There is a general trend towards short articles. Articles in online journals can be read within 1-2 minutes. Film sequences are cut into much shorter pieces than before. Reading the Facebook timeline is often limited only to the headlines. Twitter allows only a small maximum number of characters. The attention span seems to be getting shorter and shorter. Learning design must also take this into account. This allows the learning nuggets to be digested bit by bit and thus easily. Brevity is the soul of wit.

A second aspect that can be counted among micro learning is “nudging”. With targeted impulses – so-called “nudges” – people are encouraged to change their behavior voluntarily. Based on the insight that humans are not “homo economicus”, behavioral economist Richard Thaler modeled the principle of libertarian paternalism. In 2017, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his theory of nudging.

Micro learning is short and crisp. It never answers all questions – and in the best case it makes you want to get more involved with the subject. Just like this section (hopefully). Period.

The next article on gamification in learning design will be playful.


Corporate learning: 5 current trends