What is micro-learning? And nano-learning?
Micro-learning is an approach that delivers content to learners in bite-sized units, which is why it’s also called “bite-sized learning”. Nano-learning emphasizes that these units must be VERY small.
But how small are we talking about? Some people say 10 min, or even 15 min. Others argue that a unit should be max 2-3 min long. These numbers come from estimates of our attention span. How long are we able to focus on a task? Again, some mention 10-15 min; others around 90 sec, or even 8 sec! Perhaps the answer is: it depends. It depends on the teacher, the learner, the content, the context...
Micro-learning is not only a question of length; a short lesson won’t cover up bad design. To help people focus, micro-learning should be focused itself. Address only ONE learning objective so as to make it easy to digest. Keep only what’s relevant (no nice-to-have information).
Micro-learning works well in an environment that can be searched. Just like a Google search, this sort of environment can instantly provide people with what they’re looking for. In this case, micro-learning becomes “just-in-time learning”. Lastly, micro-learning is often designed to be delivered on mobile devices (i.e. “mobile learning”) and reusable (i.e. taken independently but also as part of a larger course).