The work environment is awash with buzzwords. But there is one that is taking the Learning and Development world by storm. Microlearning. Although this has been around for a while now, people are just only now starting to realise the potential of this style of learning.

“But what is this microlearning you speak of?”, I hear you say. Well let me explain. There is a big misconception that microlearning is merely long eLearning cut down into bite size chunks. But this is not the case. The point of microlearning is not to cut long eLearning’s down, as ultimately you will still be required to do the same amount of hours regardless.

Microlearning allows the learner to learn a new skill or upskill, in a fraction of the time it takes to do conventional eLearning modules.

Let’s take a step back here and have a look at the day of a time challenged, modern employee. According to a 2017 study by Deloitte , the modern employees have only 1% of their working week available to focus on training and development.

That’s 24 minutes per typical working week, or four and a half minutes per working day!

Four and a half minutes, that is crazy! That is just enough time to listen to a song or two on Spotify or heat up your lunch in the office microwave.

So, not a lot of time requires a different strategy and one way corporate learning is having to change to meet today’s time challenged employees, is by utilizing micro-learning. These short bursts of learning, three to five minutes long, focus only on key practical tips. No fluff or filler.

Today’s learner is well used to gaining knowledge this way. Think about this scenario: if the wheel on your bike was broken, what would you do? Enrol yourself in a bike repair course at your local college? Unlikely. Drive to the library and rent a book on bike repair? Maybe…15 years ago. You’d probably more likely go to YouTube and look at a two-minute video of someone showing you how to fix the same problem.

Although we used the example of a video, micro-learning comes in all shapes and sizes, from presenter style videos to animated videos to flash cards. It can take a fair amount of time to read a text heavy learning module. That is why micro-learning tends to be more visual than wordy. It is easier to get the most important point across if you direct the animation etc straight to the point.

If you want to implement micro-learning in your organization, you can create your own microlearning, either from scratch using an authoring tool like Articulate Storyline or Vyond, or by cutting down longer modules and videos into shorter parts.

If you are cutting down learning, here are our top 3 tips:

    1. Make sure that you’re “trimming the fat”. There’s not much benefit in splitting an hour-long elearning into six 10-minute modules.
    2. Find the top three key points of the longer piece of learning; what are the three things you’d want the learner to walk away knowing even if they don’t remember anything else? Make each of these points the focus of an individual piece of micro-learning.
    3. If there’s a process or series of steps include a take-away performance support resource as part of your micro-learning package – this could be a one-page PDF or PNG with key steps. The learner can then print or save this to their phone’s camera roll for reference later.