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Why Micro Learning Fails (and what to do about it) Part I

June 2, 2021

Business | Learning Management | Uncategorized

Over the past 5 years, Micro Learning has come into its own, moving from nascent buzzword to the de facto standard when planning next-gen learning rollouts. But is this trend helping, or hurting? Is Micro Learning delivering on the whiz-bang promise of more learning in less time? Of course, it depends. Your goals and Micro Learning design will ultimately dictate the efficacy of the strategy. In this three-part series, we’ll look at three areas where Micro Learning often goes wrong.

Micro Learning Pitfall #1: You have the wrong goals

Micro Learning is often pitched, and embraced, as a way to reduce overall Learner Seat Time (the time a Learner will spend completing your eLearning) while delivering the same learning outcomes as traditional eLearning. This is an understandable want: time is money, and while learning is an investment in your people, it’s an investment which must reconcile the immediate needs of your customers with the long-term needs and enrichment of your employees.

The trouble is that Micro Learning in and of itself will not reduce seat time if Instructional Designers and Learning Leaders are unwilling to rethink their design paradigms and tooling. In fact, as we’ll see in parts two and three, carrying over old habits to Micro Learning design and implementation may actually bloat seat time, resulting in more time spent off the floor and increased Learner friction.

If you’re thinking “wait, wait! lower seat time is not the only benefit of Micro Learning,” you’re right. In part three, we’ll look at how two other key benefits of a Micro Learning strategy are often unintentionally subverted as training is deployed.

Today’s Key Takeaway: You can reduce Seat Time with Micro Learning, but you should be prepared (and excited) to change your design approach and tooling as needed to maximize benefits.

Stay tuned for part two next week where we’ll dig into the simple Micro Learning design flaw that may be bloating your seat time and fatiguing Learners.

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