What is microlearning?

There’s a new trend in learning that has the potential to be very big — because it’s so very small. Microlearning is a method for teaching and delivering content to learners in small, specific bursts where learners are in control of what and when they’re learning. Often referred to as an espresso shot for the mind, Microlearning enables users to learn nuggets of valuable information in a short amount of time.

It’s estimated that by 2025, millennials will make up that 75% of the workforce. The average attention span of the millennial generation is roughly 90 seconds. It’s clear that training, classes, and education will need microlearning more than ever.

What is microlearning?

A microlearning lesson usually has only one learning objective, and is presented in a short time burst (usually about 2-5mins), requiring little effort from individual sessions.

Why use microlearning?

Unlike many traditional teaching methods, microlearning suits the way people learn naturally. The ability for students to easily access learning nuggets, quickly complete standalone lessons or micro-courses, and instantly apply learning is what makes microlearning effective. Lessons are usually designed in rich media formats like video, which further increase retention rates.

Interested in creating your own microlearning videos? Stick to a few basics and you’ll be sharing knowledge in no time. First, focus only on one learning objective per video, and pare down the script to the bare essentials. Don’t forget to take advantage of both the narrative and the visuals of the video: describe what’s being seen, not just heard, in the narration, to maximize retention rates. Keep the video content straightforward and high-level — don’t get bogged down in details and distractions. Lastly, don’t be repetitive. Microlearning videos are meant to be replayed and paused as someone is learning at their own pace.

The Best Examples of Microlearning

Businesses and individuals are embracing microlearning for its obvious convenience, as well as for its ability to create sticky learning experiences. This kind of learning makes it easier to retain key information. Check out these examples for a better idea of what microlearning can be!

BuzzFeed Food TV

BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos combine social media and microlearning for the best of both worlds. These videos are fun, shareable, easily digestible recipes for everything from dinner to waffles.

Duolingo

Duolingo uses sophisticated microlearning to make it easy to learn a language anywhere, anytime. This free, gamified app uses short lessons that involve speaking, listening and translating. Students earn points taking quizzes and completing “text” conversations, and get instant grading so they know where to improve.

How to Make Your Own Nut Butter

Similar to the BuzzFeed Tasty videos, this short tutorial shows viewers how to make homemade nut butter from pecans and almonds. It’s slightly longer than the BuzzFeed videos, but still under the ideal 5 minute limit.

Northwestern Principles of STEM Communication

This microlearning course from Northwestern University helps students from a wide range of backgrounds and grade levels understand how to talk about science. Outlined with five principles in five minutes, learners can get the basics or dive deeper into any of the specific points with video examples, additional resources, and ways to apply the principles.

Microlearning Tools

Look no further than Biteable for the tools you need to support your microlearning journey! Biteable offers free, customizable templates that are easy to build into your very own microlearning modules. These templates come in a range of styles to fit every business or personal objective — here’s a few of our favorites.

Biteable video templates

These explainer-style templates are great for getting your point across quickly and effectively while providing enough visual stimulation to keep your viewers interested. Remember that you can customize any of the text, add and delete scenes, and even add your own music or voiceover to all Biteable templates.

And if that’s not enough, we’ve got hundreds of other templates here, or you could start from scratch and create something completely new in minutes. To get started, simply click here or on the sign-up widget below. It’s fun and free!