Microlearning – Part II – The Pros and Cons

In the last article, we briefly covered the history of microlearning and discussed a little of what it looks like in practice. But how effective is it? Does it have any downfalls, or does it work in every scenario?

Microlearning is a rather prolific method of learning in today’s digital world because it is so accessible. Roughly 85% of people now have a smart phone, up from 35% in just the last 10 years. This statistic means that 85% of people potentially have access to simple microlearning modules in their pockets, no matter where they are.  Since many people only have the attention span of a goldfish, the small amount of time required for the bursts of microlearning fits the average person.

Benefits of Microlearning

Following are some of the ways businesses might benefit from utilizing microlearning:

Less Time Required

Due to the short learning bursts, employees can learn new skills in shorter amounts of time. In addition to the reduced time requirement, microlearning usually includes consistency because it focuses on learning small bits over a longer period of time, which increases retention and improves job performance (Valamis).

Overhead Cost Savings

Another microlearning business benefit is the ability to easily update the learning content, whereas updating long-form material (books, classroom material, etc.) can be more laborious and expensive (TechTarget). In this way, the microlearning format can save companies both time and money.

Increased Engagement

Microlearning often utilizes various kinds of media, including games, text, video, quizzes, and more. Using so many different forms of media means employees stay focused and engaged, increasing job satisfaction and avoiding burnout (BetterUp).

With these benefits, numerous companies have found great success utilizing microlearning in their training.  If you’re looking into microlearning, you may want to consider a few other factors. It is important to note, for instance, that microlearning isn’t intended for mastery of a broad subject, but rather the reinforcement and retention of more narrow subjects (TechTarget), which means the subject matter should have a limited scope. Broad subjects are not recommended for the microlearning