What is Microlearning?


Microlearning is about acquiring new skills in smaller learning units. It refers to a skill-based learning approach involving relatively short, focused learning units.

The duration of a unit varies between two and fifteen minutes. Concrete learning objectives are then achieved in the single sections, which are geared towards an overarching goal. In order to achieve this goal, several repetitions are needed in addition to a certain number of learning units. The regular repetition of the short units improves the internalisation of the contents. This reinforces the transfer and implementation in practice. In order to ensure optimal learning success, it is important to design the content in such a way that the learner also enjoys gaining knowledge, reflects on it and continues learning with motivation. At the end of the unit, there should be a sense of achievement on the part of the user. These small feelings of success ensure that the user maintains his/her own drive and completes all the lessons.

Overall, microlearning is applied in practice in various forms. For example, through:

  • Short learning videos.
  • Playful elements such as a quiz.
  • Clear infographics.
  • Digital flashcards.
  • Interactive elements.

Benefits of Microlearning

Microlearning has the following advantages for users:

The short learning segments enable a sustainable transfer of knowledge, as the information to be conveyed is limited to the basic content. Microlearning can be used anywhere, especially via app, and can thus be easily integrated into everyday working life, e.g. by going through it on the way to or from work or during the lunch break. This is mainly due to the fact that it usually takes very little time. Through app-based learning, microlearning offers a high degree of flexibility, as the associated apps work on all mobile devices. The flexible learning offer allows learners to determine their own learning pace. One usually starts with simple basics.

In addition, microlearning content is usually available just-in-time. While the learner is more of a passive participant in classical training, he or she has an active role in microlearning. Optimally, the contents of microlearning are prepared in such a way that they can be internalized easily and quickly.

Microlearning is geared to the individuality of the learner, which guarantees that he or she is not overtaxed by the individual units.

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Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB)