making learning more engaging and reducing training costs, it’s clear microlearning has the edge over traditional learning methods. Adopting microlearning is beneficial not only for your learners, but also for you. Some important microlearning tips to help you maximize the above benefits include making your content short and as engaging and captivating as possible, and optimizing it for mobile devices.

The best part is that microlearning can be applied or adopted in both education and business settings. You can use it as a supplemental strategy for your training program or as a standalone learning tool. You can also use microlearning to foster a culture of learning in your organization.

How else does using microlearning content help you and your learners? Let us know in the comment section.