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29.02.20

What makes microlearning effective?

A growing trend in corporate training, microlearning, perfectly complements the trend toward lifelong learning and on-the-job training approaches.
What makes microlearning effective?

that generated so many myths around microlearning.

Myths about Microlearning

Let's go over the most common myths about microlearning and dispel them.

Myth No. 1. Microlearning is something completely new and previously untapped. That's not true. And it's not just that microlearning existed before 2018. Turns out, it's been around a long time, ever since training programs first appeared. There are so many types of courses. Some programs imply splitting the information into micro portions, which makes the learning process very smooth. Typically, this is how we study complementary topics, such as foreign languages. Word by word, rule by rule, step by step, one can soak up a fairly large amount of information in a given period of time, for example, a year.

But it's not even about amounts. Sometimes microlearning is the only way to keep from dropping out. Something that is particularly important for "ever-busy" people. The involvement stipulated by the course keeps a person on their toes. Besides, it often takes only a few minutes a day, leaving one no chance to get tired.

Hermann Ebbinghaus, a famous German psychologist, used the technique while experimenting with different ways of efficient information perception and memorization. That was back in the 19th century. Yet a few years ago, this approach was pitched as a stand-alone tool, just to draw people's attention to it. We actually got a lot of new content formats at this time, like videos.

Myth No. 2. Microlearning requires too little time from a student. That's not exactly true. Microlearning is not about duration at all. It doesn't matter how much time you spend. All that matters is that you reach your goal. Microlearning is all about goals. Once you achieve a small goal, like learning one new word a day, that's one step passed. You can certainly calculate how much time it takes to study one piece of information, but this tool's purpose goes beyond that.

Myth No. 3. Microlearning always implies watching videos. Today, corporate online training is developing rapidly, especially to find new and effective content formats. It is the proven efficiency of video format that makes it so widely used. Microlearning is no exception. Still, microlearning is not confined to videos alone - it can employ texts, images, infographics, games, and so much more. After all, microlearning primarily focuses on content delivery, not its format.

Myth No. 4. Microlearning is only applicable to study simple topics. That's not the case at all. Microlearning works fine for complex content and allows you to study all kinds of topics, even quite advanced ones. Moreover, this approach can be applied to any stage of business workflow and to any employee. It would greatly facilitate an initial introduction to the specifics of a company's operations as well as managerial development.

Myth No. 5. Microlearning can replace all other forms of learning. Or, microlearning is about to replace all other forms of learning. Unfortunately, the universal learning tool, especially for corporate training, is yet to be invented, which makes it a false assumption.

Myth No. 6. Microlearning only works for self-education. People do very often use microlearning for self-study, which doesn't make it any less suitable for working with a team or for other learning scenarios. Sometimes, microlearning combines the basic and advanced modules, with the advanced ones available for self-study. Or you could also review these in a group – it doesn't matter, because the format implies no such restrictions. What is more important is for the materials themselves to fuel a desire to learn.

Myth No. 7. Microlearning is only good for the new generations - millennials and zoomers. One of a business's primary objectives is to manage the performance of all employees, regardless of their generation. Of course, one approach can be more suitable for some generations and less for others. With this important factor in mind, personalization in modern corporate training goes beyond mere words.

Not least thanks to its adaptability and customizability, microlearning is a perfect fit for all ages. Inherently learner-centered, microlearning meets and adapts to each student's specific needs. That's exactly what makes it suitable for everyone. Still, it doesn't eliminate the need to take age into account when developing the content.

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