When you want to learn a new skill, like changing a bicycle tire, or wiring an electrical circuit, you probably go to the Internet. You might read a short list of illustrated instructions, or watch a video demonstration. This kind of learning is called microlearning.

Microlearning is a method of learning in which skills are broken down into small, easily digestible chunks of information. Each chunk, or nugget, is very short—approximately three to ten minutes in length—and focuses on one specific topic or skill. Learning takes place in short bursts, where and when it is needed.

Many learners like microlearning because they find it more engaging and less time-consuming than other modes of learning. It’s also more convenient. Microlearning tasks can be accessed through your smartphone, so you can learn at any time or place.

Traditionally, if a company wanted to teach employees a new business strategy, they might have conducted an hours-long training session. With microlearning, however, businesses can teach the same information through video clips, slideshows, podcasts and/or infographics.

Microlearning is also great for students in an online synchronous classroom, where it’s difficult to sit still for long periods of time, staring at a screen. This method also works well for individuals who want to learn a new skill or language, but have little free time.

Like any learning strategy, microlearning has its downsides. It’s not the best method for in-depth learning or for people who aren’t tech savvy.

Yet, with today’s busy schedules and short attention spans, micro learning is certainly an attractive learning option.

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