What Is Micro Learning?

Clearly, we live in an age and time where technology is paramount. Today, almost everyone has access to mobile phones and electronic gadgets. From using study apps to taking skill assessment tests, the use of technology has increased as far as professional and academic development is concerned.

Research says the average human attention span has come down from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds post the mobile revolution. This means our society is currently in the process of moving from a culture of deep attention to one of hyper-attention.

In simple words, hyper-attention means switching focus between multiple information streams, seeking a high preference for stimulation and having a much lower tolerance for boredom – both at educational institutes and workforces. This is because today almost everyone is either distracted or impatient.


Both students and employees want to learn from multiple sources but quickly and now! They want to take over their own development. This is where micro learning comes into the picture:

What is it exactly?

Micro learning is the process of breaking down information into small chunks to enable focused lessons and closing skills & knowledge gaps. This is ideal for situations where information changes quickly and people find it hard to keep up with things.

Three major characteristics of micro learning are as follows:

  1. Brevity: Micro learning sessions are short, but with no defined duration.

  2. Granularity: It focuses on one topic, concept or idea.

  3. Variety: It can be in the form of a game, presentation, quiz, video, etc.


Why is micro learning in vogue?

People are accessing and using information a bit differently than how they did several years ago, thanks to ever-evolving technology. Most of them now look for non-traditional channels to acquire information. A study by Bensin reveals that 70% of people use search engines to gain information, while 50-60% of them opt for online courses. Same goes for students who have trouble paying attention. Moreover, the use of smartphones has gone up because they offer quick answers to unexpected questions.

Micro learning everywhere

80% of workforce learning takes place though on-the-job interactions with peers, teammates and managers. But companies are finding it harder to develop their employees efficiently – which is why providing “micro learning” training programs to them is important.

Similarly, many educational institutes are incorporating micro learning to break down complex subjects into bite-sized learning modules to not only make concepts easier to grasp but also to help improve the retention of students.

Here are 5 major benefits:

  1. Highly engaging – Did you know that 65% of people are visual learners and 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual ? Normal text can instill boredom if that’s the only format used to impart knowledge. For better retention, visual content is the key. Micro learning nuggets use images, GIFs, movies, presentations, short videos, etc. to impart information. It’s obvious that the learners understand fresh concepts and topics faster and better. 

  1. A personalized medium – With the help of micro learning solutions, learners can be empowered and given better control in defining a personalized and flexible learning path. Since there are so many formats through which learning can take place (videos, podcasts, quizzes, etc.), it is easy for every individual to pick his or her own learning style and make the most of it.

  2. Just-in-time solution – Focused learning solutions are available as and when an employee demands. Available on multiple devices, the learner can access the information from anywhere and apply it immediately after consumption.

  3. Easy access – As mentioned before, micro learning nuggets can be accessed from almost everywhere. Be it laptop, personal desktop or tablet, it is possible to read and consume information from anywhere. The best part is the learners don’t really need an internet connection – if the content is in the form of an offline quiz, pre-downloaded video or a PDF file.

  4. Less time consuming – Since the mediums to learn are so dynamic in nature, it is easy to focus on the learning material and gather information at a faster rate. And since these solutions are small, finishing them is not a difficult task at all.

Whats happening at Oust?

Since our product launch earlier this year, we have been talking to skill development institutes and corporates about how microlearning is a cost effective tool that helps them in reaching out to all employees of the organization.

Companies invest much on training managers, but often find it hard to deliver simple training to distributed employees on the ground. E-learning – which is converting classroom training content into videos and webinars is not as effective as classroom training, and hence has not been a success.

The mobile platform provides unparalleled distribution, and with the advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence, offers an opportunity to highly personalize the learning content for every individual.

The mobile platform when combined with the use of different genres such as movies, music and sports makes the learning experience highly engaging. Further, it provides a highly effective way to collect data, analyze feedback and assess skills by making it more fun through simple quizzes, puzzles and more.

At Oust, we are constantly innovating to provide a fully-integrated microlearning platform that provides all these capabilities. We also help our clients to create highly engaging content that leverages our proprietary pedagogy of delivering critical learning outcomes at scale.

I will share more on this in the future blogs.

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