Principles, Applications, And Difficulties
With the rapid advancement of modern technologies, people have countless opportunities to upgrade their knowledge and grow their skills. But, at the same time, they lose one important thing: focus. For the sake of comparison, did you know that goldfish have a 9-second attention span, while human beings have 8 seconds? Shocking, isn’t it? Looking for a compromise between a huge desire to learn and upgrade the knowledge and a diminishing attention span, some forward-thinking enthusiasts came up with excellent concept-microlearning apps.
Designed to help people grow their skills and knowledge efficiently, microlearning represents an outstanding adult learning tool. Combined with mobile devices, this concept enables people to learn anything they want, anytime, at any place.
What Are The Basic Principles Of Microlearning Apps?
As hyperactivity has taken over everyone’s lives, people have gradually got used to absorbing things in a matter of seconds. With countless social media, smartphones, smartwatches, posts, stories, tweets, likes, dislikes, and whatnots, everyone wants to be present everywhere and know everything. The huge desire to get fast answers is precisely what inspired the birth of the microlearning concept and eventually apps. Simply put, microlearning is a concept of learning which segments lengthy lessons into smaller portions, which usually take between three to six minutes to grasp.
Sometimes it’s composed of learning units only, but more often it’s enriched with additional elements, such as rich media formats (pictures, videos, animations, infographics, etc.) It is an interactive and educational package sometimes organized as short-term learning activities and sometimes arranged as small learning units.
Now that you know what microlearning apps are, you probably want us to give you a couple of examples. Duolingo, Canva, TED-Ed, Primer, Explain Everything, Venngage, Infographics are just some of the most popular educational tools used worldwide.
Major Advantages Of Microlearning
Fitting perfectly into the nowadays lifestyle, microlearning instantly became a widely accepted concept, utilized by people from all corners of the world.
Benefits are numerous, so let’s highlight the most noteworthy ones:
- Faster and efficient than traditional learning methods
- Less time-consuming
- More engaging and interactive
- High level of flexibility
- Allows learning multiple new things at the same time
- Provides excellent knowledge retention
- Suitable for mobile devices and enables education “on the go”
- Extremely affordable (There are tons and tons of free apps!)
Finally, it is designed to fit both younger and older generations. It caters to the needs of newer generations who are used to grasping knowledge rapidly. At the same time, it is non-complicated and intuitive enough for older generations to understand how it works and use it with no issues.
Does Microlearning Have Some Downsides?
On the surface, this concept of education does seem quite perfect. But after a while, a consumer may spot a couple of flaws that go along.
Here are the most prominent ones:
- In some situations, it may seem too fragmented, structured into too many separate units which are not well-connected.
- This concept is not the best choice for complex assignments and demanding skills, and consequently not suitable for long-term goal achievements, thus the name “micro.”
- When overly gamified, it may even become too confusing or distracting.
Believe it or not, these are all the points developers of eLearning apps are struggling with as well. It takes a lot of time to design a comprehensive app that engages and educates well at the same time. Knowing that attention span only decreases, more and more challenges will certainly appear in future times.
How To Overcome These Downsides? Quite Simply!
First of all, use it in fields in which its maximum can be extracted. Perhaps connect those segments in a more well-rounded portion and avoid over-fragmentation. Also, increasing the period needed to complete one lesson can improve the average and what’s more important, help people regain focus.
Working perfectly in some fields, microlearning apps cannot be implemented everywhere. They do provide lots of options and opportunities to satisfy the hunger for new information in a short time, but they have some limitations. Knowing this, you will get their maximum only if you use them in sectors compatible with such a concept, with language learning being the best possible example. Paired with mobile devices, they do make a perfect combo for those who want to build their knowledge continuously.
With only ten minutes or often even less, people are given an excellent opportunity to learn something new without overworking their brains. What’s not to like about it?