Microlearning: Bite-Sized Brilliance for the Modern Learner

by | May 18, 2023 | Micro Learning | 0 comments

The best teacher development programs know that too much, too fast, won’t last. 212 Creatived, LLC would like to welcome you to the era of bite-sized brilliance!  All-day workshops are efficient, but not really effective if the goal is long-term change.  If you do any training with your staff, you may want to keep the concept of microlearning in mind. In a world that moves at lightning speed, where there are many demands on our attention and information overload is a daily occurrence, micro learning has emerged as the unsung hero of education. In this article, we’ll take a dive into the history of micro learning and touch on some of  the fascinating neuroscience behind its effectiveness, along with the benefits of micro learning.  

The Rise of Micro Learning

While microlearning may seem like a fresh-faced newcomer to the education scene, micro learning tenets have been around for a long time. Why the resurgence in interest now?  It has to do with how the world has changed.

The concept of neuro-plasticity shows us that our human brains change as they interact with the environment.  Our environment certainly has changed, especially in the last 50 years with the advent of the computer, the internet, social media…the list goes on.  The result of all of these environmental changes is that the time we can engage in focused, sustained attention has dropped. The notion of going to a day-long training for a “sit and get” just isn’t effective anymore. Enter micro learning onto the educational stage.

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is an approach to education that focuses on delivering information in small, bite-sized units. This learning is designed to be consumed quickly and easily in chunks lasting from a few minutes to a maximum of 15 minutes. The learning units can be in various forms, including videos, infographics, quizzes, podcasts, or even interactive apps. By breaking down complex topics into manageable chunks, micro learning capitalizes on the brain’s natural ability to absorb information more effectively in small doses.  Doesn’t this sound familiar?  If you need to replace a faucet on your sink at home, do you take a plumbing class? Or do you just watch a 5 minute video on YouTube.  That is micro learning in action. Information packaged in small chunks that can be easily digested and are useful and practical.

The Neuroscience Behind Microlearning:

The efficacy of microlearning is rooted in our understanding of neuroscience. Research has shown that our brains have limited attention spans and struggle to maintain focus for extended periods. As we mentioned before, thanks to neuroplasticity, our brains have been changed by the overwhelming amount of information, social media viewing, video games and all of the other radical changes in our society over the last several decades. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something of which we have to be aware.  The best teacher development programs are in alignment with this newly rewired brain, delivering information in short bursts can leverage the brain’s cognitive capabilities, enhancing attention and retention.

Another neuroscience underpinning is the Forgetting Curve.  Over 100 years ago, Ebbinhaus showed that almost as soon as we learn something, we start to forget the information. Even if you get a condensed, 2 minute micro lesson, we can start to forget the information unless there is spaced repetition, and we have a chance to review the information or, better yet, put it to use. Spaced repetition (sometimes called distributive practice) can make learning more effective by presenting information, then revisited over spaced intervals, rather than in one prolonged session. By periodically revisiting key concepts, micro learning reinforces knowledge and helps to solidify long-term memory.

In one recent study, two groups of students were taught the same concepts for six weeks. One group was taught with traditional methods, the other group was taught with micro learning lessons. The group that was taught using micro learning showed around 18% better learning than the traditional group. When retested later, the micro learning group had retained more of the information than the control group.

Benefits of the Best Teacher Development Program

To experience the best teacher development programs, consider 1 Minute Mastery. All of the 1 Minute Mastery lessons were designed with the tenets of micro learning and neuroscience in mind.  Here are just four of the benefits:

  1. Anytime, anywhere learning.  

Since the 1 Minute Mastery lessons are recorded, they can be viewed on any device, anytime, anywhere.  A teacher doesn’t have to do lesson plans or be out of their classroom to go to a workshop. Each 1 Minute Mastery video is 2 minutes or less in length. They can watch in their home, at lunch, on the weekend or during a break in classes. These short, bite-sized lessons make it easy to fit into a busy schedule. 

  1. Stickiness Guaranteed: 

The secret sauce of microlearning is repetition. That is why there is only one 1 Minute Mastery delivered each week. By having only one skill or strategy for an entire week, that lesson can be focused on, practiced, and immediately implemented into the teacher’s practice.  The immediacy of application and the practicality of the lessons helps to ensure it will become a regular part of the teacher’s practice.

  1. Increased Engagement: 

The brevity, interactivity and practicality of the 1 Minute Mastery lessons make it inherently engaging. Learners are more likely to stay focused and motivated when presented with concise, visually appealing content that encourages active participation.

  1. Improved Knowledge Retention: 

The repetitive nature of microlearning aids in the consolidation of knowledge. Regularly revisiting key concepts reinforces learning, enabling learners to retain information more effectively. This iterative approach helps combat the “forgetting curve” and enhances long-term memory retention.

If you are looking for ways to achieve constant and never-ending improvement, check out one of best teacher development programs, 1 Minute Mastery. Click here for a free sample and to subscribe.  If you are a new teacher looking for solutions to common classroom problems, check out 1 Minute Mastery. If you are an experienced teacher looking for new ideas, so that you can continue to learn, grow and add nuance to your professional practice, check out 1 Minute Mastery.