|Photo: Josh Felix|
This amount of information, while useful in many ways, also presents a unique and rather complex challenge: information overload. Combined with limited human capacity to process so much info, this information overload results in skills or knowledge gaps for learners. This problem exists as much in the formal learning system as it does in professional or workplace training. To combat this problem, experts in the field of education and training have been turning to microlearning.
Microlearning, is an emergent learning process in which information is provided in small, very specific bursts to a learner. Unlike traditional learning methods in which an individual may study a series of complex courses or learning materials according to a set schedule, microlearning involves exposing the learner to micro-content, so that they focus only on interacting with small, well-planned chunks of learning material at a time
The concept is based on research on how the human brain retains information and how it is wired to learn. By providing information only in bite-sized, easy to process chunks, microlearning helps bridge and fill gaps in learning, whether such learning is carried out in an informal, self-directed manner or a planned collection of brief learning experiences with an aim to meet an extended goal.
Learning is usually delivered in a variety of engaging and easily manageable short-term activities and presentations. For example, a learner may choose to learn from a short video hosted on You-Tube, showing how to create a pivot table in Excel, or he or she may subscribe to a series of short informative emails, or even better play a game!