Our journey with Microlearning began years ago with a Global FMGC business with offices and people throughout Africa. The challenge was how to deliver regular learning solutions to a continent with patchy and expensive connectivity, where most users would not have access to a desktop, laptop or tablet?

We developed weekly, bit-sized learning units designed for mobile phones, never using more than 2mb per unit. The success of the project was instant, and usage data showed that we had more engagement than any of their European offices, with fast and unlimited internet, where users had a multitude of devices to use.

We had fallen in love.

What is Microlearning?

There doesn’t seem to be an official definition for Microlearning, however, it can be identified by the following descriptors:

  • it’s delivered in short time bursts
  • it requires very little effort from individual sessions
  • it’s simple in it’s approach
  • it’s usually a natural fit for mobile phones (but can be accessed on larger devices)

Sh!ft defines it like this:

Microlearning refers to an educational approach that offers bite-sized, small learning units with just the necessary amount of information to help learners achieve a goal

It’s Nobody’s Poor Cousin

One shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that it’s in anyway inferior to any other learning style. There are plenty of studies to show that microlearning holds it’s own when it’s used in the right way, at the right time, for the right outcomes.

We can and do learn more (retain better) when we learn in short bursts over having to stay focussed for one hour sessions. Everyone has a mobile phone and at least some dead time every a day to pick it up, click on a link and learn something new in a very short amount of time. There are plenty of activities one can complete in just a few minutes. A YouTube video, mobile phone based quiz, reading small nuggets of information, etc.

It’s all about user engagement

When we started Testy Tuesday, focusing on the Hospitality Industry, we spent 6 months testing our Microlearning solution with 60 people. We consistently asked for feedback from our users, and it almost always centred around speed, efficiency and fun.

For example, we originally asked people to log into a portal. The feedback indicated that they didn’t want that, as it was taking too long. So we took it away, and engagement increased. 99% of the feedback was about making is easier and faster for our users.

Over and over we’ve refined Testy Tuesday to increase speed, ease and fun, without compromising on useful information about the Hospitality Industry.