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Why microlearning beats traditional learning patterns

When you are taking on learning a new skill, then you need to pay special attention to the types of training that you take on. The traditional learning structure that has you sit in a classroom for extended periods of time and listen to a supposed expert may not be the best environment for you today. You may also find it completely untenable with your current schedule.

Fortunately, there are many technological advancements that allow for new types of learning to be seriously considered when you are taking on the challenge of a new skill. One such technique, microlearning, is a highly effective way of learning a new skill that does not imitate a traditional learning structure on any level. However, it may be a very effective way for you to add to your current skill set. Here are just a few of the reasons why corporate training consultants more and more are starting to recommend microlearning, and why microlearning beats traditional learning structures hands down.

First of all, what exactly is microlearning?

One may think that the concept of microlearning simply means taking in small chunks of data. You would be correct! The fact that many people are obtaining their new bases of knowledge from platforms that put a limit on characters just showcase microlearning at its best. Instead of sitting down and taking in information one large and boring manual at a time, people are retaining more information from 140 character Twitter posts and short Facebook comment threads. This is the concept that is taking microlearning to mainstream acceptance.

Why does microlearning work so much better than traditional learning techniques?

You actually participated in certain aspects of microlearning even during your traditional learning experience. When you refused to incorporate microlearning and tried to procrastinate and read the entire chapter the day before the test, you found that you lost sleep as well as most of the knowledge that you were supposed to retain. One of the best reasons that microlearning works better than traditional methods is that there is no false concept of taking in knowledge a chapter at a time. You are not tested on large bits of information at once, so your brain does not have to fool itself into thinking that it must remember entire chapters of a book or a concept at once. Your methods of learning are in line with the way that your brain naturally takes in information, so your body is not as stressed-out.

Secondly, microlearning allows an individual to find exactly what he or she is looking for. When the mind focuses on a particular question, it is the most open to receiving that answer. In a traditional learning structure, facts are presented in a very static way. The book is the book, and you are usually tested on the facts in the book in the order that the book presents them. However, microlearning allows your brain to explore its own curiosity and its own patterns.

Because of the instantaneous nature of much of the search technology of today, you will be able to find answers as soon as they pop up in your head. This creates a much more effective structure for retaining information. It also allows your brain to learn for longer periods of time, as it is being rewarded for asking questions rather than being put on hold until the class gets to a certain section in the chapter.

Most corporations love the microlearning techniques because they do not cost nearly as much to implement as traditional learning patterns, and they increase employee engagement. With microlearning techniques, there is no need for a huge manual to be printed out for every employee. Most of the concepts in this manual will be forgotten; however, people believe that as long as the manual exists, the entire manual should be tested and used. Microlearning, on the other hand, allows the employee to lead discussion with his or her own curiosity.

Although the concepts that need to be learned will still be set by the lawyer or the expert, microlearning allows the student to move around within the notions of the concept in a much more freestanding way. Employees will find solutions on their own rather than having to read through the manual that is presented to them and costing the company money every time it is printed. Solutions can be found on the fly and by communicating with other employees, providing greater synergy between departments and higher efficiency overall within a company.

There are many other reasons outside of the three above that microlearning is more effective than a traditional learning program. However, the main reason is that microlearning allows the mind to speed up to the technology that is currently in use today. Because a great deal of this technology was made to emulate the human mind in the first place, there is a natural synergy that goes between microlearning and the human brain.

Author | Brigg Patten

Brigg Patten
Brigg Patten writes in the business and tech spaces. He's a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick. More
  • Modern studying technics have made a huge influence on educational process and have changed the way students get the new knowledge. Traditional learning experience is outmoded. New devices, courses, the ways of consuming the information have changed the studying process. Not of all these methods are effective. But those who has shown results are widely used by famous educational institutions. The bright examples are different online courses for students. According to topreviewstars blog such universities as MIT, Berkeley, Duke University add them to current educational programs. Now you get a degree from MIT online. I think is very progressive and successful decision for any college or university.

  • Microlearning is most effective when the learning events are intentionally spaced over time, a process called subscription learning. You can read about subscription learning here: http://www.subscriptionlearning.com/. I’ve been following the microlearning trend for about a year now, and it seems to be gaining widespread interest.

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