Framing Out MicroLearning

I mentioned in my previous post that there’s no unified definition of microLearning – which makes having a discussion about it difficult. I propose this definition:

MicroLearning: Brief instructive nuggets contributing to a larger learning objective to prime, support, or extend learning; typically delivered digitally or on demand.

How does that break down?

  • Brief: Micro assumes short, but short is defined by the designer.
  • Instructive: These assets have an educational bent, not just informational.
  • Nuggets: Call it a bite, byte, nibble, drip, burst or pearl. We’re talking about something focused, relevant, hopefully insightful, and quickly digestible.
  • Contributing to a larger learning objective: This is a key that missed in most definitions. MicroLearning needs context so learners understand where it fits in the larger knowledge structure. It’s most effective when contributing to a larger learning objective, exhibited in threaded learning.
  • Prime, support, extend learning: These are three key roles microLearning plays masterfully.
  • Delivered digitally: I think microLearning can be offered in live or digital formats. But we are typically talking about digital delivery when we consider incorporating microLearning into our education strategy.
  • Delivered on demand: A bonus of microLearning is anytime / anywhere access. MicroLearning offered within a more formal learning pathway may need to be sequenced and time-released. A vast majority of microLearning assets presently are on demand.

That’s my take. What do you think?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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