What is Microlearning?

What is Microlearning?

Explore the definition of microlearning, the scientific benefits it has on learner engagement, and how HSI has applied this method to mapping and building our employee training and development content. The science of microlearning is one component of our science-based approach that also includes cognitive load theory, saccadic bilateral eye movement, and adult learning theory.

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The Definition of Microlearning

Microlearning is the process of delivering bite-sized content to learners that they can consume all at once and apply the knowledge immediately. It’s quickly become an eLearning industry trend because it caters to better retention rates, short attention spans, and other aspects of quality learning.

Independent studies have shown that microlearning videos are the ideal way to present training content to your people:

  • Research out of the University of California, Irvine found that employees spent, on average, only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted by another task or request. (source)
  • A study out of the University of Rochester looked at the amount of time students spent watching videos of various lengths for online courses; the researchers found that attention began to wander and learners began skipping ahead when videos were longer than 9 to 12 minutes. (source)
  • A presentation at the International Conference on Applied Science and Engineering Innovation in 2015 reported that, out of a sample of 200 learners, 71% felt that Microlearning videos “expanded their horizon[s] and played a leading role in in-depth learning.” (source)
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Microlearning is Good for Business

Whenever companies have turned to true microlearning solutions, they’ve benefitted. This is unsurprising, as microlearning is more effective, more conducive to employee productivity, and less costly:

  • Short-form videos better fit the attention and scheduling demands of today’s worker, making learning fast, easy and convenient.
  • It’s less disruptive: Employees get the information they need and then get right back to work.
  • Employees also feel less fatigue and stress, because their training does not cause “cognitive overload.”
  • Completion rates are often higher.
  • Training and learning are more personalized, as employees can choose to view more training courses when and where they want.
  • Microlearning makes it easier to present and reinforce information through repetition, quizzing, and feedback.
  • Shorter videos are easier to stream and consume on mobile devices.
  • Microlearning videos can be produced in 300% less time and at 50% less cost than traditional courses.
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“You Can’t Just Slap Together a 7-Minute Video…”

That said, a true microlearning experience is so much more than a short video. Many companies try to make shorter videos simply by slicing and dicing a 60-minute lecture into 6-minute clips. Others reduce the video to a one-minute clip. Neither of these improves learning or engagement.

An effective short-form training video also needs to include:

  • Well-planned course content that can stand alone, or work as part of a cohesive series
  • Modern instructional design
  • Engaging visuals
  • Lively presentations by trained speakers
  • Interactive functions to support engagement and foster retention
  • Well-developed support materials to help with learning reinforcement
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HSI Was Doing Microlearning Before It Was Cool

With apologies to the hipster crowd, HSI has been creating microlearning videos long before it was “cool.” We have focused exclusively on perfecting short-form videos, using cutting-edge ideas in instructional design and learning theory. This has resulted in off-the-shelf content that are more entertaining, more engaging, and more effective than those of our competitors.

But more than that, we pair our microlearning videos with everything you need to make your training successful.

Ready to learn more? Contact us today for a quick demo of our microlearning training content.

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