12 Microlearning Myths and Why They’re Wrong
Microlearning is about presenting content in short bursts. Each burst of content is focused on a specific learning outcome, with each burst coming together collectively to make the whole.
It’s popular with a lot of professionals involved in corporate training, but there are also many myths about microlearning that have developed over recent years. Here are 12 of the most common myths and why they are wrong.
1. Microlearning Is All About Chunking, i.e. Breaking Content Up into Shorter Segments
The term chunking is often used when referring to microlearning. A chunk is the short burst of content described above. It is not enough, however, to simply break up larger pieces of content into short chunks.
In other words, while microlearning involves delivering content in chunks, chunks of content don’t necessarily constitute microlearning. This is because it’s equally important to focus on a specific area or topic in every chunk of content.
In addition, each chunk should be self-contained and should focus on a learning objective.
2. If the Content is Short, It’s Microlearning
This follows on from the last point. Even when content is already short (so doesn’t require the chunking of larger content pieces), it’s length alone doesn’t make it microlearning.
3. Microlearning Is New
In fact, the concept of microlearning has been around for some time. It’s easier to apply it using modern technologies, but it’s not new. Instead, it’s a well-established and accepted method of training, particularly in corporate environments.
4. Microlearning Is Focused on Time
While microlearning courses and their modules should be short, there is no specific time target per module or course. Instead, each module should be as short as possible but as long as it needs to be.
5. Any Subject Area is Suitable for Microlearning
This one isn’t true either as there as some subject areas which achieve much better results when the length of content and the layout of the course is more standard. In addition, there are some learners who will respond better to a standard e-learning course than one developed using a microlearning strategy.
6. Microlearning Should Replace All Other Forms of Learning in Your Organisation
Following on from the previous points, you won’t be able to replace all other forms of learning and all other teaching techniques with microlearning.
Instead, microlearning works best when it supplements your other learning strategies including e-learning, blended learning, synchronous learning, and more.
7. Microlearning Is Only Suitable for Easy Topics
While not all topics are suitable for microlearning, the divide between those that are suitable and those that aren’t is not about the subject difficulty level. In fact, there are many topic areas that are difficult and challenging which work well as microlearning courses.
When deciding this, you must look at the topic area, the type of people who will be completing the course, and their underlying knowledge.
8. Microlearning is Only Suitable for Just-In-Time Strategies and Courses
Microlearning is ideal for just-in-time learning strategies as it enables learners to grasp topics quickly (providing the topic is suitable for microlearning, of course).
Microlearning is not restricted to just-in-time learning strategies, however. In fact, you can use it in a range of situations including onboarding training, compliance training, new product training, and more.
9. Microlearning Must Be Self-Directed Learning
Self-directed learning is where the learner has autonomy over the direction they take through a course. This greater control over progress makes courses suitable to a wider audience as those with a good level of knowledge can skip or skim through certain modules while other learners can go through all the sections in more detail.
Microlearning can help with self-directed learning courses. However, it’s important to remember two points:
- Self-directed learning doesn’t have to be developed using a microlearning approach
- Microlearning is suitable for compulsory learning (i.e. where learners must complete all sections of a course) as well as for self-directed learning
10. Microlearning is Only for Millennials
One of the big selling points of microlearning in many situations is that it helps improve learning outcomes among people with short attention spans. Millennials often fall into this category.
In addition, microlearning is very technology driven. As millennials are tech-savvy, this doesn’t present them with any problems.
That said, millennials are not the only people who can benefit from microlearning. Instead, it’s possible to use microlearning for any type or age of learner.
11. Microlearning Modules Must Have Video, Gamification Elements, Or Other Types of Flashy Content
Microlearning modules often use videos, animations, and gamification elements, not least because these elements are useful tools for presenting and explaining complex topics.
Microlearning doesn’t have to have these elements, however. You can even have modules that are wholly or mostly text in a microlearning module.
12. Microlearning Courses Are Easy to Create
You can see from the previous 11 myths that microlearning is not just about making modules and content short. There is much more to the process than this to ensure you achieve your objectives for creating the course in the first place.
Therefore, it is usually advisable to work with a professional e-learning developer in Dubai when creating a new microlearning course. This will ensure:
- You use the right strategy
- The technology works seamlessly
- The content of the course facilitates learning
Making Microlearning Work in Your Business
When used correctly, microlearning can be a real asset to your training strategy. The best advice is to ignore the above myths and misconceptions, speak to an expert team who knows how to maximise the benefits of microlearning, and focus on your objectives.