If you’re like most adults, every hour of the day seems chock-full of work responsibilities or family matters or the need to run errands, pay bills, do dishes, etc. It doesn’t feel like there’s much time for anything else, let alone for learning new skills and concepts. But have you tried microlearning?
Microlearning is a method of learning that utilizes bite-sized lessons rather than long lectures or thick books. Typically, a larger lesson is broken down into the smallest possible components, so you can learn a single component quickly and, in most cases, independently. Instead of spending hours trying to grasp an entire concept or master a full skill set, you can spend 5 minutes at a time learning or mastering one detail.
Most microlearning involves micro-content presented on an electronic device such as a smartphone or laptop. This makes microlearning accessible anywhere, at any time. Common forms of micro-content include videos, podcasts, blog-length articles, electronic flashcards, and any other media formats that are conducive to being absorbed in 5 minutes.
There are lots of ways microlearning can be useful. Here are five you should be aware of.
It’s Good for Nontraditional Learners.
With the rising popularity of online education, many of today’s students are not learning in classrooms; they’re learning at home or while on their lunch break or while commuting on a train. For these nontraditional learners, microlearning can be highly effective. It allows lessons to fit into busy schedules, and its electronic delivery is easily integrated into online learning platforms. In a recent panel discussion on microlearning, Walden University alumna Bonnie Mullinix said microlearning is also a great way to establish a venue for discussion for online students, since topics can be easily debated in online forums.1
It’s Good for Business Training.
Sending employees to a day (or days) of training isn’t good for a company’s efficiency. Also, employees are expected to take in a lot of information—and learn multiple new skills—in a short period of time. Microlearning can address both of these problems by providing training in short bursts that don’t disrupt the flow of work or require employees to learn more than one small thing at a time.
It’s Good for All Stages of the Learning Cycle.
Microlearning can be an effective tool, no matter where you are in your learning. For example, a micro-test can gauge your knowledge before you’ve even begun a series of lessons, micro-content can help you learn an aspect of a new skill, and micro-reviews can help you reinforce a skill you’ve already learned but haven’t used in a while.
It’s Good for Short Attention Spans.
Our attention spans are not what they once were. In fact, one recent study found that since the advent of the internet and mobile technology, our average attention span has decreased by 4 seconds, down from 12 to 8, which is shorter than that of a goldfish.2 Microlearning can help combat this. Its brevity is perfect in a world where sitting still in a classroom for an hour is more difficult than ever before.
It’s Good for Short- and Long-Term Educational Goals.
The bite-sized format of microlearning may make it seem like it’s only good for simple lessons. That’s not true. It’s good for both the easy-to-comprehend (e.g., how to buy a stock) and the difficult-to-comprehend (e.g., how does the financial system work). The trick is that for more difficult lessons, the components of that lesson are divided up into small chunks and learned one at a time. Once all the chunks are learned, you’ll have learned the larger lesson.
If microlearning—and education in general—fascinates you, consider earning an MS in Higher Education, which may feature such courses as Creating an Effective Classroom Learning Environment and Curriculum Design for Learning. Not only can this higher education degree help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to develop and lead programs, services, and classes that can help students reach their full potential, it can help prepare you for a wide variety of jobs in university, business, and nonprofit settings.
The question is: How do you find the time to earn a master’s in higher education? Enrolling in an online university can help. Like microlearning, online learning is geared for those who are short on time. When you choose an online higher education master’s program, you can complete your coursework from home or from anywhere else you have internet access. Plus, online graduate programs in higher education give you the power to choose when in the day you want to attend class.
Microlearning is changing how people learn. With an MS in Higher Education, you can become a leader in microlearning and other forms of modern education.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Higher Education degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.