Microlearning

Guides · 6 min read · Feb 03, 2022
microlearning

In the current world we live in, everyone is in a rush but also in need of enhancing our knowledge and gaining new skills or improving those we already have. And there’s where microlearning excels.

The word microlearning already suggests that it is learning in a “small way”. In the end, that is what micro usually stands for, something really small, right? But it does not mean that the knowledge you can get or the skill development related to this type of learning is small. Let us illustrate better.

What is microlearning?

In a more formal definition, microlearning is a form of e-learning created in the form of bite-sized courses or small learning units instead of long-form traditional e-learning courses.

According to some research, talent development and instructional design professionals believe that any piece of content should not take more than 13 minutes to be consumed in order to be considered microlearning content.

Moreover, 10-minute long content is the most ideal microlearning content according to research. Although the content in the form of short bursts in the range of two to five minutes is believed to provide more effective learning within a microlearning course.

Now, the important question is why would anyone create or take such short-term learning activities? And are they really effective? If you are wondering yourself, keep reading as we explain it.

A person taking an online microlearning course and doing calculations on their notebook.

What is the purpose of microlearning?

The main purpose of microlearning is to keep learners engaged with the content. It is well known that we as humans have a short attention span, currently around 8 seconds according to some studies.

Microlearning encourages learners to keep going without problem as they can finish one activity quickly and move to the next one, thus creating the feeling that they are starting something fresh or new.

This usually results in better knowledge retention which makes the microlearning strategy very effective.

In many cases such as workplace learning, people with busy schedules can access microlearning, and the organization’s microlearning strategy usually allows the learning process to go at the learner’s own pace instead of having to be tied to a fixed timetable.

This also makes it very effective as employees can obtain new knowledge parallel to doing their work without concerning they might be failing in one activity or the other.

Of course, there are many more benefits that can be taken from microlearning. Here are the most relevant ones.

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Benefits of microlearning courses

You can find some benefits that are implied in the microlearning definition. However, we want to share some other relevant benefits of microlearning courses with you here below.

  • Fast delivery and consumption

The fact that microlearning focuses on short-form content, creating one lesson or even a whole course is a less time-consuming task as there is less to write or record for microlearning videos. Moreover, this short-form content makes it easier to digest the information, helping learners to consume even complex topics faster than with traditional education content.

  • High flexibility

Learners can usually access microlearning in different ways that include apps on mobile devices. This gives them the flexibility of taking the corresponding training from anywhere they are at any time they want.

Moreover, the fact that complex topics are split into small segments provides learners with the ability to choose those segments they find more interesting, thus creating their learning paths and helping them process information according to their specific attention spans and to be adapted to different learning preferences.

  • Improved affordability

Microlearning usually requires fewer resources to produce great training. Moreover, if an organization has its content, it is easy to adapt it to microlearning content which results in a reduced cost.

Also, fewer instructors are needed, and one single subject matter expert can cover the whole microlearning course in fewer hours of work which also makes the training less costly.

For the course provider, this means their training courses can be offered at a lower price without sacrificing profitability, and this creates a clear economic benefit for the learners trying to access the training.

  • Higher memory retention and engagement

We have already mentioned that microlearning allows the learning process to take place in short periods which is beneficial for attention and engagement. Moreover, higher engagement is achieved since microlearning is usually delivered in a form that resembles navigating a social media platform and feels more entertaining.

When it comes to memory, short-form microlearning content is well-suited for learners to apply spaced repetition, which is known as a best practice for retaining the information.

Using the definition of the forgetting curve, information is lost after some time if there is no attempt to retain it. Therefore, having learners come back and repeat at least part of the training is a great way to ensure they keep the information. And microlearning is great at this because repetition does not take long.

There might be other benefits, but that will depend on the way microlearning is used. So, it would be a good idea to see some microlearning examples for you to get your own idea of how microlearning could be beneficial in different situations.

Employees of a company participating in employee onboarding presentation at work.

What are the examples of microlearning?

We have already stated that microlearning can take on many different forms, so we are going to focus on the most popular microlearning examples and how to apply them.

Although many people think that microlearning is only video, the truth is that there are other common formats that include job aids, blogs, podcasts, interactive multimedia and quizzes, and even games.

That said, here’s a quick look at the most common applications of microlearning.

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Performance support

Sometimes the only way to see employees perform better is by providing them with continuous training.

However, most often than not, continuous training is seen as a time that is taken away from the actual job, and learners usually try to avoid it. But with microlearning training can take place while at the job and create the feeling that no time is wasted.

Therefore, many companies embrace microlearning as their go-to solution to provide such performance support across the organization.

Employee onboarding

Getting into a new job, a new organization, and a new corporate culture is never easy. Most companies nowadays prepare some form of course or training process for new employees to get acquainted with the most essential aspects of their business and culture, as well as the most relevant information for the employee to do the job properly.

However, this usually represents a great amount of information and the main reason to provide it in small bites through microlearning. This way learners can quickly move from the introductory training to the actual job.

How-to guidance

Learning how to do something or how something works should not require taking a whole training program. For example, understanding how to use a mobile app you should not need to start a computer science degree program or to learn how to lead in a changing environment, you should not need to take an MBA.

Yes, it may sound a bit exaggerated, but you get the point.

Improve e-learning courses

For the learner, e-learning courses already offer a great number of benefits. They are online and can be taken from anywhere in the world and at any time, for example. However, these courses usually come with a specific curriculum that must be followed and the learner cannot create their own learning path.

Moreover, the courses may be very expensive and may not offer the possibility to take single modules. They may also come with long-form text or require to read directly from textbooks which makes them lack the engaging format of microlearning.

So, by dividing a whole course into smaller pieces and applying the microlearning formats, any course can become a better option for many different types of learners.

A woman using her laptop to participate in an online training course at an airport.

Microlearning with Aeroclass.org

Here at Aeroclass we pride ourselves on creating highly engaging and easy-to-digest courses that follow the best practices of microlearning we have described above.

With a wide variety of fascinating topics in different areas of the aviation industry, you will be able to see your career take off or evolve into a better one for sure. What’s more, we rely on experienced instructors from a cross-section of industry-specific disciplines, from civil aviation, airport operations, management, group operations, cargo, and airport management to law and aviation regulations. And they will make sure you get the information you need professionally.

Now that you have read to this point, we want to tell you we are grateful and invite you to learn more about the career opportunities you have within the aviation industry by reading our guide on aviation courses and career opportunities. We are sure you will find it useful.

Of course, you can always contact us in case you need any help or guidance on what would be your best next step to launch or improve your career. We will be more than happy to help you.

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Carlos Collantes
Carlos Collantes
A mechanical engineer and aviation enthusiast dedicated to share some knowledge by creating top-notch content, especially in engineering and aviation topics.

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