Microlearning: What’s All The Hype About?

By: Verbit Editorial



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Education professionals continue to recognize that the way students learn is changing, while the platforms they learn on are evolving. Educators are embracing new methods of learning delivery and one of these terms which keeps coming up is “microlearning.”

“Microlearning is the future of learning especially when we harness the affordances of technology,” said Firoze Ismail, Head Coach, Chief Learning & Performance Solutionist. “Microlearning makes learning accessible anytime and anywhere for our learners.”

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a skill-based approach to learning that delivers information in small, highly focused bursts in order for a student to achieve a specific type of learning objective. Microlearning is designed to deliver a certain amount of information in a short period of time in order to maximize engagement, and deliver a deeper learning experience.

Many students find microlearning to be invaluable since it allows for information to be consumed quickly. When bite-sized learning content is easily and readily accessible to learners, they can follow it at their own pace, thereby increasing their rate of retention.
woman with hands on her chin looking at her laptop on the table

What Are Some Examples of Microlearning?

Microlearning can take a variety of different forms, from texts to full-blown interactive multimedia, but should always be short. Examples include:

– Games (simple single-screen challenges)
– Quizzes and tests
– Short bursts of audio and music
– Short videos and images
– Short paragraphs of text

What Are The Benefits of Microlearning?

Microlearning offers a variety of advantages to students:

    • Aids in information retention: Long-form content can overwhelm students with too much information all at once, leading to insecurity in the learning environment. According to the Journal of Educational Computing Research, short snippets of information increase information retention rates by 20%. By engaging with a small amount of focused content, a learner is much more likely to absorb key points and retain information.
    • Requires less student commitment: Microlearning removes extraneous information by condensing it down to an amount that is more easily digested by learners. Reducing the time commitment of students, makes learning more accessible for the modern, time-strapped learner. Overall, microlearning lessons are short and compact (between six and nine minutes total), an ideal length for modern attention spans.
    • Increases efficacy: Microlearning is specifically geared toward producing a certain result or outcome rather than presenting endless streams of extraneous information. Students can then master the basics of a certain subject in a fraction of the time.
    • Places an emphasis on relevance: Microlearning is task-oriented, cutting out extraneous information. Instead of providing irrelevant material, microlearning gives students the exact information they need to succeed.
    • Personalizes information: In higher education, students who are enrolled in a course will be instructed and tested on the same information, irrespective of experience or background. With this learning style, some students may waste weeks or even months learning things they already know, as the curriculum cannot be personalized. With microlearning, it’s possible to customize a course to meet the skill levels and needs of each student.
    • Prevents student burnout: Since microlearning is short and focused, it shields learners from being bogged down by information and prevents  burnout.

Stats & Research

Interesting research on microlearning to understand why it may be worth implementing:

  • Learning in bite-sized pieces makes the transfer of learning from the classroom to the desk 17% more efficient. (Journal of Applied Psychology, 2017).
  • The use of microlearning objects increased learning and retention of course material by 18% (Mohammed, Wakil, Nawroly, 2018).
  • People who learn through micro learning techniques answered questions 28% faster (Dresden University Study).
  • One minute of video content was found to equal about 1.8 million written words for information retention (Forrester Research)
  • 70% of any new information is lost within 24 hours if there is no effort to retain it (Hermann Ebbinghaus).
  • 94% of distance learning professionals would choose it over traditional time-consuming eLearning because their learners prefer it (Boyette Study).

Verbit recognizes the value of enlisting different methods of education delivery. it’s one technique that offers students a different way to engage with their course content. Additional ways to help students learn effectively is to add captioning to the videos they’re being shown.

For more ideas on how to offer students elements of choice and lean more into UDL principles to drive inclusion at your school, feel free to reach out to us at info@verbit.ai.