What is Microlearning?

We’re always on the lookout for new ways to deliver learning in a way that’s useful to learners. Taking our courses online means that they can be watched in your own time, at your own pace, paused, rewound and even played back faster or slower. We’ve filled our online academy with a range of courses, varying in length and focus: our focused Toolkit courses will deliver skills in a specific area, and our longer and more involved Personal Development courses will help you set goals, change the way you think and make real changes in your life.

We’ve recently added a new Microlearning category to our online academy. Microlearning is an approach to learning that breaks down content into small, easily digestible units. If you’ve never come across microlearning before, read on: we’ll explain what it is, why it’s useful and how it can help you get where you want to be.

Browse our microlearning courses here, where you can find short, focused bite-sized courses on topics like giving feedback and prioritising your time. 

What is microlearning?

Microlearning courses are short, focused learning units that deliver only the necessary information on a particular topic. The concept of microlearning isn’t a new one, but it’s taken off in recent years as the popularity of smartphones has changed the way we consume information: it’s well-suited to learners with busy schedules and lots of distractions. Research shows that microlearning can be really effective when used in the right setting: a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology showed that microlearning was 17% more efficient in transferring knowledge than in a standard classroom learning. 

In a world where many of us access information in short bursts – on our commute, during a break from work, while waiting for a bus – short, focused courses are a great way to take advantage of those short breaks. It’s said we check our phones an average of 9 times an hour; if you often find yourself scrolling through social media or reading articles during a break, why not dedicate that time to a microlearning course?

What are the benefits of microlearning?

It’s a great option if you’re looking to learn a specific skill, or if you’re short on time. Microlearning modules are highly targeted and specific, so it’s easy to focus on what you’re learning: the goal is to deliver key information in a way that’s easily retained.

If you find it difficult to complete longer courses, a microlearning approach may be useful: if there’s something you’d like to learn, you could always start off with a microlearning module and move on to a longer course if you need more information.

What are the limitations of microlearning?

Although microlearning has become popular over the last few years, it’s not the answer to every learning objective. While it’s great for very focused topics, it’s not as well suited to more complex learning, or courses where accountability is required. If you’re looking to set goals and work towards achieving them, a microlearning course might help with one specific area, but it won’t encourage you to stay focused as you move towards your goals.

How can you use microlearning to achieve your goals effectively?

Whether you’re looking to get better at your job (for example by improving your communication or public speaking skills, or becoming more organised), looking to move in a new direction in your career or personal life, or just working to become a better version of yourself, it’s a good idea to combine learning approaches for the most effective outcome. 

Microlearning is a great way to make the most of short periods of time, where longer forms of learning aren’t an option. It’s also a great way to help you pick up specific skills or learn about a focused topic. If you’d like to learn more about that topic and how to integrate it into your routine, move on to a longer course that covers that same topic. Our microlearning courses are designed to lead into our longer courses; if there’s a topic that interests you, and you’re not sure where to go next, get in touch and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Have a look at our microlearning courses, and the rest of our online courses, in our online academy.

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