Using Microlearning Approaches To Keep Students Engaged

microlearning, bite-sized chunks, modules, mini-courses

Students lose focus watching a four-minute video. What’s a developer to do?

We know today’s students are distracted. Texts need answering. Emails need replies. Besides that, students drown in content. Consider breaking courses into bite-size chunks. Provide little lessons for students. Enable the material to reach students as they need it. When planned right, microlearning boosts retention.


Microlearning is targeted content. Each unit is three to five minutes long. Bite-sized chunks have a single learning goal. Mini-courses are popular due to their brevity. Each learning bit hits a single topic. Students find a lesson easy to fit into their day. Students access material whenever they like. These short courses are great for repetition. Mini-courses can bridge individual needs.

The Case for Chunking Content

Attention spans are shrinking. Designers are up against social media for students’ attention. With mini-lessons, developers target a student’s learning need at the time they need to learn. For example, this tutorial shows students how to use a tool in Adobe. 



Little Learning Lessons

Rather than compete with mobile devices, ask students to use their phone. For microlearning to be effective, use this handy checklist. 

  1. Enable mobile access. Mini-courses are for learners on the go. These students access courses everywhere. They do vocabulary drills on the train. They listen to science lectures while biking. Do not assume learners always have internet; enable offline access. 
  2. Keep one idea per unit. Hand-pick material. Avoid multiple support resources. Identify the best media to boost the unit’s objective. Laser in on the topic.
  3. Make everything relevant. Ensure the topic is timely. Wisely consider text passages. Avoid hard-to-read paragraphs. Use related graphics. Support text. Limit downloads.
  4. Keep it lean and strong. Less is more. Ensure that media adds value. Create content-rich scenarios for ethics. Keep learning quick and tasks simple. Offer tests that can be completed within two minutes. Comment on a post. Record a video reply. Photograph field observations.
  5. Remember the platform. Reading for long periods of time is frustrating on a small screen. PDFs are hard to read. Make sure your text, image, and audio work on small screens.

Microlearning allows content to reach learners on their terms. Remember, organized mini-lessons boost learning. If the learning chunks are designed with a piecemeal approach, students will not learn. An experienced partner, A Pass Educational Group, LLC, is available to guide you in connecting the chunks of your microlearning strategy.  

Download our FREE Digital Game-Based Learning Activity


In this simulation, students will be role-playing as a reporter for a fast-paced newsroom. Students will have a limited amount of time to research, write, and edit an article on an assigned topic, using the resources they would have in a live newsroom. The purpose of this exercise is to focus on grammar, structure, and rhetoric in a new and engaging way. This exercise will strengthen their writing skills, and serve to prepare them for both academic and real-world workplace scenarios.

Fill out the form to download the complete PDF with the entire digital game-based learning activity.

Who is A Pass?

A Pass Educational Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the development of quality educational resources. We partner with publishers, K-12 schools, higher ed institutions, corporations, and other educational stakeholders to create custom quality content. Have questions?

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