Microlearning - less is more!

Are you one of those? Quickly looking up things in a free moment, using a brief waiting period for vocabulary training, checking up on the latest news in-between: many of us do this on a daily basis. It is quite normal for us to use these small time slots. In a marketing context, Google has labeled them "Micro-Moments".  In Learning & Development  everybody is talking about microlearning. These are small, self-contained learning units between 10 seconds and a maximum of 10 minutes – also called microcontent or learning nuggets.

For which learning content is this form particularly suitable and what should you consider when applying it?


From performance support to teaser: Typical use cases

Microcontent or learning nuggets allow your employees to look at brief learning contents while they are working. This can be a type of performance support: An employee is in the middle of a task and quickly wants to look up something. So they are experiencing a "moment of need", an acute demand for information. However, they do not have a lot of time because they want to finish their task. That is when the small information bite comes in handy.

Microlearning is also suitable for repeating something already learned, for related tips or refresher questions compiled in a little quiz. Additionally, learning nuggets can serve as appetizers: In cases where employees do not know that much about a topic yet, microlearning content can be the teaser to create curiosity and get them to sign up for a longer workshop or contact an expert in the company. In this way microlearning can also be a stepping stone to Social Learning.

Further, learning in small portions can be used to spread updates and brief news, a daily inspiration, pieces of vocabulary or a series of blog articles. All of this can be organized in a way so that the learning nuggets appear on a certain device at a pre-defined time. You may already have guessed it: These will primarily be mobile devices. But this does not have to be the perfect match for all companies. It is worth having a consultant take a closer look at the work and learning environment of your employees. 


What are the benefits?

For companies it is often easier and quicker to design or add to brief learning units. It is also relatively easy to combine nuggets into larger topic areas. To ensure learners are completing the nuggets in the correct order and in the correct intervals, we recommend you use the learning plan features in your LMS. Via notifications, learners are continuously alerted to the next content. (If you want to know how to do this with Totara LMS, ask our Totara experts.)

But even if you have compiled a nice curriculum for microlearning content it can happen – especially with more complex and extensive topics - that learners lose the bigger picture and are not aware of the connections between the units. This is because they are accessing isolated bites of information and sometimes some time passes between these accesses. Therefore you need to provide some context with the nuggets linking them to previous content. To sum it up we would recommend using microlearning as an addition to other forms of training, e.g. for repetition and refreshing.


Do you want to find out more about microlearning after this nugget? Then  contact    us!