In the 1880s, psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus came up with the ‘forgetting curve’. He estimated that up to 50% of all information someone is exposed to is forgotten within a day, and up to 90% is forgotten within a month. That’s not so good for learning a new skill or topic.
If the information is meaningful, though, then it aids memory retention. If a learner can see why they should know it, and is interested by it, they have more of a chance of remembering.
Even still, the theory goes that most information is lost pretty quickly. Unless…
Repetition increases retention
Repeated learning is the most effective way of increasing your chances of remembering something. If you re-do the piece of learning within 24 hours of first completing it, it’s claimed that this is ideal for holding onto information.
If that learning resource is an hour-long course, what are the chances of someone having the time to (or even wanting to) refresh your memory?
If it’s a ten-minute microlearning module, the chances are much higher.
Meaningful learning is more memorable
Ebbinghaus also theorised that information is more likely to be remembered if it’s meaningful. This means your users need to understand why they’re taking part in learning and the learning outcomes need to be clear.
A focused, ten-minute module with a simple learner journey that clearly identifies the behaviour or attitude changes is most effective.
Microlearning has to be bite-sized from the beginning
Microlearning doesn’t mean chopping up existing content into lots of smaller chunks and repackaging it back together, that’s still going to take the same amount of time to complete. The best microlearning is that which was always designed to be bite-sized learning.
Learning design is as important as both the content and the format
THRIVE’s off-the-shelf catalogue is designed with the learner’s engagement in mind, and in tandem focuses on the positive changes you want to see in your learners. No gimmicks, no afterthoughts. If it doesn’t engage us, it doesn’t go in.
Microlearning encourages continuous learning
Continuous learning is essential in today’s world. We are already doing this day to day. If you want to learn something you google it. And the expectation is you’ll have the answer within minutes, sometimes even seconds.
Microlearning lets someone learn about lots of essential concepts in the flow of work and meets those now consumer grade expectations for quick and succinct answers.
And, with microlearning available for use on a number of different devices, a learner can take a course near enough anywhere. Free ten minutes on the bus? Why not complete one of THRIVE’s off-the-shelf wellbeing modules. Sitting around waiting for a meeting to start? Fire up one of our leadership modules.
Microlearning’s grounding in learning theory shows why it’s so useful. It lets learners tailor their learning around their modern lives. And it encourages them to come back for more. What more could you ask for?
Find out for yourself how microlearning could work in your organisation by previewing these free online modules today.