What are the benefits of microlearning? Microlearning is trendy; it’s a buzzword. But is it really effective?

Yes, it is. Research shows long-term memory of acquired knowledge increases significantly when:

  1. Learning and study sessions are spaced over time
  2. Content is repeated over time [1]

The Benefits for Your Team

If time is money and knowledge is power, then quickly understanding and applying knowledge is a huge win for your organization. Microlearning is a proven instructional design technique that helps achieve this goal.

With microlearning, team members don’t have to set aside big blocks of time for training and updates. A ten minute micro lesson fits in neatly between the emails, the interoffice messaging apps, and the actual job responsibilities that your team faces every day. Follow up with a couple of 5 minute review sessions spaced over the rest of the week, and your team is set up for success.

Microlearning helps your content team, too. Micro lessons are short, which makes them quicker and easier to update. Content development cycles are shorter, and micro lessons let your team start training while additional content is being created and released incrementally.

Microlearning is also perfect for on-the-fly notifications. When you have quick product or policy updates – or unforeseen problems – get your sales and support team up to date in a flash with a micro lesson, and make sure your team sees and understands it with a quick quiz that delivers measurable proof of action.

Microlearning for Simple & Complex Subjects

Microlearning is uniquely suited to quick, single focus learning. One task may be presented quickly and efficiently, and subsequent microlearning review sessions, spaced out over time, ensure consolidation of information from short term to long term memory.

Microlearning is also a great solution for more involved material. When teaching more complex subjects, release a series of micro lessons relating individual parts of the topic with subsequent micro-reviews spaced out over a few days.

Once the micro-lessons and micro-reviews have solidified the transfer of knowledge from short term to long term memory, use a final micro lesson – or series of lessons – to bring all acquired knowledge together in a cohesive whole.

Holding people’s attention – and interest – is crucial, because your learners won’t remember the material if they’re falling asleep to it. Microlearning avoids this pitfall by taking what might otherwise be long, dense material and breaking it up into easily digestible, memorable pieces.

Microlearning with Versal

How is Versal uniquely suited to create and distribute microlearning, and how do we keep your learners engaged? By providing interactive activities for active learning.

Spacing activities and providing variety in subsequent micro review lessons (categories, deeper diagram, short response) keeps learners engaged as they practice the material while avoiding the drudgery of “drill and practice” methods.

With the example presented here, we would follow up with the multiple choice quiz within two days. An additional exercise would then be released two or three days after the quiz to further reinforce the content discussed in this micro lesson.


[1] John AC Hattie and Gregory M Donoghue, “Learning strategies: a synthesis and conceptual model”, Nature Partner Journals Science of Learning, 2016