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What is Microlearning?

Ever think how long it takes to get a doctorate degree? Or to become a lawyer with your own firm or practice. It takes years sometimes, decades of school and education. That degree or certification you get once completing all of those classes are composed of millions possibly billions of microlearning activities. Microlearning is something basically learned quickly within a minute or less. Some examples of this are commercial ads, flash cards, reading an email etc.

Commercials are a perfect example of the definition of microlearning. Commercials are on average about 30 seconds long. In this 30 seconds you are learning the name of a product or service and what it does and sometimes the price is included. Three informative things in less than 30 seconds may seem like slot but we experience microlearning everytime we turn on the television. Let’s take a pizza commercial for those who’ve to eat. Papa Johns starts off with now at Papa Johns buy one pizza get one free.

Watching an educational movie clip is also very good example of microlearning. Although varying around three minutes videoclips are sometimes faster for visual learners instead of learning from reading. The problem with this nowadays is many video clips people watch on the internet is of entertainment purposes. Such as quick comedy sketches or music videos. These are forms of microlearning for that particular artist or comedian in video clip but it doesn’t provide knowledge with substance to it. When video clips are watched for educational purposes or to learn something someone is actually going to do themselves it is positive microlearning and time well spent. Too often microlearning for entertainment and commercials can lead to decline in one’s responsibilities or even ADD. Even if someone watching countless videoclips for entertainment they will still experience microlearning subconsciously even if they try not to remember the clip.

Informative emails or blogs also is a form of microlearning. Ads in emails or on facebook are the newest forms of microlearning for this generation unfortunately. The social media website gives access to literally half of the world’s population and what each person is updating. Some say this is a very poor form of microlearning as the information is completely relevant to the person posting it and usually doesn’t benefit a person’s own life or responsibilities.

Flash Cards are a great form of microlearning as it does exactly what it is supposed to do. Teach you or remind of a person of many different facts in a short period of time. It takes practically ten seconds to read a flashcard a memorize it. With this logic a student could view of 350 flashcards in less than an hour. This is a very affective way to study for many students of all grade levels.

In conclusion microlearning can be broken down into the two root words themselves. Micro meaning extremely small and learning meaning the acquisition of knowledge. The examples above show clearly how that knowledge although minute is obtained in a short amount of time compared to something that takes days or longer to learn.