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Learning about microlearning and its advantages

While people generally know what e-learning is, not everyone is familiar with the concept of micro-learning. Are you? If so, we’d like to introduce you to this express learning mode. The definition, advantages and disadvantages: let’s take a look at microlearning and how it can help you with your language training.

The definition of microlearning

What is microlearning?

Microlearning is a teaching method based on short, varied materials that are available 24/7. Although there is no predefined format, the content offered to learners is generally digital and can be “consumed” quickly and on the go. There is a reason why the terms nuggets or chunks are used to describe it.

What does a “lesson” in microlearning look like?

This learning format is not really a lesson or a course. Generally lasting between 2 and 5 minutes, microlearning activities address a problem faced by many learners: a lack of time.

There can be short learning games, tutorial videos, quizzes, tests, mini-podcasts, etc. It doesn’t matter what type of micro-content is used, as long as it provides useful knowledge that can be directly applied by the learner.

Example of microlearning

Let’s say, for example, that you want to write a letter in English, but you don’t know which type of greeting is the most appropriate for your recipient. You could then watch a 1-2 minute video on the different types of greetings to use in a letter.

How microlearning works

The idea behind microlearning is to make knowledge and skills “available” to learners. The learning content is therefore permanently accessible using digital tools. You can find it on your smartphone, computer or tablet. It can be grouped together on an LMS-type platform or in an application, for example. Microlearning and mobile learning are closely related.

Thus, it is you who decides, when you need it or when you have a few minutes to spare, to “consume” it. Is your bus or train 10 minutes late? Why not take advantage of this to do a short quiz in Spanish? If you have a meeting with a German supplier, but are no longer at ease with numbers in Goethe’s language, there is probably a revision sheet available on your training platform.

Advantages and disadvantages of microlearning

The advantages of this learning method

Speed, usefulness, availability, flexibility… The list of advantages of microlearning is particularly long!

First of all, this type of learning can be adapted to the attention span and concentration of learners. In an environment where we are overly saturated (advertisements, phone calls, social media, conversations with colleagues, information overload, etc.), our attention span is put to the test. But with sequences that only require your attention for 2 to 5 minutes, this is no longer a problem.

Furthermore, microlearning is an excellent way to retain knowledge in the long term. For example, it can be used to revise, or better still, to apply concepts learned in lessons.

It is also a very flexible learning method that adapts to your level. This is a significant advantage for language training, for example! If you have an intermediate level of English, your microlearning session will not be the same as for a beginner, even if the content is identical.

The disadvantages of microlearning

The disadvantages are few and far between. However, it should be noted that microlearning (like all forms of e-learning) requires a certain amount of familiarity with digital tools. This is also a hurdle for people who do not have access to a smartphone or computer.

It should also be noted that microlearning can hardly be used on its own. In fact, it is difficult to imagine acquiring advanced skills with a succession of learning capsules lasting only a couple of minutes. To be truly effective, microlearning must therefore be used along with more comprehensive training methods, such as lessons with a qualified trainer. In this context, microlearning is an ideal tool for reviewing the concepts covered in lessons and applying them in practice.

Are you impressed by the educational value of microlearning? We are too. That’s why our learners have access to many micro resources as part of their language training!