Microlearning: effortless, yet effective

Winston Churchill once said, “I’m always ready to learn, but I usually don’t like being taught”. As Churchill astutely observed, being taught takes time, something we never seem to have enough of. In today’s fast paced world, instant gratification is made possible on nearly every platform and learning is no exception. E-learning has provided faster and more concise educational tools that enable us to bypass the traditional learning curve.

According to the Harvard Business Review, from 2017 on the e-learning market share has increased by 200%, at a value of $250 billion, with an expected increase of $50 billion by 2025. Falling underneath the e-learning umbrella is microlearning, today’s most effortless yet effective way to learn.

But what exactly is microlearning? Microlearning offers bite-sized educational content in the form of video, audio podcasts, presentations, games, or a short online lesson. These small learning units are typically 2-7 minutes long as opposed to regular e-learning that has no duration limit. Microlearning provides a quick and easy practice where minimal effort and information meet maximum impact.

 

retention rate

According to Raytheon Technologies research, microlearning has proven to increase focus and retention by 80%. In the same study, it was also found that 50-80% of the information one learns can be forgotten if it is not learnt effectively. With more than half of all the new information we receive subject to dismissal, microlearning proves to be a steadfast alternative to foster attention and increase retention. In the same way, it prevents learners from receiving irrelevant information which allows them to easily and effortlessly understand the content.

 

accessibility & Customization

One of the benefits microlearning offers is that it enables learners to access the content whenever and wherever they want. According to a survey conducted by The Campaign For Learning, 94% of millennials prefer microlearning over traditional e-learning. Millennials want the content to be customized to their needs, on-demand, and informal. Flexibility and personalization when it comes to learning, results in higher task completion rates. So for these modern learners microlearning sounds like the perfect fit!

working memory capacity

Presently, people’s working memory capacity is not accustomed to fully understanding or receiving big chunks of information. The “working memory capacity” refers to one’s ability to select and maintain relevant/new information. According to a study by the University of California-Irvine, a person’s average working time before getting interrupted is 11 minutes. Within these 11 minutes, an estimate of three 2-5 minute-long tasks without interruption are performed. This suggests that short and quick tasks match people’s working memory capacity and therefore, create engagement.
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The average modern learners’ daily lives are no longer as conducive to traditional educational approaches. Unlike more universal practices, microlearning’s unique methodology increases the likelihood content will be stored in long-term memories, thus resulting in a deeper understanding of the material at hand. This isn’t to say that other widely accepted educational practices aren’t effective, but that the same knowledge can be acquired with less time and focus.

conclusion

The endless days of studying are long over, it’s time to cut to the chase and shorten the learning curve with microlearning!