Micro-learning is about delivering learning experiences in short bursts, distributed across extended periods of time and potentially across several different platforms. An employee might begin a lesson on the subway during their commute, continue it during the workday and finish it a week later.
A large body of research literature suggests that micro-learning approaches are effective at imparting information and teaching skills. This approach distributes learning across many sessions, leading to better memory of the material. Retrieval practice (giving employees short, frequent tests on the material they’re learning) is a particularly effective and underused teaching technique.
There are also some advantages from the development side: Bite-size learning modules can make it easier to alter and extend the existing training program.
The main disadvantage of this approach is that it might not be the right fit for certain kinds of skills. Imagine wanting to train employees on how to use a new machine – at some point, they need to practice actually using the machine.
This kind of training can also be a bit solitary. There are ways of incorporating social interaction, but the typical use case is an individual learner moving through the training material on their own. [Read related article: How to Encourage Employees to Pursue Professional Development]