Microlearning is a more high tech way to describe chunking learning into smaller units and short-term learning activities. The idea is for learners to learn skills rather than concepts. In EdTech, this type of learning is initiated by the producer of the piece of learning. For example, push notifications will spring up and take away students’ need to remember to complete their eLearning. It makes heavy use of didactic learning. 

Didactic what? 

Didactic, or skill-based, learning. This is a scientifically researched method that aims to facilitate learning by building on existing knowledge. Didactic is intended to both inform and entertain. Picture it like a really great Louis Thoureaux documentary. It is episodic, accessible, and teaching you without needing to remind you that you are capital L learning. 

Research analysis shows that videos from YouTube and Vimeo do best when they are between 60-90 seconds. The percentage of views dramatically decreases with every second of video length. However, compared to didactic content, such as TED talks or webinars, the greatest impact is between 10-18 minutes. Clearly, the idea of what constitutes as “micro” in learning can be subjective and based on content. 

Microlearning Specifics

  • We really mean micro. While there is no magic length, as discussed above, the idea is, “As long as necessary, as short as possible!” 
  • Deals with no more than a single concept or problem.
  • Vary your learning types: podcasts, games, assessments, presentations 
  • Mobile friendly to make it accessible whenever needed or desired

5 Microlearning Success Tips:

  • shorter videos are more engaging
  • cutting between images of the instructor speaking and the content is more effective than only creating voice-overs over slides 
  • prioritizing visual content has better results 
  • ca. 160 words per minute are seen to be most effective, pauses should be reduced in post-production
  • allowing learners to skip to the parts of the learning they require is useful and has a greater impact on knowledge retention, and allows for re-watching 

Who is Microlearning for?

The easy answer to this would be everybody! However, the digital natives, Generation Y and Z, specifically benefit from this learning style. Additionally, it is the perfect learning style for university and business environments because it requires a self-motivated learner. This brings us to…

What are the Disadvantages of Microlearning? 

  • Microlearning can only cover one piece of learning at a time 
  • It cannot be the only type of learning because it can’t meet every business and learning need
  • It may feel expensive for the number of minutes received 
  • It could offer too much choice for some learners and cause paralysis of choice 
  • It cannot tackle technically dense information 

What are the Advantages of Microlearning?

  • 17% more efficient than classroom 
  • Training learners are more willing to re-engage frequently, which ups knowledge retention.
  • It blends into general employee activity when available at the point of need—for example, an easy explanatory pop-up video on how to set up a difficult insurance claim.

Misconceptions About Microlearning 

People who aren’t in the know on EdTech often think that microlearning simply involves chopping a larger learning unit into smaller chunks. The strategy behind microlearning isn’t separating a dinner into individual ingredients. Each unit is its own hors-d’oeuvres. While they may be a larger part of the dinner party, but they are their own course. Holistically use it for its own purpose and to contribute to your learners’ individual learning experiences. 

Examples of Microlearning 

Let’s take a new employee through a journey of learning involving microlearning solutions:

1. Onboarding

  • They watch welcome and introductory company videos.
  • They learn more about the company’s history using an interactive timeline.
  • A clickable FAQ page shows common questions and concerns. Include good places to have a cheap and cheerful takeaway lunch. 
  • An interactive map makes the building more accessible. 

2. Sales Training

  • Interactive product tutorials with printable overviews.
  • Interaction with AI B2B customer 

3. Leadership Training

  • Audio podcast
  • Inspirational talks
  • Optional scenarios with reactions

Employee Underperformance 

Microlearning is an excellent opportunity to help motivate an underperforming employee. A quick quiz can help pinpoint any pain points for them, the system, and you. Once the learning need has been established, the microlearning program can take Ulla from unmotivated to outperformer. Perhaps some soft skills training on mental health and burnout can be suggested if a learner appears to be struggling in those areas as well. More and more companies are taking responsibility for worker health into their hands this way. 


Microlearning is one of the more new players in the EdTech market. It is by no means a one-size-fits-all solution, but then again, what is? Microlearning fits into a fast paced 2020, which is attempting to turn faster to make up for any lost time. Whether you invest in conjunction with larger eLearning packages or have an interest in augmenting your existing learning system, microlearning is well worth a closer look. Hopefully, we’ve been able to give you a small taste of everything microlearning is capable of.

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