EdApp by SafetyCulture

Why Microlearning Will Stay Relevant


September 12, 2019



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Microlearning is an eLearning strategy that started off as an overpowering trend, but soon made it clear to the learning and development (L&D) world that it is much more than that.

The internet is filled with articles that propound the benefits of microlearning and most of them are accurate too. However, speaking from a corporate organization’s perspective, they must think ahead before investing in any trending eLearning technology. Although microlearning has been in existence since 2006 and had been defined way before that, it became popular and was put into actual application in corporate organizations only a few years back. There have been eLearning trends that have fizzled out after trending for 3-4 years, resulting in most corporate organizations becoming hesitant to take that chance. However, microlearning is not just any trend that will lose its way into oblivion. It is here to stay and for good reason.

Let’s have a look at a number of reasons why microlearning will stay relevant for several years to come.

1. It Is Compatible With The Latest Technology

Microlearning was not gobbled up by forward-thinking corporate organizations like Walmart, IHG and Berkshire Hathaway Media Group for nothing. These organizations understood that smartphone technology and the internet are two innovations of the millennium, and microlearning leverages them. Smartphones sales are increasing all over the world, and so is access to the internet. Currently, there are 2.71 billion smartphone users in the world which is 35% or more than one third of the world’s population. This percentage is only going to increase in the future, which will make microlearning not only the most useful eLearning strategy in the future, but a gold standard. Microlearning can also adapt to new technologies, for example, xAPI is an innovative new standard in L&D, which is already being used to track learner’s interactions in microlearning.

2. It Is Based Upon How The Human Brain Learns

A number of things may change in the future, but what is not likely to change is how our brains absorb and retain information. Microlearning was created while keeping the human brain in mind, which absorbs and retains information best when it is presented in short, controlled bursts, which is a trademark of microlearning. Microlearning also uses theories like spaced learning theory (which proposes spaced repetition of content to help learners learn better) as well as the nudge theory (which proposes positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to influence learner behavior). These are scientifically-backed theories based on how humans learn better. As these theories will stay relevant forever, unless in the unlikely case that human learning process changes, so will microlearning.

3. Time Is Becoming Valuable

The statement “time is money” is one that has been accurately describing how important time is for business organizations. As we journey into the future, this statement will only become an even more principal commandment in the business world. Time saved on any business process or operation (including L&D) means that organizations have more time to spend on other endeavours, which makes them more efficient, faster and more likely to grow and succeed. A chief reason for the success of microlearning is the fact that it is short and concise, and thus picks up the pace of employee learning and development. In the future, just-in-time learning and on-demand learning are going to be key learning strategies in organizations, both of which can be delivered using microlearning. Microlearning will not only stay relevant in the future, but it may also be the only eLearning strategy left standing in the future.

The future is upon us, and it will be here before we know it. Frequent advancements in technology have us moving at speeds that we are not accustomed to, meaning that we have to adapt and meet every new challenge that comes our way while leveraging new technologies, lest we be left in the dust. Microlearning is an innovation that does not happen very often, and the sooner corporate organizations implement it into their learning and development programs, the better prepared they will be for the future.


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Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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