Micro-learning is made up of small, discrete modules that last between 2-10 minutes in length. The best designed modules are centered around one learning objective and can stand on their own. Micro-learning reduces the expense of redesigning longer-form courses as only one or two small modules might need to be re-designed or improved when required.

When deciding if micro-learning will fit your company or organization, consider some of the pros and cons. On the positive side, the modules are accessible anywhere, promote learner retention by providing additional skill practice, give users access to information for “just-in-time” learning, create a personalized learning plan, and can fit seamlessly into an employee’s workflow. On the down-side, the number of modules can overwhelm learners, and it can be difficult to develop new, complex skills in 5-minute increments per day.

To provide a complete learning experience, the modules should include the following:

  • a diagnostic assessment – which can be made up of competency checklists, multiple choice questions, or description of prior learning through storytelling. This also helps to give learners context to understand how this one skill fits into the bigger picture. Developing a competency checklist for each larger skill enables employees to create personalized learning journeys and access the modules they need on demand;
  • an informational section – the information may be presented in whatever format best f!ts the learning objectives: video, written, visual, or multimedia content;
  • skill practice – scenarios, learning games, quizzes, flashcards, etc. can be used; and,
  • assessment – examples from real life, posts on a discussion forum, quizzes, and case studies can be used to assess the learning progress. Frequent assessments can help pinpoint the modules causing employees the most problems. Instructional designers can then accurately assess which skills need the most improvement in their business’s workforce and focus on training that will meet key organizational objectives.