Micro learning refers to small, action-packed modules that cover one or two specific topics. Typically, a module ranges in duration from 5-20 minutes compared to conventional modules, which can take between 30-90 minutes (or longer).
Here are three quick reasons why micro learning is essential for your eLearning.
1. Information is quicker and easier to consume
It is often said that attention spans have rapidly reduced, making it harder to keep a learner’s attention. There are all sorts of accusations made as to why this is the case, but, in our opinion, a key reason why many struggle to keep the interest of trainees in eLearning is the prevalence of lots of rubbish content.
The beauty of micro learning modules, particularly those that are mobile responsive (like all of the modules we create at Bolt Learning), is that learning can be undertaken anywhere, anytime. As opposed to scheduling time to complete training, learners are able to complete ‘bite-sized’ modules during gaps in their schedules.
Training that fits this model also becomes more attractive to complete, due to its short and meaningful nature. A great example of this model is the Philip Morris International (PMI) sales force course, built by Bolt. This course contains a number of sales technique modules that allows PMI’s distributed sales force to learn quickly whist travelling.
In addition, ‘bit-sized’ modules are great for support. For example, if an employee needs a refresher course on a seldom-used piece of software or on how to perform a function, a short ‘bite-sized’ module that contains a 2-minute instructional video will be very convenient and meaningful. This is opposed to searching through hours of material in a conventional module.
2. Shorter modules suit learners.
A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that millennials (those born between 1980 and up to the late 1990s) will form 50 percent of the world’s workforce by 2020 – that’s only 1380 days away, or 3 years 9 months!!
Millennials are known for their 24/7 connection with their social circle and love of internet-connected devices. This means that there’s always something vying for a millennial’s attention. If their current task is taking too long or doesn’t actively engage them, they’ll soon move on to something else.
One study from the Rapid Learning Institute showed that 94 percent of learners prefer modules less than 10 minutes in duration (particularly for soft-skill topics), and 65 percent said most eLearning modules contain too much information.
Dr. Paul Kelly, author of 'Making Minds: What’s wrong with education?’ has shown that intense 20-minute bursts of study separated by 10-minute breaks can yield better long-term memory retention than traditional, longer periods of study.
Just like muscles tire during a workout, the brain, when called upon to work hard for a longer period, also begins to fatigue, making it a struggle to transfer skills and knowledge into long-term memory.
3. Leaners demand mobile learning
It is well documented how mobile devices have shaped and are continuing to shape our lives. As devices become more powerful and widespread in learning, the reality is that mobile learning needs to happen now.
In order to maintain learning efficiencies across all devices (desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones), micro learning is the solution. Learners who are on the go and reviewing or completing learning material on smaller screens will be less able to focus for extended periods of time – no matter how keen a learner they are!
For more information on mobile learning, please read our article detailing how online training needs to fit the learner’s ‘mobile’ lifestyle.