In today’s fast-paced world, time is short, attention spans are shorter, and every second counts, and the classroom is not excused of this reality. This is where microlearning comes into play. It’s a bite-sized learning teaching approach that delivers content in small, manageable, and highly focused chunks.
Microlearning is becoming increasingly popular among businesses and learners alike: bite sized learning helps students to grasp learning objectives quickly, and businesses to train their employees more efficiently. But for education, where instruction & curriculum development is deeper rooted, microlearning is slowly becoming embraced in an effort to cater to a modern era of students.
In this guide to microlearning in education, we will will cover everything you need to know about this innovative approach to learning! Let’s hop in.
What is Microlearning?
Microlearning is a modern approach to learning that involves the delivery of bite-sized learning modules that are focused on a specific topic or learning objective. Unlike traditional learning methods, which involve long lectures or courses, microlearning focuses on delivering small, targeted bursts of information that can be easily consumed and retained by learners. It’s increase in popularity has a lot to do with it’s hyper engaging format, and added flexibility that fits into busy schedules and supports the concept of lifelong learning.
Format of microlearning content:
Microlearning is characterized by short activities that have a single learning objective at a time, rather than by it’s form. However, the activities are typically highly interactive or come with multimedia elements like videos, images, and audio. This approach allows students to learn at their own pace and in a way that best suits their learning style! Mobile learning is also a key aspect of microlearning, which means that students can access learning content on-the-go.
Regardless of the format the content is delivered in, microlearning is designed to provide information dense, maximum benefits with a minimal time commitment on any specific topic.
Benefits of Microlearning & Bite sized learning for students
Microlearning has numerous benefits for both educators and students. Here are some of the key benefits of microlearning in education:
The short and focused nature of microlearning activities helps students to retain information better. When students are presented with small, easily digestible chunks of information, they are more likely to remember it for a longer time.
Bite-sized learning activities can be highly engaging and interactive, which can help to capture students’ attention and keep them motivated. With multimedia elements like videos, images, and audio, microlearning activities can create a more immersive learning experience.
Caters to short attention spans
In today’s digital age, students are often bombarded with distractions and have short attention spans. Microlearning is an ideal solution for this problem, as it presents information in short, easily digestible chunks that students can consume in a short amount of time.
Microlearning allows students to focus on specific topics, which can help them to gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. When students can learn at their own pace and in a way that suits their learning style, they are more likely to master the content.
With the rise of mobile learning, microlearning has become more accessible to students than ever before. Students can access learning content anytime, anywhere, and on any device, which means they can fit learning into their busy schedules.
Microlearning activities can be tailored to meet the needs of individual learners. Educators can use microlearning to create personalized learning paths that cater to students’ unique learning styles and needs.
Improved transfer of learning
Microlearning can improve the transfer of learning from the classroom to the real world. By presenting information in a way that mimics real-world scenarios, students can apply what they have learned to real-world situations more easily.
How to Apply Microlearning in Education
So how do you create microlearning lessons? To implement microlearning in the classroom, you must design specific, targeted lessons in a modular fashion. Multiple micro lessons should be apart of a larger concept, but each microlearning module itself should stand on it’s own with a focused learning objective. So when the learners have completed each one, they get gain a larger understanding, in less time, that they can ideally transfer to other contexts.
Steps to designing effective microlearning modules
1. Start with defined broad learning goals and key learning objectives of a unit
Start by defining the overall learning goal you want to achieve. What larger concept, unit, or theme do you think would be beneficial to breakdown into smaller bite-sized learning? Define the learning objectives.
2. Breakdown each learning objective into a single microlesson
Once you have your learning objectives in place, create a series of bite-sized modules that take each learning objective and turn them into individual, specific, measurable outcomes that can be achieved through a single microlesson.
3. Incorporate information dense multimedia elements and choose the best content format
Now, choose the best format for each module based on the type of content you want to convey. This could be in the form of a video, interactive game, quiz, or even a short article. Make sure to incorporate multimedia elements into each microlesson. Multimedia elements like images, videos, and audio can help to make the content more engaging and memorable.
4. Introduce microlearning modules and context to learners
When it comes time to introduce these microlessons to your students, introduce the larger context of all the microlearning lessons first, and provide context for what they will be learning. When giving each microlesson, clearly outline the key learning objective for that module.
Examples of Microlearning used in the classroom
Short videos lessons
Short videos are a highly effective way to deliver microlearning content, and a flagship example! In the modern age of mobile devices, constant content streaming, increased demand of interactive engagement & stimulation, and shortened attention spans, short videos have become king. 👑 And while educators may love or loathe tiktok, short videos are just as impactful for education & learning.
There are many short-form educational videos available from online platforms, educational websites, and YouTube. The key is to keep them short and focused on a single learning objective, and an educator can even take only a set 2 minutes from a video to use in their microlearning lesson. Educators can also incorporate interactive elements like quizzes or discussion questions to further engage students, check out edpuzzle for interactive quiz videos.
Interactive quizzes or flashcards
Interactive quizzes & vocab flashcards are another great way to reinforce learning objectives while keeping students engaged. These quizzes can be designed to test students’ understanding of specific topics or to reinforce key concepts. They also provide immediate feedback to students for self-assessments, so students can learn from their mistakes and improve their understanding.
Quizzes can be designed to be fun and engaging, with multimedia elements such as images and videos, and can be delivered in a variety of formats, such as multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank, and more. There are many online tools that can be used for creating class quizzes, but If you use PowerPoint during your lessons, check out ClassPoint’s student questions & activities that you can run right from your slide! Freely design the question on your slide, then choose from one of the 8 questions varieties to run with your students. Here’s how 👈🏼
Vocabulary-focused flashcards are another question format that are a great example of microlearning as students can practice a lot of vocab & go over a lot of material in a condensed format. Quizlet is a great tool that teachers can set up for students can use on their own time, or a fill in the blanks style quiz question can work well too!
Gamification is a great way to engage students with microlearning. By incorporating elements of gameplay like points, badges, and leaderboards, educators can make learning more fun & interactive, while increasing student motivation.
For example, educators can create a quiz-based game that reinforces learning objectives while allowing students to compete against each other. If you use PowerPoint, and download the add-in ClassPoint to run interactive quiz questions in class, you can also gamify it by awarding stars, setting levels, and reveal a class leaderboard & podium!
A lot of the benefits of microlearning are the fact that it is mobile-friendly, accessible, and brief for on the go lifestyles. So a great example of using microlearning is with a flipped classroom. Microlessons don’t take up as much time and are great as flipped classroom learning assignments to complete on their own time. Then you can use the classroom time to recall learning objectives, connect the dots between a few microlessons, reinforce the big picture, and apply their learning to new concepts maximizing their learning.
Microlearning is a powerful tool for engaging students and delivering targeted learning outcomes. By breaking down complex topics into bite-sized modules and incorporating interactive elements, educators can create a more engaging and effective learning experience. While there are some restrictions to keep in mind, the benefits of microlearning far outweigh the drawbacks. With the right design and implementation strategies, educators can use microlearning to enhance the learning experience and improve student outcomes. 😄
Lastly, check out ClassPoint to improve your student engagement when teaching with PowerPoint and to run those classroom quizzes! Without leaving PowerPoint, ClassPoint adds a teacher’s toolbelt that let’s you randomly draw names, surf the web, add whiteboard slides, run gamified questions or add gamification to in-class activities, & more. Try it out for free today.