Ways to Ensure Microlearning Modules Boost Knowledge Retention

Designing Digitally



According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, short bursts of learning help the transfer from classroom to the task by at least 17% higher efficiency. There is no rocket science behind this. Our brain is not structured in a way that it can maintain its focus for hours at a time. When you provide content in bite-sized proportions, it helps to cement the learning. Micromodules are focused on one learning objective per module. This makes it easier for your learners to digest information in small chunks. There is no irrelevant information to clutter the mind. This makes it easy for learners to retain knowledge.  

Microlearning is a win-win proposition for both the learner and the organization. Not only are these modules effective, they save on the overall costs as well. This makes the return-on-investment worthwhile. So how does microlearning help in knowledge retention? Here are four reasons microlearning modules are effective in making learning stick.

#1: Chunks and spaces it out

Microlearning modules chunk content into logical blocks. Learners have limited mental bandwidth. They can process only a certain amount of information at a particular time. If you try and cram extra information, there is a cognitive overload. Bite-sized knowledge bursts lower the cognitive load on the learner’s brain. This way, they remember what they learn. The other strategy is to space out the information presented. Microlearning modules do not cram all the information onto the learner at once. Instead, each module focuses on a particular topic. These topics are repeated at regular intervals to tackle the forgetting curve of the learner. When you deliver micro modules consistently,you can drive continuous learning and help your employees change their behavior in the long-term.

#2: Helps learn one topic at a time

Microlearning focuses on a single learning objective at a time. It encourages your learners to spend time and effort trying to understand the content of that module completely, before moving to the next one. They understand the content, process the information, and apply it. As a result, the information becomes meaningful and they are able to recall it when required. Microlearning is big on the application of the knowledge acquired.

#3: Reinforces learning

If you want learning to stick, make sure you reinforce it. There is no specific format that is used for microlearning. You have a variety of options to choose from – videos, interactive PDFs, games, and so on. You can deliver the same topic in different ways and formats at regular intervals. This reinforces learning and addresses the forgetting curve of your learner. One of the most useful aspects of microlearning is that it can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. It is a great tool for just-in-time learning. When you get information at the point you really need it, you tend to remember it for a long time. Suppose you need to finish a report by end of the day, and you are stuck because you cannot figure out how to enable macros in the spreadsheet. If you have access to learning that will help you resolve the issue right when you need to, then you tend to remember the process better. Next time your colleague faces a similar situation, you are able to help them out.

#4: Allows learner control

Microlearning modules put the learner in the driver’s seat. Since they are short modules focused on a particular topic, there is no specified learning order. Your employees can customize their path depending on their needs. If they feel that they need to focus on a specific skill, they choose the relevant modules. They learn at their own pace without having to wait for their peers to catch up. They can skip certain topics if they are confident about them. Basically, each learner is responsible for their skill development. Microlearning drives the learner to seek content, rather than pushing unwanted information onto the them. Once your learners take accountability for their development, they take the learning seriously. The result will show up as increased productivity in the long run.

Microlearning can prove to be really effective when you use it appropriately. However, if you believe these small modules do not require planning to create, then think again. You need to carefully plan out a strategy if you want your microlearning modules to be successful and produce high returns.

At Designing Digitally, we create custom microlearning solutions designed specifically for your training objectives. Our courses ensure strong retention of information and provide innovative ways to change learner behaviors.

Get in touch with our team today and learn how microlearning can impact your training plans.