Importance of Microlearning In The Digital Age

Who thought that we’d make a swift leap from the industrial age into the digital age (also known as the information age)? Who thought that traditional libraries would be replaced by online libraries and that virtual spaces would be our new classrooms? 

Today, the mode, mechanism, and method of learning have undergone immense shifts. All this has changed because of rapid technological advancements and digitization. Since the modern generation is born and brought up in the digital environment, they seek instant and easy sources of information with just one click. They look for information that is short and to the point. This is why microlearning becomes important in the digital age for digital users.

What is microlearning?

Before we explain, what microlearning is, we’ll take you to your school days. Remember, how we used to make small hundred words notes for revision prior to exams for quick revision. Having such notes ready beforehand ensures that one doesn’t have to revise seven hundred pages of a book before exams. Also, such notes came in handy, as one could carry them in their pockets anywhere and anytime. Microlearning works the same way.

Simply put, microlearning is a learning strategy that breaks down large volumes of information into small chunks. When the information contains smaller pieces, it becomes easier to consume and absorb the information. Microlearning follows a simple logic that “less is best”. 

Why adopt microlearning in the digital age?

Microlearning is a must in the digital age to fulfill the needs and demands of modern learners. Modern learners have the following characteristics which make microlearning an imperative. 

  • Independent learners

Modern learners are independent and take charge of their learning. Hence, they look for sources of information that are easy to understand and don’t force them to reach out to different people to make them understand. 

  • Creative learners

Modern learners are creative and look at the problems from a different perspective. Creative thinking is stimulated by brainstorming and lateral thinking. 

  • Tech-savvy learners

Modern learners are tech-savvy, i.e., they rely more on technology. They prefer to access information on their mobile phones or desktop computers instead of hunting for books in a traditional library.

  • Small attention span

Modern learners have a small attention span and may lose focus and interest early. They consider excessive and exaggerated information as a waste of time and energy.

Now that you know how digital users are and what their needs are, you can understand why microlearning is pertinent in the modern world. 

  • Microlearning exists for independent learners who want a personalized learning experience. By personalized learning experience, we mean learners have the freedom to decide the pace, space, and time for learning. 

Since modern learners are independent and take complete responsibility for their learning, it becomes important to keep relevant and bite-sized information at their disposal, which is easy to manage and learn. 

  • Microlearning exists for creative learners in the true sense. Let’s understand this with an example. 

Imagine you’re a chemistry teacher who wants students to understand the atomic models. There are two ways to teach this, one, by using the classroom board, and second, by using 3D modeling techniques. 3D modeling is a digital representation of physical objects obtained by maneuvering the edges, vertices, and faces. 3D modeling can be integrated with microlearning and help in shaping creative minds. So if the teacher wants to teach the atomic models, she can use 3D modeling to create digital representations of the atomic models and record micro-videos that foster creative thinking. 

  • Microlearning is a life savior for the tech-savvy generation.

Since learners access information on their mobile phones, and tablets, eLearning content and courses either need to be shrunk or broken down into small packets. Such learning packets can be opened and consumed at any time of the day and at any place in the world. It’s simply like you open a box of chocolates and eat as many as you can, and then save some for another time. 

  • Microlearning address the major learning issue of modern learners, i.e., small attention span.

Before we dwell on this discussion, we ask you, what would you prefer, a long eighty-minute video on “how climate change is affecting the world?” or four twenty minutes short videos on the same topic? 

We know no one has the energy and patience to sit and watch eighty-minute-long videos. Such lengthy pieces of content, though, may feed you with a lot of relevant facts and information, but they’re of no use if the learner feels distracted in between. 

It’s better to make a short and subject-focused video that doesn’t bombard learners with excessive information. This improves their retention as well as engagement with the content and courses. 

How to use microlearning in eLearning?

In the above section, we have provided you with enough reasons why you should adopt microlearning in the digital age. Now the most important question that must be hitting you is how to use microlearning in eLearning?

Here we’re listing down some amazing ways in which you can use microlearning in eLearning.

  • Microlearining + Multimedia = Memory Booster 

Digital users love to learn when content is available in a variety of multimedia formats. This includes infographics, images, videos, podcasts, audios, etc. Multimedia usage works as a memory booster because learners will understand better through the visual and audio representation of learning resources. For instance, podcasts on a particular topic can be created that learners can listen to while having their lunch or dinner and even while they’re traveling.

  • Microlearning + Mobile Learning = Convenience

Microlearning and mobile learning are a perfect match for each other, and if you use them together, learners will fall head over heels in love with their eLearning courses and content. 

Mobile devices are the favorite gadgets of digital learners. They can carry such small devices in their pocket anywhere and dig a gold mine of information anytime. Whether a lesson on the differences between simplified and traditional Chinese or a course about building a blog, microlearning through mobile applications ensures that the content is short, crisp, and to the point and doesn’t cause digital fatigue.

  • Microlearning + Micro assessments = Brainstorming

Microlearning and micro assessments help in brainstorming. It encourages deep and rich learning as the assessment bases learners on various formats of micro assessments like multiple choice based questions, fill-in-the-blanks, true or false, and questionnaires. Also, micro assessments ensure the timely completion of the course. Another advantage of micro assessments includes learners taking assessments find it less of a burden when they’re asked questions in such a format and eliminate the chances of ghostwriting. 

  • Microlearning + Gamification = Race

Microlearning and gamification make learning more fun and exciting. It fosters performance-based learning. By pairing up microlearning and gamification, you can induce new energies and spirits in learners by creating a competitive environment. Thus, learners see learning as a race and hence, learn, practice and revise and repeat the same process again and again to win the race.

Learners who win the race or score the highest marks earn rewards with badges, coins, and trophies. You can display their name on the leaderboard so that they feel a sense of accomplishment.  

Wrapping up

Regardless of the industry, you belong to, you must employ microlearning techniques to provide learners with a wealth of information at their fingertips. The modern world needs modern solutions and microlearning is what the digital learners need to promote rapid, rich, and relevant learning.