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Ten Minutes Or Less?

By now, it’s likely that you’ve heard about a big learning trend… one that actually can be quite small. In recent years, Microlearning has been all the rage; yet, unlike many buzz words that come and go, microlearning has persisted. While often misunderstood or mischaracterized, microlearning remains a much sought-after modality for learning.

When it comes to defining microlearning, most of the attention tends to go to duration. You’ll hear things like: bursts, small doses, short, succinct, bite-sized and of course, everyone’s favorite… the magic time frame that is strangely specific, yet seemingly random. Maybe you’ve heard, “Well it can’t be microlearning if it’s more than 20 minutes.” Or “Microlearning is 10 minutes or less.” Or even, ”Microlearning has to be 3 – 5 minutes, tops.” But these diminutive descriptors tend to overshadow the actual ‘learning’ component of microlearning.

The Focused Approach

That’s why we believe ‘focused’ is a much better way to view microlearning. And by more focused, we mean concentrated on one learning objective. Intensive on adding one skill or changing one behavior. Keeping all the need to have information, and excluding the nice to have or supplementary. And by staying focused on these items, the learning IS indeed shorter.

In other words, microlearning should be “As long as necessary, and as short as possible.” There is no definitive rule on how long microlearning SHOULD be. The key is the focused nature of the content and that it feels short and manageable to learners. By being focused, microlearning presents information in a way that encourages understanding, is less overwhelming and improves retention… all things that support our performance goals.

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