Microlearning vs E-Learning

Microlearning vs E-learning

Microlearning vs E-learning

Nowadays people mostly spend their time online, either for work, communication, entertainment, or learning. Online learning or E-learning has become increasingly flexible and accessible over time, which leads to many variations of learning methods and platforms. These variations make learning experience become one of the most important factor for modern learner, especially employees (trybugle).

Employees have limited time to learn for their skill development, because of the amount of tasks and responsibilities in their hand. It’s impossible for them to read extensive learning content at once without missing some key points, as it exceeds the capacity of working memory. Lack of interaction between the information and the learner makes the objective of “developing skill” regress to become “obtaining reputation” (Giurgiu, 2017). To alter this regression, e-learning method such as Microlearning can be beneficial as one of its objective is to “learn just in time, not just in case”.  What is the difference between E-learning and Microlearning? Before we dive in further, let’s define the root of microlearning first.

What is E-Learning?

E-Learning is a very broad concept of delivering knowledge through electronic or online technologies, regardless of its format (webpage, video, pdf, live streaming, etc.), its length or any other feature. In corporation, E-Learning makes employee training so much easier. It enables trainer to reach everywhere in the world without the costs and logistics of traveling or in-person training. 



E-Learning also allows learners to access training at any time and at their own schedule, so considerations such as time zones and locations no longer apply. In addition, by creating training that is available online, corporate can guarantee that every employee gets the same learning experience and consistency (trybugle).

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning is one of the E-Learning method that delivers information in small, highly focused chunks. It is the ideal way to find quick answers to specific problems. Corporations often use microlearning to deliver training on how to follow a process, perform a task, or use a specific type of tool or technology.



Microlearning is also often used to refresh skills and reinforce knowledge in the workplace. These types of learning method are often created as simulations, interactions, video tutorials, or short scenarios (ispringsolutions).

What is The Difference Between E-Learning and Microlearning?

Now that you know the definition of each terms, we can compare E-Learning and Microlearning to gain more insights. The differences between E-Learning and Microlearning are condensed in the table below. Though, you need to know that we are speaking about E-Learning as in methods used beside Microlearning. 

No.IssuesE-Learning (beside Microlearning)Microlearning
1.Learning contextInformal or formal learningInformal learning
2.Time spentDepends on the method (usually take hours)As short as possible(up to 15 minutes per topic)
3.Main objectivePassing a test or certain point to ensure learner comprehensionEach module provides a focused answer to a single problem or question
4. VarietyUsually more structured, with sequential number of units or lessonsDynamic and flexible structure, more susceptible to modification
5. PlatformAny electronic or online technologies, usually not mobile-friendlyMobile-friendly, made to be accessed at the point of need
6.Target groupLearners who don’t have basic knowledge and needs extensive study of certain topicLearners who have a basic level of expertise, who can identify their knowledge gap and shorter retention
7. Learner participationFocuses more on learner and content interactionsFocuses on social interaction between learners

(Giurgiu, 2017; ispringsolutions)

In conclusion, there are two main differences between microlearning and traditional learning or extensive E-Learning. First, Microlearning doesn’t include a lot of context or details, because it is not generally used to teach basic knowledge. Second, Microlearning assumes that each learner is self-motivated enough to seek out and complete the learning they need. This may sound simple, but it often is not. Completing even the shortest lesson can present a challenge if it covers knowledge or topics that are beyond the learner’s current skill set (ispringsolutions).

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