Microlearning: All the Small Things

As the saying often goes, “It’s the small things that matter the most.”

When developing an education plan, this can be especially true. The amount of content can be overwhelming. In addition to developing an overall plan for your program, you may feel burdened with the increased demands of your staff in the workplace. It is becoming more and more challenging for employees to find the time in their hectic schedules to not only access learning content, but, more importantly, to retain the information provided.

Microlearning is a way of delivering learning content in bite-sized snippets that are easily accessed when the learner needs it. These snippets focus on specific content and leave out irrelevant information, increasing the probability of greater retention.

What does microlearning look like?

Microlearning could be a/an:

What would I use it for?

Microlearning works best for things like:

  • Supplementing initial training.
  • Reinforcing practice after completing training.
  • Changing behaviors or developing soft skills.

What are the benefits of using microlearning?

  • Time: Short, usually no more than 4 minutes in length.
  • Availability: Available and readily accessible when the learner needs it.
  • Content: Topic is focused on one or two main objectives.
  • Cost: Saves time and cost compared to traditional training.

Would this work for me?

Though microlearning is not the solution for every piece of learning content, it is becoming a much more acceptable solution that is preferred by learners.

How do you think that microlearning could be used for your training and educational programs?

How would it benefit your learners, and how would they respond to this new approach?

As you ponder these thoughts, make sure to take in the big picture of what your education program is about and remember not to forget about the small things.


  • 5 Killer Examples: How to Use Microlearning-Based Training Effectively - EI Design [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT8H-jp4jnM
  • The Basics of Microlearning [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2Sqyx7q_oQ
  • Gutierrez, K. (2015, November 17). Numbers Don’t Lie: Why Bite-Sized Learning Is Better for Your Learners (and You Too). Retrieved from http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/numbers-dont-lie-why-bite-sized-learning-is-better-for-your-learners-and-you-too
  • Microlearning, Delivering Bite-Sized Knowledge [Infographic]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://d2p9xuzeb0m4p4.cloudfront.net/~/media/Images/Publications/Blogs/030217/Microlearning%20Infographic.JPG?la=en&hash=7BA09D8CE25AD5452276094B076B934E74067D46
  • Project Web Access Quick-Reference Guide [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://omextemplates.content.office.net/support/templates/en-us/lt10286505.png
  • The What, Why, and How of Microlearning [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjYweyhqOZ4
  • Woidke, E. (2016, May 16). How Retention Measures up with Microlearning vs. Traditional eLearning. Retrieved from http://www.microlearningtrends.com/how-retention-measures-up-with-microlearning-vs-traditional-elearning

Jeremy Zacher

Jeremy Zacher is an Education Specialist II and an Instructor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. His responsibilities include design, development, delivery, and evaluation of training and education for the department focusing on online training and leadership development. Outside of work, you will find Jeremy spending time with his wife and three children, as well as braving the winters as a Division I NCAA women’s basketball referee.