Learning & Development
3 minute read

When micro-learning really works


Micro-learning is one of L&D’s buzz words, and for good reason. Employees love it – three-quarters of employees will voluntarily engage with micro-learning, given the opportunity, and not just on occasion, but on average 2-3 times per week.[1]

As with every form of learning though, delivery is key. Here are five, evidence-backed ways we think really make micro-learning fly:

1. When it’s genuinely available on the go.

One of the key benefits of micro-learning is its flexibility. So it’s not surprising to see that companies that allow employees to train on their mobile devices see a 42% increase in the frequency of training.[2] And as the home-office boundary tends to become ever more blurred, over three-quarters of users in one study completed modules away from the office, preferring to learn when they have fewer distractions.[3]

2. When information is repeated

The brain is flawed, and one of the problems of traditional learning is that one-off sessions tend to suffer from low rates of knowledge retention, particularly when information isn’t immediately put into practice.

The nature of micro-learning means key ideas can be repeated as and when needed, working with the learner, not against them. Knowledge repetition increased learners’ retention of knowledge to an extremely impressive 84% in one study of user experience of microlearning apps.[4]

3. When the user experience is simple and well-designed

In terms of user-identified pros to micro-learning, the single most important factor in the success of micro-learning platforms is the ease of use, and the overall design.[5] When individuals are used to visually attractive, simple and intuitive apps and websites in their everyday life, the best micro-learning platforms meet those expectations.

4.When the information is relevant (and not excessive)

In one study of micro-learning, nearly one in five of those who dropped out said they did so because there was too much information, released too frequently.[6] Curating learning content to ensure it’s in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ is essential to effective micro-learning. That means involving individual learners in goal setting, as well as their managers.

5. When there’s a competitive element

When users are offered leaderboards to check their progress, 40% of employees review these daily. Those who do visit frequently train 39% more than those who rarely or never visit.[7] Including a competitive element to effectively gamify the micro-learning experience can be a hugely effective way to motivate users to train more often.

[1] https://axonify.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-axonify-microlearning-global-benchmark-report.pdf

[2] https://axonify.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-axonify-microlearning-global-benchmark-report.pdf

[3] https://www.agylia.com/downloads/white-papers/learning-technology-research-project-report.pdf

[4] https://www.agylia.com/ltrreport.html

[5] https://www.agylia.com/downloads/white-papers/learning-technology-research-project-report.pdf

[6] https://www.agylia.com/downloads/white-papers/learning-technology-research-project-report.pdf

[7] https://axonify.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-axonify-microlearning-global-benchmark-report.pdf