Micro Learning is as old as the hills, but it has risen to prominence in the last decade with the re-invention of learning in the digital landscape. Essentially micro learning is about delivering content in a drip-feed way. Instead of dumping too much information in one go, micro learning spreads it into bite sized pieces. It has been proven to be a very effective method of maximising retention of content.
In a survey done at a global training and development conference, 94% of learning and development professionals stated that bite sized online learning modules of less than 10 minutes were preferred by their learners (Boyette, 2012).
Using traditional training methods, people tend to forget around 80% of what was learned within 30 days, creating a downward curve of memory known as a ‘forgetting curve’ (Schacter, 2001). Micro learning radically increases retention to the point of reversing this curve and creating what is known as a ‘retention curve’.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care re-formated traditional accredited training programmes into online micro learning modules to train their eye care professionals. This increased their completion rates of their online courses by 740%. Furthermore, 93% of the users indicated that they would like to use the platform again for their training (Elucidat, 2015).
The global mobile learning market is likely to touch $12.2 billion by 2017, registering a staggering compound annual growth rate of 18.2% for the period 2012 to 2017 (Ambient Insight, 2013). This is because people often access learning content using their mobile phones while they are travelling and find it hard to focus on lengthy online modules.
Gen Y or Millennials are those who are born after 1980. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), by 2020, Millennials are expected to constitute 50% of the global workforce (PwC, 2011). Millennials’ brains aren’t different from the generations who went before them, but Millennials do have different expectations of how their media is served up and the contexts in which they consume it.
It has been found that learners often find it hard to focus on courses for more than 20 minutes at one stretch (Kelly, 2013).
It has been found that fewer than 15% of participants apply what they have learned in a classroom setting into their work environment (Brinkerhoff, 2001). Micro learning radically increases this since training happens intermittent to application.
Information is most likely to be meaningfully processed when it is presented in small chunks (Millward, 2005). Bite sized courses are perfectly “tailored” to our brains, which are more effective in comprehending morsels of information compared to mountains of data.
Recent research has shown that video based content is ideal for conveying the intended message very effectively in a short span of time (Eades, 2015).