What is Microlearning?

The name says it all, because microlearning refers to learning in small learning units. Instead of working with an extensive training manual or participating in…

Dr. Wolfram Gebauer profile picture
Dr. Wolfram Gebauer

February 1, 20243 minute read

The name says it all, because microlearning refers to learning in small learning units. Instead of working with an extensive training manual or participating in a full-day seminar, microlearning allows individuals to absorb very compressed portions of knowledge in just a few minutes.

The fact is, that microlearning has become increasingly popular in recent years. Several studies confirm that organizations appreciate the advantages of this modern form of learning and are increasingly relying on small-scale training. There has been plenty of research and literature published that indicates that microlearning is also one of the most sustainable forms of learning.

The learning units within microlearning are called ‘learning nuggets’ and are characterized by the following:

  • Short content on just a single topic
  • Time effort of typically between two to five minutes
  • Easy-to-adopt knowledge
  • Simulations for practical action following the learning unit
  • Self-paced learning anytime and anywhere

There are numerous examples in daily life where microlearning is applied, for example in sports, if you just want to learn a particular technique, or in music how to use a guitar pedal if you just want to learn how to play a particular riff. In both cases you would not need plenty of theory, but you need some practical guidance and then you need to practice yourself. 

Learning nuggets are usually offered in the form of short videos, infographics, quizzes or text (like this blog!) and if possible, with an interactive component. The nuggets always deal with a single topic or a clearly defined part of a topic. Extensive aspects of a major topic should be broken down into several learning nuggets.

The nuggets are an excellent way to train on new content, but are also helpful for newly hired staff, or staff that were absent during a change or an update or anyone not using a particular software frequently. They provide visually interactive learning with some simulated practice in a digestible form that teaches what is important without putting pressure on the user due to lengthy sessions.

Learning concepts for new software implementations – what’s in it for me?

When it comes to learning concepts for new software implementations, we typically find the following educational needs are required:

  • Time efficient
  • Pragmatic approach
  • Task driven
  • Repeatable
  • Self-paced

As we can see the Microlearning learning methodology provides exactly these needs and is a perfect fit. It also delivers a very time and cost-effective way to get employees up to speed. Instead of providing hundreds of pages of documentation and user manuals, a well defined set of learning nuggets will be far more efficient, not only for the user but also from a development and maintenance point of view. And it is much easier for the user to digest the content and learn what’s really needed for their daily job. Finally, it can also deepen their knowledge, as the user can immediately practice what they have just learned.

In order to achieve maximized user adoption OpenText™ offers services to help organizations in developing Microlearning content with the concept described above. Customers with implementations of various OpenText products in industries such as Pharma, Engineering and Government institutions trust in this type of learner experience.

The OpenText Learning Services team can also help with your adoption strategy, working closely with you to develop a tailored solution for your users to realize your business outcomes. For more information, visit Learning Services or contact us at training@opentext.com.

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Dr. Wolfram Gebauer

Wolfram is Director for Learning Services helping customers with all aspects of enablement. He has spent over 20 years in the training and education space within software companies. Wolfram views change management and user adoption as keys to the success of employee education.

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