(MY-crow LUR-neen)

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What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is short, self-directed learning segments that can serve as standalone resources or as part of a larger learning program.

Other Common Names

Other common names for lesson plan include:

  • Learning bursts

Key Properties

The properties of the element microlearning include:

  • short bursts of content
  • narrowly focused
  • available in the moment of need
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Resources From The Train Like a Champion Blog

Short Bursts of wisdom from What's Your Formula by Brian Washburn

Whats Your Formula book
Order your copy to learn more about microlearning and all of the related elements.

Elements likely to form a bond with microlearning

learning boostsLearning Boosts

Microlearning through post-training learning boosts can be an important strategy to aid retention and keep content front-of-mind for your learners.


Tutorials, screencasts, animations, or recordings of thought leaders sharing their perspectives may be all an employee needs to quickly learn a concept or shortcut or be reminded of something they once had learned.

rapid authoringRapid Authoring

Tools like Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline are often used for developing full-blown e-learning modules, but they also can (and should) be used to create small nuggets of information that don’t need to be extensive or tracked in an LMS. They just need to be available to employees on-demand.

collaborative file sharingCollaborative
File Sharing

Microlearning doesn’t need to take a lot of time or effort to develop. Making job aids, policy summaries, diagrams, flow charts, or other tools and documentation easily accessible through a central repository like Sharepoint, OneDrive, or Google Drive can go a long way to quickly getting key information into employees’ hands.

instructional designInstructional Design

Just because it’s intended to be short doesn’t mean you should abandon key principles of instructional design. Identifying core needs, creating something that is engaging for people to learn from, and being intentional about how, when, and where it should be delivered are all essential considerations.


Introducing or refreshing people’s memories using a gameshow- or trivia-inspired theme can make short bursts of information more engaging and interesting. Creating a series of microlearning pieces that align with a theme or story (like you can find in many board games or role-playing games) can offer a common thread to an extended series of short bursts of content.

Books on Microlearning


Download the Element Sanity Check

Even if you haven’t yet purchased the book (what are you waiting for?!) you can get access to worksheets that will help guide you through the use of the elements of amazing learning experiences.