Although the term microlearning is self-explanatory, it is vastly different from a productive lesson or a short piece of content. Contradictory to the popular belief associated with length, microlearning can come in all shapes and sizes. However, the purpose behind it needs to be focused and consistent.

When microlearning is directed towards a specific skill or task, it takes the shape of something that is undoubtedly repeatable and easily accessible even at last minute. Assume you have an hour before a big sales meeting and you’re a little apprehensive about price negotiations. Now if you had a five-minute video or brief course that could help, you might take the time to go through it. But if that video or course were much longer and time-consuming, chances are higher that you’d skip it altogether.

More often than not, learners want shorter nuggets of content. But for L&D professionals, it can be challenging to try to fit everything into five- to seven-minute chunks. However, by focusing content topics on things learners need to have, along with opportunities to practice what they’re learning, you can create microlearning that’s targeted to the learner and easily repeatable. While this method has worked for a variety of topics, it’s important to understand that some courses just don’t fit into a template. Some topics just aren’t suitable for microlearning, and chunking is not fundamentally the answer. Complex topics may indeed warrant longer courses—and that’s perfectly OK.

In today’s day and age, where companies are supporting diverse populations, multiple locations, remote workers, and employees spanning different generations, microlearning undoubtedly makes training more accessible and less costly. However, as is the case with all training, the actual measure is in the transfer of learning and its impact on the business objectives.