Microlearning got a serious boost when Bill Gates succeeded in putting a PC in every home. No one cared how a whole program worked; they just wanted to finish one task—the one they were struggling with. Technical writers learned to “chunk” information, which is the foundation of microlearning.

Today’s workers are learning what the self-employed learned long ago; they’re expected to expand their current skill set and learn new technologies before they become widely available—as early adopters. Learners and employers both embrace informal learning. Self-made entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and employees desiring to compress time in climbing the career ladder beat the doors down for information and often fill dead time with self-directed learning. MICROLEARNING IS AN EASY SELL.

Short 10–15-minute sessions grab the learners’ attention without disrupting the workflow. Retention rates of multiple microlearning sessions have a BETTER RETENTION RATEthan the same information presented in one long session. TWITTER IS THE ULTIMATE MICRO-MICROLEARNING EXPERIENCE. You can pack a huge punch into 280 characters (max) including news, updates, motivation, and links to more in-depth learning.

Microlearning often occurs as MOBILE LEARNING (MLEARNING) where learners bring their own devices (BYOD) and turn dead time as well as crunch time into learning time.