What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a way of teaching and delivering content to learners in short bursts of 3-5 minutes at the point of need, with a focused and specific learning outcome. The learner is in control of what and when they are learning, and can complete their training at a time and place that suits their schedule. In classes, the teacher controls these interaction times between the student and the microlearning educational platform and thus complements the lessons, improving the children’s learning.

Think about how content is consumed today. Most likely, it will be through short bursts of information in a Twitter feed or news update notifications on your mobile phone.

Bursts of Learning: a Revolution

Microlearning takes advantage of this behavior by replicating existing learning habits and allows access to short bursts of information that are more engaging and easier to digest. While microlearning gives us quick answers to the questions we need right now macroearning allows us to fully immerse ourselves in learning and delve deeper into a given topic. These two learning styles complement and reinforce each other throughout the learning process.

Importance of Microlearning

Microlearning is a term that is becoming more and more relevant in the field of virtual education. Especially for the corporate E-learning sector. The importance of this study methodology lies in the fact that it provides concrete answers through capsules of knowledge. Microlearning is becoming a trend for young people and adults.

Some Examples

Microlearning content can take many different forms. The characteristic that remains is that it is brief. Here are some examples of microlearning formats:

  • Text – flashcards and short paragraphs
  • Images – illustrations and visual aids
  • Videos – short and simple explanations
  • Audio– snippets of voice or music
  • Interactive – quizzes or games that test the student’s knowledge.

Microlearning platforms that use a variety of content formats and mimic the experience we have while scrolling through social media are the ones that best engage the user. It is about making learning fun and convenient for the end user so they can quickly pick up where they left off and stay motivated to continue.

This way of learning can be effective in various use cases and helps improve teaching techniques. Schools leveraging the microlearning strategy have seen a significant increase in retention and memorization, with some even seeing a 99% reduction in downtime.

Microlearning as an Educational Strategy in Classrooms and Schools

Unquestionably, it is a very useful educational strategy in classes. Knowledge encapsulated or formulated in little doses is really helpful for teachers to lean on when teaching concepts or new skills to the student.

The advantage of a microlearning educational platform that uses SEP school programmatic content as a base is that both teachers and students can be sure of learning what they need to learn and can use it throughout the school year.

How can I get started with microlearning?

Below are our top tips for launching a successful microlearning strategy or improving your existing one.

1. Make your microlearning mobile friendly

As we mentioned earlier, it is no coincidence that microlearning and mobile learning are becoming increasingly popular at the same time; they are complementary.

As you begin to design your learning, think about how people use their mobile phones rather than how your existing eLearning is structured. Take advantage of familiar and intuitive behavior so you do not have to teach the learner how to use the learning tool on top of everything else.

2. Make it easy to start and keep learning

Learners will decide in 4-5 clicks if your learning platform is worth it. Making sure it is easily accessible is the first point to consider.

Most of the e-learning platforms out there are not easy to login and will close you afterwards. This is not compatible with the very notion of microlearning, which requires very easy access, especially if used in classrooms by large numbers of students.

3. Keep it concise, keep it relevant

With post COVID-19, today’s students are overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient. This means that your students will take 5-10 seconds to decide whether to continue learning because their attention has been caught or not.

In our experience, the sweet spot for a microlearning lesson is 3-5 minutes in length.

4. Use videos

We all love videos, so be sure to incorporate them into your microlearning. The “keep it concise” rule applies here as well: a child’s attention span will not extend beyond 2 minutes.

Use real-life situations that your students can relate to and improve knowledge retention by using on-screen text and graphics to highlight main points.

5. Use of a cheerful conversational tone

Use interactivity, a conversational style and a dash of humor to challenge perceptions such as “math classes are boring.” You need to create a strong pull effect to attract learners on a regular basis. Break all traditional barriers.

6. Make learning a daily habit

We believe that the learning rhythms of early childhood education are improved, children are motivated to learn and excited to do so much that they do it by themselves. Be sure to encourage these habits and create space to encourage self-directed learning within the routines of the day.

7. Make use of «spaced repetition»

The concept of Spaced repetition means we learn by being exposed to new skills and ideas over time, with gaps and questions in between.

Research also shows that when we repeat information, with spaced intervals between them, and ask people questions to force us to retrieve information, we create new learning paths or routes. It is similar to how students learn by doing homework or questioning information.

8. Encourage and enable «compulsive learning»

We find that our students complete an average of more than 3 lessons at a time, so we adapt our learning design to this behavior. Make it easy and engaging for people to continue their learning by lining up the next short.

In fact, recent research suggests that you should prioritize your learning content and make it possible for your students to consume as much as they want. Not only will they stay longer on the platform and learn more, but they will also learn better.

Characteristics of Microlearning

The characteristics of microlearning are:

  • Brevity: the duration of the lessons is usually short, to enhance the student’s capacity for synthesis and analysis
  • Self-learning: the student makes the decision to take those courses that most interest him for his educational training
  • Variety: virtual courses of this type represent a wide range of topics
  • Dynamic: online tools make content interactive and accessible from any device
  • Recyclable: it allows the reuse of content on different platforms, without losing validity.

Benefits of Microlearning in Classroom

Microlearning enables JIT learning so the teacher or educator can make use of the microlearning lesson to enhance understanding and ensure timely learning.

  1. Connectivity to multiple mobile devices
  2. Microlearning lessons allow to maintain the focus of attention, by using it in the classroom the students stay active and focused
  3. The teaching modules are designed to progress progressively and complete each step to reach the end. This makes the student feel engaged or encouraged to continue learning.

What to Expect from Microlearning in the Future?

In the years to come, microlearning is expected to continue to evolve as a highly effective virtual teaching method for students.

Dare to be part of this new way of teaching and make the most of the pills of knowledge that microlearning brings to your training. This is the best time to start!

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