Would the rise in microlearning usage imply that macrolearning may gradually be phased out for all corporate training requirements? Not exactly. In this essay, we will examine the benefits of both strategies and whether and how the two can be combined to give training that significantly influences the workforce.

Let’s begin by first emphasizing the growing popularity of microlearning in L&D. The following statistic confirms that microlearning-based training is now a prominent method for delivering online training: By 2024, it is anticipated that the size of the worldwide microlearning market will increase from USD 1.5 billion to USD 2.7 billion.


Companies will nonetheless still require macrolearning. Considering the advantages of each of these methodologies, it is crucial to consider how and why the two could be combined to create the ideal mix of micro- and macro-learning. So let’s first discuss what microlearning is, its benefits for trainees and learning and development teams, and outline the situations in which it is most effective.

We will also point out instances where macrolearning could be more appropriate and microlearning would not. We will conclude by outlining how to create the ideal micro- and macrolearning mixing for a high-impact, powerful employee training program.

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The distinction between macro- and microlearning


Even though microlearning, which focuses on quick bursts of knowledge, has become the rage right now, it isn’t a brand-new idea. Designers and developers have been segmenting training resources and associating them with enabling objectives for many years— a process similar to micro-learning. It would correspond to several themes, which would subsequently be collected into a specific course, macrolearning.

Macrolearning takes a broad view and is frequently characterized by prolonged seat durations that cover complex ideas. It also provides a variety of related ideas within a single session. Microlearning, as opposed to macrolearning, is focused on gaining a particular result or gain during a brief period.

What is the definition of microlearning, and what benefits does it provide for trainees and L&D groups?

Structured learning morsels known as microlearning are often no more than seven minutes and should last no longer than two to five minutes. It is compatible with all devices, allowing students to switch between them (from a laptop or a desktop at work to a tablet or phone). It is the ideal instruction to be completed on the move on technology such as smartphones due to its low sitting time.

Microlearning, though, goes beyond simply cutting up the more extended section of knowledge into smaller pieces.

  • It should assist students in gaining a specific benefit or learning transfer for a short time.
  • It should prompt the appropriate response (learn, practice, take tests, and apply in real-time use cases).

Trainees appreciate instruction that uses microlearning because:

  • It is concise and precise.
  • It is portable and portable.
  • They have exposure to it as part of their workflow and can retrieve the nuggets as needed instead of logging in to an LMS and searching for relevant knowledge.
  • It gives the learners the power to choose when and where to access the material.
  • It makes use of forms that are more interesting and provides a complete learning environment. As a consequence, they connect with them more.

L&D teams perceive value in instruction that is centered upon microlearning because of the following:

  • Its capacity to motivate students from various backgrounds, including the contemporary, diverse workplace.
  • The capacity to offer a memorable learning experience.
  • Its significantly higher rates of completion.
  • Its capacity to assist students in putting their knowledge to use in the workplace so that both the organization and the trainees achieve their goals.
  • Its method of distributing numerous nuggets along a learning route makes it easier for students to pick up, use, practice, and hone new abilities. This results in the intended proficiency improvement and may also impact or cause behavioral change.
  • Its capacity to consolidate and replenish knowledge prevents the forgetting curve from taking hold.

How does micro-learning work?


Microlearning is a significantly more condensed knowledge provided to learners in several little bits. Users only can access specific material for particular jobs. Therefore, this strategy is very applicable to their duties. Visual and auditory aid is frequently provided to suit all kinds of learners and make the experience entertaining. Instructors can also readily align learning goals with particular employment goals, assisting learners in developing their abilities.

Why is microlearning a superior method?

The structure of microlearning sessions is substantially better than that of conventional approaches. It surpasses macro learning in several ways by moving in the same direction as organizational learning and growth.

Clearly stated objectives

Microlearning modules simplify complex concepts into manageable chunks. As a result, students can accomplish their objectives more quickly without getting sidetracked from regular tasks. This implies that each person comes into their practice with a specific goal.

Consider the onboarding of new employees. It’s an easy method that does a superb job of assisting new hires in comprehending the responsibilities associated with their day-to-day work. Instead of going into unnecessary detail, the goal in this situation is to show people how to perform their job. An improved relationship between the supervisor and learner ultimately leads to effective cooperation.

Speedier delivery

Offering an e-learning curriculum is much simpler because of its instructional capacity. Since individuals are not required to attend hour-long classes on related topics, people may better focus during brief encounters. Additionally, managers can adopt changes more quickly due to succinct education as their objectives and specifications change.

Microlearning allows your staff to accomplish their goals more quickly and will enable them to interact, whereas lengthier courses can feel like monotonous tasks. There aren’t many distractions, which helps keep them focused throughout the lessons.

Enhanced memory for information retention

Robust cognitive learning is more likely with short instruction. Confusion is unlikely because short programs only present one or two topics simultaneously. The programs’ length also enables members to return to them and make revisions as needed.

Furthermore, since there are only little data chunks for your employees to memorize, they can take their time learning. Additionally, because microlearning is a lengthy process, users can gradually reinforce their goals and apply the new abilities they have learned to their professions.

Relevant content

Your staff members value timely, personalized information that caters to their preferences. They dislike reading numerous pages to find a single piece of data. Because concise nuggets are brief and focus on professional objectives, people can receive information more effectively.



The worldwide workforce will eventually consist of more than 50% of millennials, who primarily rely on technology. Given that it meets their requirements and the educational platform is less rigid than in formal contexts, they digest information more effectively when provided digitally. These two requirements are satisfied by bite-sized learning, which makes it ideal for facilitating essential staff performance.

Instructors incorporate interaction-driven strategies into their designs to make microlearning more appealing. They are using social media-like modules and developing feedback systems to keep audiences interested during training. Modern methods also include e-learning because it is accessible and uses tried-and-true communication channels.

Address of limited attention spans

Among the most common eLearning strategies is skipping background material and heading directly to the how-to instruction portions because learners can find such information independently. However, the primary justification for doing so is that around five minutes of material presentation maximizes memory retention and mental concentration. Learning materials presented during this period are more prone to be acquired and understood by students.

Also shared in office settings are disruptions like phone conversations and pressing questions. Your employees can often be sealed in for twelve minutes straight without interruptions. The best modules are those that are less than seven minutes long. They keep people from drifting off during lengthier sessions. Mini-training enables them to quickly pick up the necessary knowledge and skills to return to their daily activities and continue to be productive.

Use of visuals and media

Training materials become more interesting when graphics and other media are added, which helps your employee remember critical info. Most people find it difficult to focus when reading boring text on a blackboard, particularly when learning about complex subjects. Employing infographics and films might assist your staff members in focusing and comprehending concepts more thoroughly. The numerous graphics included in mini-courses give your company a chance to make learning engaging and enjoyable.

Most people dislike lengthy lectures at work, and prolonged learning sessions are essentially out-of-date. You may start on the right foot when you convert to elearning sessions for effective and productive staff development. Making any lesson plan exciting and straightforward to understand optimizes its potential.

Where does microlearning perform better than macrolearning?


Below are some strategies for effectively using microlearning:

  • To raise consciousness or emphasize value: You might give microlearning clips to promote the benefits of the impending training and spark learners’ curiosity and enthusiasm.
  • For formal education: You can utilize microlearning to fulfill some of your company’s training requirements. This might be visualized as a route of education that is laced with informational tidbits.
  • Additional to formal education, such as aids for enhancing performance: Microlearning is another option for improving professional education. With practice, application, or repetition, the morsels can help formal education. They can also be used as on-demand work aids.
  • To assist ILT/VILT training courses: Microlearning bits can be applied on three levels — pre-workshop readings or preparation, workshop activities or role-plays, and post-workshop training summary or further information.

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When does microlearning fail?

In circumstances where the training regimen is time-consuming and laborious, microlearning might not be effective (that is, learning sessions that contain complex concepts or nested training segments). Presenting the instruction as a continuous, more comprehensive learning module is more appropriate in these circumstances.

This material shouldn’t be divided into numerous bite-sized pieces; doing so could backfire. A macrolearning-driven methodology would be a better choice than microlearning since it would result in a more disrupted learning opportunity and harm the learning outcomes.

When it pertains to education and assessment, macrolearning delves deeper. Traditional approaches typically incorporate teachers and tangible resources like notebooks, manuals, and references. Learners who also get acquainted with their learning goals use long-term continuous educational models.

Long-term models consequently frequently veer away from anticipated pathways. This is due to the approach’s need for a team of professionals, thorough execution, and assessments. Managing many variables frequently results in several flaws that can hinder the learning experience.

How can you combine microlearning and macrolearning methods to deliver training that significantly impacts the workplace?


Method 1: Utilize microlearning by adding it to your macrolearning curriculum

Microlearning bits can be added to programs suitable for macrolearning (like compliance training). These might consist of the following:

  • Preview video content: These quick hits can increase awareness and emphasize the organization’s and the trainees’ importance before a major compliance training. It will enhance the ‘why conform’ attitude and student participation.
  • Micro-challenges, rewards, and learning synopses: These tidbits can aid learning gained via macrolearning by helping in recollection, consolidation, practice, and application.

Method 2: Create stronger macrolearning programs by utilizing microlearning approaches

Participants access this material primarily on cellphones as many m-learning courses transition from the ‘mobile compatible’ strategy to the ‘mobile only’ one. These offer a fantastic chance to apply microlearning strategies that may be integrated into macrolearning programs to increase participation.

As an illustration, you can integrate the following:

  • Video to demonstrate the course’s worth. This might be made available before the education is implemented or included in the program.
  • Depending on the footage, a macrolearning curriculum can incorporate learning tidbits in multiple formats, particularly explainer films for explaining topics.
  • Learning highlights, cheat sheets, or quick reckoners may be created in microlearning styles such as infographics, dynamic graphs, immersive pdf files, flipbooks, and the like. These are simple for students to access and view on their devices.

Wrapping it up

We believe the comparison between microlearning and macrolearning in this essay is fair. Both methods continue to thrive, and each has unique benefits. In the long term, mixed macrolearning and microlearning technologies will produce professional training sessions with a more significant influence.

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