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One of the popular catchphrases in offices around the world lately is micro education. 

But what is microlearning exactly, and how is it different from a quick Google search? 

The microlearning definition states this is a form of learning that offers small size units and delivers bits of knowledge in highly focused nuggets, giving the learner only the necessary amount of information, stripped of all good to know facts. It sticks only to must-know pieces of information that allow for fast absorption and long retention of the subject matter. 

Let’s have a look at some of the latest microlearning trends. While it sounds a lot like what we do each time we watch a YouTube tutorial, and yes, it can be done that way too, there’s more to it, as we found at Mark in Style

Here are some of the things to consider when deciding whether to go macro or micro. 

Fascinating Microlearning Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • Learning in small chunks makes the transfer of learning to office use 17% more efficient.
  • Microlearning lessons address only one or two learning goals, while full courses on average cover four to five topics and areas.
  • 94% of teaching and development professionals say they like microlearning better compared to traditional online courses. 
  • Over 50% of respondents said they would use learning tools more often if they were provided with shorter and faster versions of the courses.
  • Learning attention works better in bursts of three to five minutes.

Microlearning Trends in 2020

1. Knowledge transfer is 17% more efficient with micro-learning.

(Shift Learning)

Learning retention rates show that learning in small chunks makes the transfer of learning considerably more efficient. What makes retention of knowledge harder is the clutter of the mind with nonessential information. When that is brought down to the bare minimum, employees can focus on the key takeaways instead of receiving information that is good to know and interesting but not necessarily useful later on.

2. Microlearning lessons have only one or two topics per unit.

(Talentlms, Ispring Solutions, Shift Learning)

Microlearning lessons address only one or two learning goals, while full courses, on average cover four to five topics and areas. Since micro lessons are divided into small parts that are heavily focused, they never cover more than what is absolutely necessary. 

And if one field of study has more relevant topics, they will each have a micro lesson of their own rather than requiring a broad and time-consuming view of all the facts together.

That being said:

One of the most important microlearning trends is that it’s not a simple split of a long course into short segments, as each unit must be completely standalone and offer full information.

3. Up to 94% of educators prefer the microlearning method.

(Shift Learning)

Up to 94% of teaching and development professionals say they like microlearning better compared to traditional online courses. This is because their students prefer to learn this way. 

The thing is:

Tasks can be done in between meetings and on the go, making the process more individualised and customised to their specific needs. The fact that it’s on-demand is what is so appealing to many, as they can access the content at their own convenience and still get the desired result.

4. Over 50% of people prefer to learn through micro-units.

(Shift Learning)

Over half of respondents among questioned employees undergoing training have said they would be utilizing the offered learning tools more often if the company would provide shorter and faster versions of their courses. 

What’s more:

Learning retention statistics say the two things listed as the main reason are that retention of the subject is greater and the scheduling conflicts are non-existent, as the training doesn’t interfere with their daily routine.

Additionally, information retention statistics show that we retain only 10% of what we see, 30%-40% of visual and sound content. In contrast, we retain 90% of the information we see and hear. And microlearning units, if they are interactive, offer just that.

5. One task orientation lasts roughly 11 minutes.

(Training Industry, Topyx, Shift Learning, Efront Learning)

Try to remember the amount of time you are actually doing something before the phone rings, an email pops, or someone reaches out to you for information. 

In fact:

The usual amount of uninterrupted work in an office is 11 minutes, and a person switches between devices up to 21 times per hour. Click To Tweet

This is the highest amount of time new content should be delivered in if you want yourself or your employees to fully absorb it. 

Here are some micro learning examples: 

A micro session can be a short video tutorial or a game, flashcards or quizzes, or even a YouTube video – the options are endless. Sometimes, these lessons are a part of a macro learning system and work best that way.

6. Learning attention span works better in bursts of three to five minutes. 

(Training Industry, Shift Learning)

During those 11 minutes, a person will engage in more than one operation and process that will roughly last 3 minutes each, with the usual amount of time of scanning through the information being only 20 seconds. If the full information can be given in under 3 minutes, it has a far greater chance of sticking.

7. Microlearning is said to be able to reduce development costs by 50%.

(Shift Learning)

Micro numbers show that with this type of learning there is no need or a very reduced need to buy or rent a classroom, pay for utilities, acquire the necessary equipment, or pay for the instructor’s hours.

8. Microlearning increases development speed by as much as 300%.

(Shift Learning)

Updating digital information for micro courses is easier and faster than reproducing and sending to print extra amounts of manuals and instructions for live training courses. The process is fast and requires only a roll-out of updates for micro elearning that can be done by one or two people instead of taking up the time of the entire team. 

What’s more:

Micro learning research shows the flexibility of micro lessons. If optimised for mobile use, it allows the participants to be a part of the process on their own schedule and speeds up coordination, as there is no need to find time slots that work for everyone in the company.

9. Microlearning statistics say 100% of employees will take the training if there is a game involved.

(ED App)

Additional training is often considered long and boring. And that’s where microlearning and especially the gamification aspect of it comes into play.

Here’s the scoop:

Microlearning research shows that the option of playing a game during the training course makes employees 100% more willing to participate in training. Click To Tweet

And if that game is mobile friendly and can be played in the hours of commute or other non-office hours, that’s even better, as most people see it as less bothersome to complete than a full course attendance.

10. Companies spend $130 billion on employee training.

(ED App)

Numbers don’t lie

The amount of money spent on employee training each year is a mind-blowing $130 billion. And yet, the micro approach is still to become a trend in which more than 5% of companies say they are confident as content creators for micro training, even if over 60% of companies think this new trend is of vital importance. 

Students reading about microlearning trends

People Also Ask

What is the Microlearning method?

Microlearning is a teaching and learning method that focuses on delivering lessons in small-sized units easy to absorb and retain and transfer into use right away, rather than a full learning course. The information is offered to the consumer sifted, selected and downsized to the bare minimum of what must be known, rid of unnecessary information and clutter. 

Is Microlearning effective?

Micro classes are very effective, especially in the fast-paced environment of today’s workspace. That’s because they’re optimised to the attention span of today where switching between devices and constant interruptions poses a huge challenge to retaining information. 

Why is Microlearning important?

Micro learning is important, as it saves time and money, and offers flexibility that the classic courses do not, whether they are in a physical classroom or online. This method allows for more retention of information and better application of the learnt material in everyday work. 

When should you not use Microlearning?

Looking at macro vs micro, macro learning is better suited for learning about the concept, especially if the subject is challenging and requires a deeper understanding of the matter. 

Now:

If you’re going into the details of why something is done a certain way, then the micro approach is not the way to go, as it is best suited for answering the what and how types of questions. 

And if you need broad knowledge and a good insight into the bigger picture or an understanding of a full system of information, micro knowledge is not the best option, as it offers a limited understanding of standalone facts, however correct they might be.

In Conclusion

Microlearning is an incredibly useful technique. However, it’s not a replacement for in-depth courses that allow mastery over a topic. It’s best used for teaching a way something is done without much focus on the reasons. 

Bottom line:

Microlearning is a great tool and an excellent addition to macro learning courses as well as a powerful tool for revision. And that’s why micro and macro work best together. Microlearning trends are something to be explored and implemented as soon as possible, as the concept starts to be more widely used.

Sources:

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