Microlearning: Boost Your Bite-Sized Knowledge

Afifa Shafi
November 8, 2023
min read
November 8, 2023
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Boost your bite-sized knowledge with microlearning. Learn best practices and real-life examples to increase knowledge retention, engagement and flexibility.
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Microlearning is an innovative learning approach that focuses on delivering small, bite-sized training to learners. 

In this blog, we'll help you understand the potential of microlearning to engage your audience, improve knowledge retention and optimize cost-effectiveness. 

TL;DR: Microlearning

  • Microlearning is a learning approach that delivers short bursts of information in small modules.
  • It offers benefits such as increased knowledge retention, improved engagement, and flexibility.
  • However, challenges include content curation, motivation, and ensuring contextual relevance.
  • Best practices include simplicity, interactivity, multimedia integration, learner-centric approach, and assessment and feedback.
  • Real-world examples include Microsoft Learn, Duolingo, and HubSpot Academy.
  • With Scribe, you can create effective learning courses in seconds.

Create microlearning content in seconds with Scribe
Create learning content in seconds with Scribe

Wh‎at is microlearning?

Microlearning is a learning approach that delivers short bursts of information in small, manageable micromodules.

Microlearning modules are typically less than 10 minutes long and can be accessed on-demand. Learners with short attention spans are more likely to focus on and remember information that is delivered in short, manageable chunks.

Microlearning can be used to teach a wide range of topics, from new job skills to complex business concepts. It's often used in corporate training programs, but it can also be used for personal learning and development.

Microlearning content can take many forms, including videos, quizzes, interactive modules, podcasts, infographics and short articles.

Create learning content for free ➜

How is microlearning used?

Microlearning can be used in a variety of ways, including:

Performance support: Department managers can provide employees with just-in-time training on the tasks they are performing.

Employee onboarding: A bite-size employee training strategy can help onboard new employees quickly and efficiently.

Continuous learning: Encourage employees to learn at their own pace with a library of engaging microlearning courses on a variety of topics.

Compliance training and regulatory requirements: Help employees understand and adhere to compliance processes, industry regulations and legal obligations.

Personal learning and development: Learn a new language, play a musical instrument or code with microlearning training modules.

Academic education: Microlearning methods are also being used to supplement traditional academic teaching. For example, a professor might use blended learning tools to help students review key concepts before an exam or to learn about new topics not covered in the textbook.

‎3 ‎key benefits of microlearning

Here are the 3 key benefits of microlearning you should know about:

1. Increase knowledge retention 

One of the key advantages of shorter digital learning content is its potential to improve knowledge retention. By delivering knowledge in brief, targeted bursts, learners can focus on certain concepts without becoming overwhelmed. 

Learners can acquire and remember vital information more efficiently, and continuous reinforcement of key concepts at spaced intervals improves long-term recall.

2. Improve engagement

Interactive elements, gamification and multimedia components enhance the experience, leading to higher learner engagement. 

Self-paced e-learning formats encourage better engagement and involvement by offering knowledge in various formats, such as videos, quizzes, or interactive modules. 

Small bite-sized units also ensure that learners complete modules quickly, resulting in more opportunities to "level up" knowledge acquisition. 

3. Flexible and time efficient

Bite-sized training is highly adaptable and time efficient, making it ideal for today's fast-paced and busy schedules.

Learners can access on-the-go learning modules on mobile devices whenever they have small pockets of time, like during breaks or while commuting. Self-paced learning allows them to meet learning objectives without in-depth study time. 

3 ‎potential challenges of microlearning

These are the 3 potential challenges of microlearning that you might encounter:

1. Content curation and quality

High-quality resources are crucial, as curating useful and reliable information concisely necessitates significant planning and expertise. 

Creating or acquiring appropriate lessons that match specific learning objectives can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. 

Ensuring that the information is well-structured, up-to-date and successfully delivers the required knowledge will set you up for success with microlearning. For this, you can use tools like Scribe to enable seamless content updating features and robust search capabilities.

2. Increase motivation and engagement

Keeping learners motivated throughout the learning process can lead to an increase in engagement. Since modules are short, learners may feel less connected or engaged compared to longer learning units or marathon training sessions. 

To address this issue, it's critical to provide dynamic, visually appealing content. You can increase completion rates by adding:

  • Multiple choice options.
  • Gamification strategies.
  • Learning-related interactions.
  • Challenges.
  • Incentives.

3. Ensuring contextual relevance

Contextual relevance is critical for effective learning. Modules should be created with the learners' individual needs and context in mind.

Contextual relevance can be created by employing scenarios, case studies, or real-life examples relevant to the learners' jobs or personal lives.

Regularly assessing the performance of the learners and feedback systems can also help ensure your existing eLearning content remains relevant.

Microlearning best practices

When designing lessons, follow these key microlearning principles and best practices:

1. Simplicity

Keep learning modules minimal and focused on specific learning objectives. 

  • The ideal length of a course is between 1 and 10 minutes to avoid overloading students with information.
  • Break complicated topics down into concise and short courses that can be completed quickly. 
  • Clear and succinct language, combined with visual content, can improve learning and recall.

2. Interactivity and training engagement 

Increase engagement by adding interactive features like:

  • Multiple-choice quizzes.
  • Multimedia activities.
  • Drag-and-drop exercises.
  • Branching scenarios.

Make topics more relatable and interesting by using narrative techniques or real-world examples.

3. Multimedia integration

Use of a variety of multimedia elements to improve the learning experience, including:

  • Videos.
  • Images.
  • Infographics.
  • Audio snippets.
  • Animations.
  • GIFs.

Multimedia assets can help clarify complex topics, accommodate different learning styles and boost overall learner interest.

4. Learner-centric approach

Personalize your learning content to meet the requirements and interests of each learner. Allow learners to select topics or pathways that resonate with them. 

To encourage personalized learning experiences, provide chances for micro-assessments, reflection and feedback. You can also provide customized learning sessions based on their preferred time duration.

5. Assessment and feedback

Include tools for assessing learner progress and knowledge retention. Use formative evaluations such as knowledge checks to promote learning and provide rapid feedback. 

To measure overall learning outcomes, you can provide summative exams at the end of a sequence of small learning units.

‎‎‎‎3 ‎real world microlearning examples 

Here are 3 of the top examples from some well-known brands to help you understand how it works:

1. Microsoft Learn

(Source: Microsoft Learn)

Microsoft leverages web-based training to train employees on numerous software products and technologies. They've created "Microsoft Learn," a platform that delivers short courses, hands-on experiments and quizzes. 

Learners can concentrate on individual topics by completing short modules, ranging between 2 to 4 minutes (as you can see in the image given below) at their own speed. 

Microsoft's training material empowers employees to learn new skills or refresh their knowledge, promoting professional development and keeping them current with the continuously changing technology landscape.

2. Duolingo

(Source: Duolingo)

‎Language app Duolingo is a well-known microlearning platform focused on vocabulary acquisition and conversational skills. Duolingo provides interesting and convenient bite-sized language learning information, with its gamified lessons, mobile learning, spaced repetition techniques, progress monitoring and social engagement elements. 

Users can complete brief lessons on the go, reinforce learning with spaced repetition, measure their progress, and interact with a supportive community. 

Duolingo also provides customized learning sessions. When you first register for a course, it asks for your preferred time duration of learning every day. Based on your choice, it provides sessions ranging between 5 to 15 minutes.

Duolingo's methodology makes language learning accessible and encouraging for students of all skill levels.

3. HubSpot Academy

(Source: HubSpot Academy)

HubSpot, a well-known marketing and sales software brand, employs bite-sized training through its HubSpot Academy. The Academy provides free online courses and certificates in inbound marketing, sales and customer service. Their training comprises bite-sized skill based lessons, video-based content, exams, on-demand access, and certifications. 

HubSpot Academy allows learners to effortlessly fit learning into their schedules, actively engage with the content, and reinforces comprehension by breaking courses down into short pieces of content, including entertaining videos and offering evaluations. 

On-demand access and certifications increase the flexibility and motivation for professionals to upskill and stay current in their particular fields.

How to effortlessly create and deliver microlearning

Use Scribe's free Microlearning Generator to create content

‎Microlearning has changed the way we learn and upskill. However, generating earning courses can be a time-consuming and difficult process. That's where using the best tools comes in.

Create effortless learning content with Scribe, an AI-powered tool that turns even the most complex concepts into an easy-to-understand guide, complete with practical steps and annotated screenshots.

With Scribe, you can automatically generate written instructions, complete with text and screenshots, in seconds.

  • Turn any process into a thorough instructional resource with a few clicks.
  • Use Scribe’s ChatGPT feature to combine each guide and add extra details that answer not just the how, but the why of any process.
  • Add alerts, tips, hints, GIFs, and videos to make your content stand out. 
  • Scribe offers a variety of templates and tools for presenting bite size lessons.
  • Organize your learning content into conveniently accessible guides with its user-friendly UI and customizable themes.
  • You can use Scribe to share modules, or share courses by sending via email, embedding microlearning courses, or adding Scribes to your learning management systems.

Create bite-sized learning courses for free with Scribe ➜

Re‎volutionize your training approach

By leveraging the power of bite-sized virtual training, you can unlock the benefits of enhanced engagement, improved knowledge retention and optimized cost-effectiveness.

And by leveraging (dare we say gorgeous) tools like Scribe, you can easily tap into a new era of efficient and powerful learning in your workplace.

Build free, visual microlearning content today!

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