The Benefits of Microlearning: What You Should Know
Microlearning is a new way of learning. It reflects one of the many changes that our way of life and habits have undergone, due to the development and advances in new technologies. So, what are the benefits of microlearning? And what exactly does it mean?
New technologies have allowed us to make many changes in our lives. Changes in the way we communicate and relate to others, the way we buy and use services, and the way we have fun. As a result, the way we learn and access knowledge has also been substantially transformed.
What is microlearning?
The term microlearning refers to a perspective or modality of learning. Its aim is to enable people to learn knowledge and acquire skills in a short period of time through “pills” of information, i.e. small doses of content. This content comes in the form of information that someone can obtain to fill gaps in their knowledge or to acquire specific knowledge needs.
In microlearning, we receive the information in a simple and didactic way, so as to make it easy to understand. Furthermore, even though microlearning, by nature, is partial content, it’s also part of broader knowledge. Its usefulness lies in the fact that we can access segments of that knowledge whenever we need it. This would either be to remember concepts or to acquire a specific skill.
In essence, microlearning is an informal and flexible learning method, made possible by new technologies. In other words, we can say that it’s a type of learning that’s very typical of the digital age we live in, and has a specific connection with mobile devices. This allows people to easily access knowledge wherever they are, and at any time.
Main characteristics and benefits of microlearning
Among the main characteristics of micro-learning, we can highlight the following:
- You can learn micro-content or segments of information that are part of a wider subject.
- It involves knowledge acquisition in the area of ICT (information and communication technologies). This allows flexible learning, anywhere, and at any time.
- Its objective is to help people to train in and acquire personal and professional knowledge and skills, as well as bringing them up to date in certain areas. This can be in both informal and formal areas, and social and work environments.
- You can access this information in the form of courses or short videos, games, blogs, Wikipedia articles, and microblogging. The training activities available are lessons or explanations that don’t exceed 15 or 20 minutes.
- We can say that it’s contextualized learning that aims to respond to an almost immediate demand for knowledge. This includes answering a question, looking for a specific resource, or solving a specific task.
Examples of microlearning
Any need and demand for knowledge, both in our daily lives and in the field of work, can be constituted as microlearning. Because of this, there are many options, possibilities, and examples of the benefits of microlearning. Here are some of them:
- Watching YouTube videos about daily activities and tasks. These could be learning a recipe, watching a tutorial on how an app works, or learning how to change a car battery. It could even be learning the step-by-step process to fill out a form for a bureaucratic procedure.
- Listening to a podcast or watching a video clip on a specific topic that’s needed in a specific work environment. For example: What is SEO in digital marketing? or How to correctly prepare a portfolio to accompany a resume?
- Downloading a tutorial to learn how to make an outline or concept map.
- Subscribing to a web page or Facebook group which shares exclusive content periodically, such as videos about gardening or recycling.
- Becoming part of a blog that brings people with advanced knowledge together, and shares interesting and educational information and links.
- Accessing computer graphics with visual representations and diagrams to get to know and understand, in a summarized form, an explanation about a relatively complex topic and phenomenon.
- Taking online courses, either free or paid ones, based on specific professional sectors, or on different topics. These could include mindfulness, marketing, occupational hazards, education, or aesthetics, for example.
Summarizing the benefits of microlearning
So, what are the benefits of microlearning then? We could say, then, by way of a summary, that the power of microlearning lies in a few key points. It’s information or knowledge that is contextualized, simple, clear, and easily assimilated and interpreted. Added to that, we have the ease and flexibility with which we can access information.
In addition, it should be noted that we live in an era in which it’s necessary to get to know and manage information in many different areas and fields. Therefore, microlearning can be very useful, and necessary, to help you to complement any other more specific, complex, and long-term training.
And, not only that, microlearning, in addition to complementing a more academic training, is useful because it allows us to solve problems or questions in our daily lives. So, we can see that being able to resolve any demand for knowledge related to a hobby, interest, or any other everyday situation can also be considered as microlearning.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Salinas, J., Marín, V. I. (2015). Pasado, presente y futuro del microlearning como estrategia para el desarrollo profesional. Campus Virtuales, 3(2), pp. 46-61. Recuperado de http://uajournals.com/ojs/index.php/campusvirtuales/article/view/59/58
- Sánchez, J. (2008). Tómate una píldora… de conocimiento. Las TIC en formación,, (169). pp. 37-39. Recuperado de https://www.coit.es/sites/default/files/archivobit/pdf/37-39.pdf