Short. Focused. Multi-platform.

    There are a lot of definitions out there. Some say microlearning must be video, or that it must be less than three minutes long. Certainly, it’s helpful to list platforms that work for microlearning delivery and to outline some guidelines for how long such experiences tend to be. However, strictly defining microlearning by platform or by length gets away from what’s important—the learner’s experience. Rather than define it by the clock or by the media used, we define it by its core characteristics.

    We believe microlearning is:

    • Short: Events are short enough so that completing them “on the go” doesn’t negatively affect the learning experience. Microlearning can be completed during a coffee break or on a subway ride.
    • Focused: A single microlearning event focuses on one skill or topic. If you were creating microlearning on the basics of boxing, you might create one video lesson on how to throw a good right hook, and that’s it. Uppercut punches would be a separate lesson. It is very granular.
    • Multi-platform:  Some learners might be doing microlearning at their desks between meetings or while eating breakfast, but sometimes it doesn’t make sense to invest in multi-platform capability. Not all of the organizations we work with have the security infrastructure or culture to enable multi-platform deployment. However, that doesn’t stop these organizations from implementing learning that is short and focused, but on a single platform.

    We also believe that learning content that combines these characteristics will become more common. It’s a format that allows learning to be more seamlessly integrated with work and life, and one that learners will increasingly come to expect.

    Microlearning Case Studies:

    Mary Kay Beauty Consultant Onboarding

    This elearning course contains a set of microlearning modules made up of individual lessons, including interactive conversations, business plan construction activities, product demonstrations, script-building exercises, checklists, and video stories. Each module, along with its lessons, reflected the well-established steps of building a successful micro-business. Learn more >



    Penn Foster: Vet Tech Terminology Mobile Memory Games

    Penn Foster Education Group partnered with Allen Interactions to create its award-winning mobile learning app, which provides a wide range of engaging interactive memory games. Using responsive design and an open and easily modifiable database, learners can access a potentially unlimited amount of content in small portions that they control, ensuring that activities are just the right size for their needs. Learn more >



    The trends of adult learning point toward the desire for more empowerment, more freedom, more flexibility, and more access to information when – and where – people want and need it. Additionally, adults are looking for untraditional learning experiences and technology is facilitating this as never before. Coupled with innovations in core business strategies within Mary Kay Inc., we had the perfect moment to create a seamless experience for the independent sales force.

    Kathryn Hunt-Siwald
    Manager, Sales Education Materials and Strategic Education
    Mary Kay

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