In the publishing arena, keeping up with current trends is the name of the game. As the needs and expectations of today’s learners change, educational publishers are left to sink or swim. Over the past decade, these needs have shifted rapidly. Since the mobile revolution began around year 2000, the average attention span has dropped substantially- from about 12 seconds to only 8! To reach the digitally-focused modern student, a more concise, interactive approach is required. This method of content delivery has been dubbed “microlearning”, and it’s quickly proven to be an ideal solution for 21st century learners.
What is Microlearning All About?
The goal of microlearning is simple: to allow learners to consume and digest new information quickly, easily, and on the go. Students are busier than ever, and being able to learn in short bursts from any mobile device is a boon. It also makes it easier to study what’s most relevant to learners in the moment. Trying to review one tricky subject or review job training material in a flash? Microlearning can deliver!
What Does Microlearning Look Like?
Microlearning doesn’t have to be confusing. In fact, it’s likely that you’ve already used it yourself. Microlearning includes any short-form, educational content, such as:
- Brief instructional videos
- Digital flashcards
- Training or review quizzes
- Small segments of information sent through email or text
- Interactive learning games and study guides
- And more!
Benefits of Microlearning
Microlearning isn’t a gimmick aimed to capitalize on our short attention spans. To the contrary, research has proven that learning outcomes improve when students learn in short, intense bursts rather than lengthy, exhausting study sessions. It’s also extremely flexible, catering to those who have to fit study time in between work and extracurricular activities.
Digital learning capabilities also put a fresh spin on age-old learning tools, like flashcards. Learning can quickly take on a more upbeat, game-like quality that’s massively appealing to modern students. Publishers can also make the most of proven learning techniques, like repeating content at certain intervals to boost memory.
While microlearning can’t replace full-length, in-depth content entirely, it can be an invaluable study tool for even the most complicated of subjects. It shouldn’t be considered a replacement for other types of e-Learning content, but rather a useful strategy to implement along side your other methods of content delivery.
A Few Tips to Get Started
While mastering microlearning can’t be covered in one short guide, a few tips can help you to get more comfortable with its style and purpose.
Short: To truly be microlearning, each learning segment must be short and to the point. The entire learning segment should take between 5 and 15 minutes to complete.
Simple: Each session should require little effort, reducing fatigue from longer study sessions.
Of Singular Focus: Microlearning isn’t intended to cover the entirety of a broad subject. Instead, choose one distinct learning objective to focus on.
Video Elements are a Plus: Over half of millennials access YouTube daily. Roughly 70% visit the site monthly! Video is an incredibly easy to digest form of media, and modern students eat it up.
Test Comprehension: Include interactive assessments to gauge how effectively the content is being delivered to your audience.
While microlearning isn’t the only viable eLearning method, it’s extremely popular in today’s new learning climate. It’s fun, flexible, engaging, and (best of all) it works! Although it can be used as a stand-alone learning program, it also makes a highly effective companion to more traditional learning experiences. If you’re ready to give it a try, Gutenberg’s MyEcontentFactory can help you take your first steps into microlearning.