Instructional Design

The Ropes of Microlearning – Pros and Cons

While microlearning definitely has its benefits, like all good things, there are a few drawbacks. Whether you’re excited to implement a few mini-lessons in your own workplace or you’re wondering where you went wrong in a lackluster campaign, you should understand that there’s a time and a place for breaking information into smaller bites. Stick to the fundamentals. Remember the disadvantages as you plan a program to decide when and where smaller lessons should be used.


  • Accessible  By pushing your lessons out using social networking, email and online videos, you’re using tools that learners already have readily available. Without the need for special software, your microlearning lessons are easy to access, read and share.
  • Timely Not only are smaller lessons perfect for the time-crunched, but they’re easy to update and push out to learners anytime, anywhere. That means access to timely info and the ability to update and change information as you go.
  • Autonomous Hate having a higher-up looking over your shoulder? Chances are, your learners feel the same. Microlearning puts them in the driver’s seat and allows them to lead their own education, which may be a major motivator for some independent learners.



  • Low Commitment Because smaller, quick lessons require less dedication when compared to a longer, classroom-based training session, some learners may have a low commitment to the method. Some may start lessons and never get around to finishing. By tapping into user motivation and creating engaging material, you can keep them glued.
  • Informal Learning If you’re teaching the fundamentals, microlearning makes sense as a way to brush up. But if you’re teaching new and abstract concepts, you may need more time and a more formal setting to hit your points home. Reserve mini-lessons as reminders and light bulb moments – not brand-new or certifying material.