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Can Microlearning Be a Valuable Tool for Corporate IT Training?

Depending on what’s being trained, corporate IT training might need to be more thorough than microlearning can offer. But, in many cases, microlearning is the perfect match. Sometimes, microlearning can be great for performance support or a short refresher.

Then there are the cases when it’s the ideal solution for minor or common performance issues that must be addressed. An example of this is a project we worked on to reduce help desk calls and help employees resolve issues themselves.

The project was to take the most common calls to the IT help desk and build a video that walked employees through solving the issue. Those videos were available before calling the help desk. If the employees still called the help desk, they could use the videos to send to employees to reduce the call time and help improve support.

Each video in that example was microlearning, even though that term hadn’t been invented yet. But now that microlearning is a thing, it can fit into a corporate IT training strategy in many ways.

Microlearning can be beneficial to corporate IT training with the right strategy.

However, microlearning can be a million things and seems to be defined differently by every person. So what is microlearning, and can it be a valuable tool for solving corporate IT training problems?

If it can be the single solution, that’s up for debate. However, it can be a good tool in a larger strategy. Imagine instead of spending hours taking lengthy training sessions or sifting through a knowledge base or a bulky and virtually useless user guide.

While microlearning might not be the ideal sole tool, it’s great because employees can engage in short, bite-sized topics focused on a specific topic or skill. This is what microlearning offers – a concise and targeted approach to learning that allows employees to get exactly what they need when they need it and nothing more.

Leveraging modern learning experience platforms and multimedia tools to deliver engaging and interactive content, microlearning could be ideal for any organization’s corporate IT training. By breaking down complex technical concepts into easily digestible microlearning, employees can get what they need when needed, either as their sole training or in support of more robust training.

Microlearning is often easier to access than any other form of training.

There will always be a need to train employees in technical skills, therefore it’s essential to find effective strategies that work together. Microlearning, with its bite-sized format, flexibility, and personalized approach, can be an excellent strategy for corporate IT training.

It’s a great way to empower employees to reinforce or acquire necessary skills efficiently and when needed to help them stay ahead when company technology is constantly changing. If you’re curious about how microlearning can revolutionize your organization’s technical training initiatives, read on to explore the various ways it can be a game-changer!

What Is Microlearning?

Chunking has been part of the instructional design methodology for decades. Every instructional designer should know what it is. But that’s usually used when grouping related material into chunks.

Microlearning, however, breaks those chunks apart and then breaks them apart again. That means you’re left with very specific training that focuses on a particular task or workplace goal and only that one.

In other words, microlearning shouldn’t have a list of performance (not learning) objectives. Most microlearning will be built with just one performance objective and help employees achieve it. It’s not about the time, length, or anything else but what it’s trying to accomplish.

So, if one performance objective takes 15 minutes, that is still microlearning. But typically, it isn’t long and lasts one to five minutes. You can see an example of a microlearning video we built to help people put alt text into images in Microsoft Word. It’s just one performance objective and nothing more, and the video clocks in at just over four minutes.

Microlearning isn’t a specific length, rather it’s all about focusing on one single objective.

Microlearning breaks down complex concepts into easily digestible pieces. By presenting information concisely and targeted, microlearning delivers what employees need at the moment and can be combined for more complex needs.

One thing to remember is that microlearning is not always a replacement for longer courses. Sometimes it’s necessary to combine many objectives into one course that ties everything together in a seamless scenario that tells a story and helps employees perform.

While microlearning is beneficial and a great addition to corporate IT training strategy, it’s not a replacement. A good strategy will help employees grasp technical concepts faster and retain them longer while easily accessing them for future support.

The Benefits of Microlearning in Corporate IT Training

When paired with other training content, microlearning can be highly effective. Yes, it can be effective on its own on occasion, but in most cases, it’s supplemental material rather than the primary training method.

However, microlearning fits your overall corporate IT training strategy, and many benefits can be gained. Microlearning is a valuable strategy for corporate IT training, and here are some of the benefits that you’ll likely see when it’s done right.


Microlearning is typically highly flexible. Sometimes employees don’t even need to log into an LMS to access it. In the example of the videos we built for common help desk calls, it was easy for employees to access them. They got a link to the video if they called the help desk anyway. There’s no logging in, clicking, or anything for many types of microlearning.

An excellent example of microlearning and how it’s flexible is contextual help. The goal of contextual help is to provide only what employees need when they need it in an application. That means it’s always a click away when employees click on the help menu.

There’s no type of training more flexible than microlearning.

Even better, contextual help can pop up right when employees are likely to need it. Either that or it’s a descriptive link where employees will see it and can get help. Combined with a video, this is highly flexible regarding how employees can access microlearning and how it can be delivered.

Heck, a podcast can be microlearning and something that could be available during an employee’s commute. Also, a podcast could be a great way to combine technical topics with soft skills.

It’s also flexible because the bite-sized format of microlearning makes it more manageable to fit into a busy schedule without feeling overwhelmed.


The bite-sized microlearning format makes learning a new skill on the job easier than ever without much overhead. The more overhead you add to training (open learning management system, find a course, enroll, etc.), the less likely employees are to use training.

Microlearning breaks topics into smaller modules that can be easily understood and remembered. That means it’s easier than ever for employees to learn something new and apply it to their jobs quickly.


There’s nothing worse than training that isn’t relevant to your job since relevance is king (or queen) of training. Long training risks going into too many topics that are irrelevant to everyone taking the training. That means employees will tune out and miss important information when surrounded by irrelevant content.

With microlearning, employees can focus on the specific skills or topics most relevant to their roles. This tailored approach saves time and ensures employees acquire the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their positions.


Because employees can access relevant and bite-sized training content, they’re more likely to remember what they learned. Our brains are known for only holding limited content in our working memory.

That means we forget anything extra exceptionally quickly. With microlearning, training content can be so short and to the point that it’s almost impossible not to retain the information. Just don’t make it too easy to consume too much content, or else the issue of content overload will still occur.

Cost Effective

Because microlearning content is typically short and sweet, it’s likely a lot cheaper than other forms of training. Of course, it can be just as expensive, especially when adding multiple microlearnings. One training video is relatively affordable, but five videos can easily rival the cost of one eLearning course.

One form of microlearning that’s extremely affordable is performance support. A handful of job aids and quick reference guides can be just as effective as an eLearning course in some circumstances with a fraction of the cost.

When done with the intention and goal of maximizing value, microlearning is a great way to move the employee performance needle while saving money.


Just like how self-paced courses are scalable, microlearning is also. So you can offer all the other benefits of microlearning while scaling infinitely with little additional cost. Think about that: you can provide training for all your employees nearly instantly using most forms of microlearning.

This is such an excellent method of training for large organizations with a lot of employees. Geographically dispersed? No big deal; microlearning can work wonders and is also easier to translate!

Relevance Is Key

While relevance was also a benefit, it’s crucial to successful microlearning content. If you’re creating microlearning content that doesn’t help employees apply their one learned task to their work, then it’s as good as useless.

Microlearning is at its best when targeted and directly applies to employees’ roles and responsibilities. By focusing on specific skills or topics, microlearning ensures that employees receive the most relevant information without wasting time on irrelevant content.

Just like any other type of training, relevance is key.

Microlearning enables employees to keep up with rapid technology changes and is relatively easy for an organization to deploy. Because technology changes quickly and employees need to keep up, microlearning is a valuable way to deliver corporate IT training.

As new technologies emerge, technical microlearning can quickly be developed and deployed to train employees on these advancements. It’s also a great way to create resources that employees can look up later when they need support in their jobs.

The agility of microlearning ensures employees stay up-to-date with the latest technical skills and always have support resources to do their jobs using company tech. That will undoubtedly give the organization a competitive edge in the market.

Ways To Use Microlearning in Corporate IT Training

Sprinkled throughout this post, we’ve mentioned some ways we’ve used microlearning for corporate IT training. I’ll reiterate my favorite use because it can be so effective. That is the short training videos we created on specific hot topics that the help desk got a lot of calls about.

There are a lot more examples, though. I also mentioned contextual help and how that’s a form of microlearning. Combining the hot topic training video method we used with contextual help is another method for microlearning for technical topics.

Inside a custom company application is a help menu, which is deployed using a digital adoption platform. In that help menu, there is an option to open the help desk chat quickly. The problem is that it was too easy to open chat, and people stopped looking for solutions to their problems.

Microlearning is a versatile and focused way to train employees on specific performance objectives.

With the contextual help features, we were able to change the in-app help menu that opens the help desk into features that instead offered self-service help for the most common issues. Now, employees were less likely to open chat because they could quickly solve their problems related to what they were likely going to chat about.

By using microlearning in creative ways with other support methods, help desk calls can easily be reduced by 50% or more. Contextual help combined with a short microlearning video can resolve most employees’ issues quickly and without any other intervention.

Here are other ways microlearning can make corporate IT training more effective and quicker.

Product Updates

We’ve created many short videos for product updates to communicate with employees about changes and show them how to use new features. Microlearning is an effective way to help employees learn what’s new and how to use new features quickly without taking much of their time.

If an update is minor, it could be an email or job aid (or email with a job aid attached) to tell employees about a system update. These forms of microlearning are the perfect way to tell them what’s in it for them and then show them how to take advantage of the new feature.

Product updates in IT will always be a thing; therefore, microlearning is a great way to help navigate digital transformation.

Skill Reinforcement

Courses are great for getting new employees up to speed or training current employees on a new system, but after that, what happens? Nobody can remember everything they learn in a training session, whether eLearning or instructor-led.

Microlearning comes to the rescue when employees must brush up on a specific skill, or they may not perform it enough to remember. Microlearning can be the perfect method of maximizing performance improvement and employee retention.

It can be used as a refresher, to space learning over time, and as a resource available only when employees need it. Microlearning is the perfect way to reinforce employee skills.


There’s a lot to learn when employees start a new job. It’s like drinking from a fire hose.

A kid turning on a garden hose in his face with a shocked response.

For specific topics regularly asked repeatedly by new employees, microlearning topics could be the perfect solution to have answers available where new hires can look them up.

Many IT help desks have internal knowledge bases to share answers to common questions, and this is an example of microlearning. Heck, even a quick reference guide at McDonald’s on how to make the perfect cheeseburger is a form of microlearning.

Just step back and look for opportunities to create microlearning to benefit employee performance. That’s when training significantly impacts performance and earns real value in the organization.

Wrap Up

While microlearning has been around for a long time, the term is relatively new. That doesn’t change how impactful it can be for employee’s work. It’s a valuable strategy for corporate IT training, too.

Its bite-sized format, flexibility, high relevance, cost-effectiveness, and scalability make it an ideal tool for delivering targeted and relevant training content. No matter what form of microlearning is deemed best for each solution, it can help increase employees’ performance.

Whether you use it to reduce IT help desk calls, share product updates and features, reinforce skills, or help employees onboard, microlearning offers a versatile solution for meeting the evolving training needs of the corporate world.

It’s the perfect solution to use in addition to more robust training methods and can increase their effectiveness tenfold. When it makes sense, microleaning can be the ideal solution for training employees.

We’ve used microlearning in many different forms to increase employee performance. Schedule a free consultation with us. We’d love to discuss how we could help boost your employees’ performance with microlearning or other digital training solutions.

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