Studies show that we tend to forget almost 80% of what we learn, less than 30 days after learning it. How can we offset this “forgetting curve?” One solution is microlearning.
Microlearning means acquiring information in smaller, shorter segments. In general, microlearning lessons do not exceed 15 minutes; however, the sweet spot seems to be between two and five minutes. Due to its structure, microlearning can drastically boost how much you remember, if used regularly.
The increasingly demanding duties of health care professionals across the country make it difficult to find the time and bandwidth to learn and retain new information and build new skills in the moment. However, prioritizing microlearning in your practice can not only catalyze a learning environment in your organization, but the outcomes of sustained microlearning can benefit your patients and colleagues.
Here are five benefits to using microlearning in your practice:
- It’s convenient and versatile. Whether you’re a front desk attendant or a frontline nurse, we know that your days can be hectic. Microlearning requires just a few minutes of your day (or in the case of our microlearning-based coaching programs, just a few minutes of your week!) and can be done at your own pace from multiple devices—including your smartphone. Microlearning is easily adaptable to the needs of your team, whether it’s a team of 100 or just for you.
- Experience better engagement and retention of information. Smaller, bite-sized pieces of information mean you have a smaller “cognitive load.” In other words, you have less information to remember, which makes it easier to remember more of it. This also makes it easier to focus on the content and engage with the materials.
- There’s a quick, easy transfer of theory to practice. Microlearning creates opportunities for “contextual learning,” which is a method of making education more meaningful by teaching relevant, relatable information that can be applied to real-world situations. This is especially helpful for utilizing evidence-based practice if your microlearning curriculum is based on evidence like ours.
- It’s resource-effective. Because the modules are so short, more content can be created in less time for 50% less money, all while learning more efficiently. If your organization doesn’t have a microlearning curriculum of its own, it can be outsourced, saving hospitals and clinics money and time on development.
- It improves the overall experience for care teams and patients. Microlearning is great for those “soft” skills, like empathy, compassion, respectful communication, and listening well, that could take years of experience to acquire otherwise. Critical thinking and interpersonal communication gained from microlearning will help you become a more competent and empathetic colleague and care provider. This creates space for you to connect and collaborate with your colleagues while building meaningful relationships with your patients.
If you are looking for a way to sharpen your interpersonal and critical thinking skills that doesn’t require a lofty time commitment, consider microlearning for yourself or your team. View a sample microlearning coaching tip here, so you can enjoy the benefits of short bursts of learning and immediate application. Let us know what new skills you learned in the comments!
Sign Up For Updates
Atembe is a writer and international educator in Atlanta, GA. Her love of words and education led her to her current position as a Content Specialist with Practicing Excellence. She has written for digital publications, ad agencies, nonprofits, brands, social media, and education systems. She has also coordinated learning programs and taught students of all ages in three different countries. Atembe enjoys learning more about the human side of healthcare each day, and spreading that knowledge to others.