Microlearning is The “It’s-Always-There” Solution – Tip #157

Share this article

What happens to the behaviors of learners and workers after they have been accustomed to Microlearning?

For over 10 years I have seen early adoptions and maturing implementation of Microlearning. They all come in different forms and shapes, which is great. However, with the abundance of approaches, it is fairly difficult to establish and see patterns, especially in my interest to study and record the adoptions of Microlearning.

“Microlearning Adoption Behaviors” – An Observation

But the good news is that I can formulate a general trend which I illustrate in the chart above on “Microlearning Adoption Behaviors.”

To clarify, what I am more interested about Microlearning is not the FORM (videos, lessons, messaging, chatbots, spacing, smallness, etc.) of the content. What piques my curiosity is the VALUE (usefulness, low effort, fast, applied quickly) that it brings. I see many approaches focus on the FORM which is about the delivery and not the VALUE which delves into contributions and impacts. My preference is primarily focused on IMPACTS and VALUES. In my workshop, we distinctly separate Forms from Value.

Insights from “Microlearning Adoption Behaviors”

The behaviors are non-exclusive. In one moment, it is dynamic and overlapping or coalescing at a certain point. It is also situational depending on many factors like complexity of the problems and issues and the nature of the need and type of FORM being used.

1 “What is this?”
  • Very early adoption with some skepticism and reluctance.
  • The more Microlearning focuses on FORM and not VALUE, the slower the adoption of Microlearning or it may be aborted early.
2 “Let me try it.”
  • Willingness to try and test. When useful answers present themselves at the moment of need, it encourages self-testing. The discovery starts.
  • The worker and learner says “After all, this does not require attending a course” or “I can access it when I need it.”
3 “Can I have more?”
  • Familiarization with Microlearning starts and early experiences encourage asking for more of “same-like” solution.
  • “I need more” is a “pull” behavior. A positive sign that workers or learners are requesting for the “same-like” solution.
  • The “pull” allows the designer to know the nature of the need and therefore can deliver highly relevant Microlearning. I call this “Microlearning Dynamic-Needs Collection” – a method and software that constantly collects Microlearning “pulled” requests.
4 “This is handy.”
  • Now workers and learners are moving to the realization of the abundance of Microlearning answers in the “River of Ideas” eCosystem.
  • They begin to notice the abundant supply of different FORMS. From YouTube, to texting, to Slack, to FAQs, Google ..  they go wherever they may be found – they become “The Seekers”.
  • Although they consume different FORMs of Microlearning, the driver really is the VALUE of Microlearning.
5 “It’s always there.”
  • This is about “not-to-worry behavior” where workers and learners build confidence and reliance on Microlearning solutions.
  • “It’s always there” behaviour tells us that Microlearning FORMs are accepted and that VALUE is ubiquitous and normal and usual things we go to, for answers.

Time, Strategies and Types of Microlearning

I submit that the above are observations from my experience and as my clients and colleagues report might be limited. It serves as a framework and construct. The major elements that are hard to observe are the impacts of time, strategies and types (FORMs) of Microlearning.

Microlearning is “to add VALUE” first and foremost, then the FORM follows

Furthermore, the biggest plus for me about “Microlearning Adoption Behaviors” is a framework to capture the abundance of methods and approaches. Abundance of Microlearning approaches is a great strength. Although it is perplexing for those who wish to put Microlearning in a “box” and label it as an approach – it is not. Rather, it is more of a standard and principle on creating VALUE. What matters to me is that we want workers and learners to apply answers and solutions that create impact.

A significant trend I observed is that when Microlearning is introduced with serious consideration of Values as guiding principles, the Forms – the tools we use – become more effective. The more we stick to our “preferred” or “favorite” Forms, the more we will see slower adoption or failure. I can attest to such proof from what clients tell me. Those companies that develop Microlearning with clearly-defined intent and VALUES can readily report. This would be a subject for another study.


In Microlearning, values should take pre-dominant consideration and serve as guiding principles. The intent for the implementation of microlearning needs to be clearly defined so the forms become an effective tool from which to draw results.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

One thought on “Microlearning is The “It’s-Always-There” Solution – Tip #157

  1. Value should be the foundation of ANY training. Start value as the foundation and goal and the ROI will take care of itself.

Comments are closed.