Micro Learning: An Introduction

Every time we come across some information, our brain retains some parts of it in the form of memory. Both the short and long-term memories have an important role to play in the learning process. Also, a huge fraction of information storage takes place in the subconscious mind. It registers information in pieces and fosters the learning process. This implies, bite-sized information can be easier to store for a longer time. This concept sets the foundation for Micro-Learning.

Micro-Learning is gradually becoming an essential component of educational and corporate training. This is so because the technology-driven learning process, which often involves Gamification, makes extensive use of this component. But what is micro-learning? How does it work? What are its advantages and disadvantages? These queries are answered through this blog.

What is Micro-Learning?

It is a skill-based approach that aims to deliver information by breaking it into bite-sized chunks. This information mainly contains highly focused points which give a complete idea of the concept. Additionally, instead of using long statements, it employs text as well as multimedia to deliver information in the form of texts (phrases), images, short video/audio, games, etc.

Furthermore, this approach works well to quickly train employees in the in corporate sector. Certain key features that contribute to make it an effective choice for designing training modules include the following:  

a) It is a quick form of learning as the modules are short.

b) Only relevant points are emphasized.

c) Also, content is produced in a variety of forms such as images, videos, podcasts, games, etc.

d) The content is accessible through any device, irrespective of place and time.

Key Benefits of Micro-Learning

Micro-learning, as skill-based learning, is the go-to method for designing content to cater to the needs and objectives of training with less time consumption. Therefore, more educational institutions are turning towards this strategy of producing and delivering information quickly. The key benefits that contribute to its growth are mentioned here.

I. Quick Lessons

Micro-learning involves delivering crisp information on a topic. Thus, a micro-training lesson can be built in a very short duration of time, eventually reducing lesson delivery time as well. 

II. Affordability

Micro-training courses are inexpensive to produce. Due to its crisp form, it does not require any specific tools, rather, a regular LMS works well to fulfill the purpose.

III. Flexibility

Micro-training courses extensively cover any subject just like a regular e-learning course. Moreover, it can deliver complex information by breaking it down into small bits for easy learning and memorization.

IV. Learner Engagement

A micro-training module is interesting and engaging as compared to other modules. Moreover, it is available on all devices and gives an experience similar to any social media application.

V. Optimized Lessons

Micro-learning works on optimizing the lessons. This implies that the lessons are less time-consuming and thus, can fit easily into a busy schedule. Moreover, it is accessible through mobile phones which gives freedom to learn.

VI. Easy Retention

An interactive lesson is always easy to retain. Micro-learning modules interact with the learners as they indulge in gaming, visuals, and audio. Also, the modules are available in various formats and allow revisits to recall the information.

Limitations of Micro-Learning

Although micro-learning is an effective approach for optimized learning, it is not an appropriate method for every learning environment. Certain limitations of this method are presented below:

I. Does Not Deliver Big Ideas

The chunk-sized information targets only certain points. Although this is a quick method to learn, a larger piece of information remains out of sight.

II. Not Suitable for Complex Concepts

Micro-learning modules are the best fit to deliver simple information, but it certainly cannot be applied to complex concepts easily. It may require extensive research and labor to produce a micro lesson for complex concepts.

III. Long-Term Goals Not Considered

Micro-learning accomplishes short-term goals with small pieces of information. So, it does not aim to accomplish long-term learning goals.  

IV. Not Suitable for In-Depth Training

It is not possible to conduct deep research and learning through this method. Thus, chunks of information presented in the modules are only useful for giving a brief idea of the concepts.

V. May Be Confusing

It often becomes difficult for learners to connect fragmented bits of information to learn wider concepts. Also, micro lessons are often too short to familiarize learners with broader concepts. Eventually, this leads to confusion in understanding as well as the application of skills.

Pros & Cons of Micro-Learning
Pros & Cons of Micro-Learning


Micro-learning focuses on the inculcation of skills through short lessons. Micro lessons fulfill the skill requirements for a specific purpose. Moreover, it is a quick method of learning, which gives learners the freedom to learn at their own pace without adding to their hectic schedule. Additionally, its capsule learning design helps promote better retention of information. Certainly, this method can be regarded as a worthy approach to achieve short-term learning objectives.

Refer to our next blog in this series for further information on the effectiveness and best practices to follow in Micro-Learning.

Refer to Elearning Industry for additional reading.

Images: Shutterstock and Freepik

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