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Microlearning is often referred to as bite-sized learning. It is a short learning nugget (three to five minutes in length, or shorter) designed to meet a specific learning outcome. While it can be used for formal training, it is majorly used in informal learning (with a focus on performance gain).

Microlearning nuggets are designed for and delivered in rich media formats. Their brevity and accessibility on multiple devices (including smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops) makes them an ideal fit for just-in-time training. Corporations can use microlearning for formal training as well as for learning on the job. Microlearning is ideal for distracted or busy corporate learners, as it gives them the opportunity to build their knowledge base when it’s most convenient for them.

Example: Google University

Effectively, Google operates an “invisible” corporate university, delivering personalized, just-in-time information to employees based on their job function and performance. Instead of giving new employees a training manual, Google provides bite-sized tutorial information just before it is needed. For example, managers are given guidance on how to complete performance reviews shortly before it’s time to do so.

Although the term Performance Support has been used for a number of years now, the majority of organizations have yet to introduce a learning-at-the-point-of-need strategy. We expect more businesses will start to move away from the traditional firehose method of delivering learning and, instead, separate training content into two groups: Information that employees need to know in their heads versus information they simply need at their fingertips to do their jobs better. This will change the way businesses deliver learning and pave the way for performance support methods to become mainstream.