Microlearning as an idea has been around for a while. Now that the term has been made popular, vendors are falling over each other to convince companies that they have the best microlearning. But few vendors actually understand the science justifying the use of microlearning, let alone how it bears on instructional design. We present some of that objective research here, making the argument that microlearning is extremely effective, if it is done correctly.
So, the title here is a little misleading. By asking whether microlearning is a trend or a fad, the question implicitly assumes that, either way, microlearning is a recent thing. If that were really the case, it would be natural to ask if it’s here to stay, or just a flashy fad that is likely to go away. The truth is that microlearning has been around for a long time. From short pamphlets printed on a press to short infomercials to TED talks, the idea of using bite-sized bits of standalone content that people can remember and immediately use has been around for hundreds of years. It formed the core of our instructional approach here at ej4 since our founding back in 2004, and we’ve been providing top-notch microlearning ever since.