Why Micro-learning is More Relevant than Ever
Education is perceived by many as a ticket for a better life. People spend a lot of time learning new things and skills. And it’s not always even for career prospects or some other practical application of knowledge. Some of us like to learn. Nowadays, online study courses are top-rated. But have you ever heard about “micro-learning”? Let’s find out what it is!
Since the term “micro-learning” is still relatively new, there is no official definition for micro-learning in scientific research. Nevertheless, all learning or training processes based on micro-learning have one key feature: brevity. The brevity can refer either to the learning units or the time span of learning.
Microlearning is characterized by many as small, independent learning units, so-called micro-contents, which are usually completed in short periods of time. These learning units can last 10-15 minutes or more, but a unit can also consist of just a few seconds. Each learning unit deals with a specific topic. Content can take many formats, from text to fully interactive multimedia content, but should always be short.
Here are some examples of micro-learning formats:
- Text: sentences, short paragraphs
- Visual formats: photos, illustrations, infographics, screenshots
- Videos (the short versions)
- Audio: short speech or music excerpts, news excerpts, podcasts
- Interactive formats: tests and quizzes
So, what are the benefits of micro-learning?
It's available anytime, anywhere.
A big advantage of micro-learning is that the information you need for the learning units is available anytime and anywhere, thanks to mobile devices such as smartphones. You can access it at any time and thereby improve the learning process. One can speak here of ubiquitous learning (the word “ubiquitous” means “widespread everywhere”).
E-learning and other learning processes can be made more interesting for learners through micro-learning, as the individual learning units can be implemented individually. When learning foreign languages, for example, various aspects such as grammar or vocabulary can be learned individually in various formats. So every learner can find a format that suits the respective learner type.
With microlearning, learners can complete a unit at any time in their free time. You can micro-learn on the way to school, on the subway, or during an afternoon break. So you can integrate the small learning units into your everyday life and are independent of a place or time. Another advantage: Since micro-training courses are small, e.g., 2-minute podcasts or short videos can also be easily downloaded and taken offline.
Learners find it more exciting.
Micro-training is one of the most interesting learning methods available to many. With micro-learning, you learn in small bites, often on your smartphone; the content is often interactive and interesting, e.g., like quizzes or tests. The experience is similar to checking the preferred social app on the smartphone. It is actually a pleasant change from stubbornly learning 10 pages of text or strenuous memorization of formulas and equations, as students do at school or university.
Each person can only concentrate on a task or learning content for a certain amount of time; we usually speak of a time span of around 30 minutes. Since the content of micro-learning is divided into short learning pieces, the inevitable digression can be prevented. In addition, the topics are much targeted, focused on relevant information, but at the same time processed in a very understandable way. The individual can understand the content more easily and feels less overwhelmed.
What if you wanted to launch your own micro-learning app or project?
First and foremost, make every effort at the start of the project.
Do not expect that you will start the engine, and the car will move on its own. Do your best at the start to avoid slipping. A large-scale PR campaign of the course, active support of moderators, quick feedback in response to user requests - will help get results.
Then, you have to test your product.
Do some research on what is trendy with your target audience. Also, reflect on what you’d like to know about yourself. If you’re passionate about what you do, it will be noticeable. Think about how you can constantly improve your services and moderate content carefully. Remember that new information is being uploaded on the Web every single day.
For all its advantages, micro-learning is not the answer to every learning need. It cannot be used to convey a broad, basic knowledge on a subject as it focuses on solving one problem at a time or answering one question at a time.
Nothing can give you all the answers in the world. But a learning strategy that can fit into your busy schedule, satisfy your curiosity, and will also be fun is great, isn’t it?