The author of this article advocates for a paradigm for organizational learning which includes micro learning as a significant element.   Click here if you are not familiar with the term micro learning.

Even if you are not familiar with the term you might be surprised to hear that you already do it.  You check the weather on your smartphone.  You send a text message to your friend asking for fantasy football advice.  You follow blogs and check people’s status on Facebook.  While this is not formal learning it adds to your overall knowledge base.  If you need to know something, the answer can be found.  And found surprisingly fast.  As long as people share what they know, do, and think.


Image source: Shutterstock

Image source: Shutterstock

From an organizational learning perspective the challenge is taking the habits we have in our personal life and apply it to our professional life.  The foundation of micro learning is content provided in chunks that are small enough for rapid consumption while providing just enough information to be helpful. You could call this micro content.  Think of micro content as highly specialized information that is available at the time and place it is needed.  The author analogizes microlearning to eating.

[T]he most beneficial eating patterns include eating six small meals through the day as opposed to when the clock says to eat.  In other words, consume when needed.  There is a lot to be said for applying the same strategy to learning as to nutrition.  These analogies include:

  • Too much consumption at one time can be painful and stressful, and the value can be lost.
  • It is often wasteful.  Investments of time and expense may not satisfy the true need.
  • No one wants to clean up after a big meal.  It can be messy and exhausting to redo learning and restore order.

Manageable chunks enables personalization.   I’ve written about personalization here, here, and here.   Its personalized because you don’t need to spend hours reading and searching for information.  You get a short answer fast.  If you want to spend more time you can come back later and dig deeper.  Maybe check a book out from the library or watch a video.