16th February 2023
How Microlearning Can Save Your Studies
If you are struggling to find time to study, lack motivation, or want more engaging materials, then microlearning may be for you. In this article, you’ll learn about microlearning, its benefits and drawbacks, and how to apply it to your studies. Keep reading to learn more about this not-so-new study technique.
Introduction to Microlearning
Microlearning, also known as “chunking,” is an educational strategy in which a subject is broken down into concise units of study that take 3 to 10 minutes to complete.
Compared to traditional educational strategies, which usually involve one person lecturing for an extended period and with few materials, microlearning affords a variety of eLearning resources to increase retention and engagement.
Advantages of Microlearning for Students
As a result of the short units, use of multiple multimedia tools, and open access for students to learn from anywhere at any time, microlearning has many advantages, including:
● Increased retention and understanding
● Flexible and personalized study sessions
● Easy incorporation into a busy schedule
● Easy access through various digital platforms
● The addressing of different learning styles
● Increased interest in the content
The increase in learners’ retention rates is one of the main benefits of microlearning. According to the Forgetting Curve by Hermann Ebbinghaus, students can lose approximately 65% of what they learned in an hour-long lecture after one hour if they don’t review the materials. After one week, this figure falls to 25%.
Therefore, microlearning encourages students to review materials daily using informative and short units of study and engaging materials to improve learning retention.
Disadvantages of Microlearning for Students and Educators
As with any educational strategy, there are disadvantages: learning is never one size fits all. Here are some key drawbacks for students:
● Students do not receive a holistic view of the subject
● Microlearning may not be suitable for younger students who need supervision with technology
● Multiple technology mediums could be confusing for some learners
● While snippets of information may increase retention of information outside the classroom, they may result in students not being able to focus on long-form content in class
As a creator of microlearning materials and courses, you might consider:
● The cost of creating microlearning materials
● The time and costs required to update existing learning materials for microlearning purposes
● The time required for learning how to incorporate new technology into the microlearning format
● That some subjects may not be suitable for microlearning
● The need for your target learners to have access to technology
Students, educators, and microlearning-course creators should try to incorporate a variety of strategies to ensure effective and holistic learning.
Implementing Microlearning Techniques
Microlearning relies on multimedia tools to make learning fun, short, and engaging. Using flashcards, quizzes, infographics, short videos, games, and even social media to receive short bursts of learning throughout your study session can help you retain more information for longer.
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Here are some examples of free apps that use microlearning:
YouTube: Channels like Minute Physics, Khan Academy, and Simple History use short and interactive videos (10 minutes or less) to make learning fun.
edX: A free eLearning platform that offers courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT. Many of their courses use short units with brief videos so that you can learn a variety of subjects.
TED-Ed: TED-ed uses short, animated videos on a variety of topics to spark interest in students. The videos have questions and follow-up resources to further engage students.
Duolingo: A language-learning app that uses short units focused on different subtopics. It treats learning languages like a game, so you are more likely to succeed. It also uses passive-aggressive notifications that remind you to play every day. It holds you accountable and makes you feel guilty for not showing up!
Are you trying to learn a language? Then follow native-speaking or language-learning accounts that use your target language. Want to learn more about the human body? Then follow certified medical accounts. Social media can be a great educational resource if you use it correctly.
If you are a student looking to incorporate microlearning into your study plans and your teachers and professors don’t already use microlearning materials or strategies, you’ll need to do some upfront work:
● Determine which courses are suitable for microlearning
● Find tools, resources, and platforms that have microlearning strategies already in place
● Make a study schedule, set reminders, and hold yourself accountable
Tips for Success
While making a plan is a good start, the hard part is sticking to it and being successful. This can be challenging since student life can be difficult to balance. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
● Set specific and achievable goals for each study session
● Set reminders on your phone for when you should study
● Use different learning platforms and resources to keep things interesting
● Take regular study breaks
● Use a variety of study techniques
● Track your progress and adjust your techniques as needed
● Get a study buddy for accountability
● Take 10 minutes after class to review notes or watch a video related to the lecture topic
Microlearning provides many benefits to all learners. It increases learning retention, engages students more than traditional learning strategies, can be done anywhere at any time, and covers a variety of learning styles.
You can implement microlearning into your study plan by using free apps such as Duolingo and edX, watching short videos, and using educational social media accounts. Be sure to give it a try if you are struggling to find time to study or lack motivation.
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What is microlearning, and how does it differ from traditional learning methods?
Microlearning, unlike traditional learning methods, focuses on concise units of multimedia-based learning.
How can microlearning be used to improve retention and comprehension of information?
Studying for short durations frequently rather than for five hours once a month is likely to improve your retention and comprehension of a subject.
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