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Debunking 7 common microlearning myths: separating fact from fiction

cover image microlearning myths

Executive Summary – Microlearning has become a widely popular method for employee training, but there are many misconceptions surrounding it. This article aims to debunk 7 common myths about microlearning and provide a clearer understanding of this effective training tool. From misconceptions about its format to its cost, this article separates fact from fiction and highlights the true nature of microlearning.


Microlearning has been the hottest buzzword in L&D circles since the last few years, and is not a breakthrough statement. A casual Google Trends lookup shows that curiosity around microlearning is steadily increasing over the last 5 years. Quite a few organizations have adopted the microlearning approach to train their employees. By providing bite-sized content that is engaging, mastery and retention levels are much higher than the traditional methods of learning. But opinions always attach themselves to popular themes, and microlearning is not immune to a few erroneous opinions.


Let’s debunk some popular notions that accompany microlearning.

📣 Message for the reader

People forget nearly 90% of what they have learnt within just 7 days, unless the concepts are reinforced. That’s why employees swamped with documents, presentations, and classroom sessions are not likely to learn much.

However, time constraints make it difficult to reinforce vast concepts.

What can you do instead? Arm your employees with one concept at a time. Studies show the human attention span is only 8.25 seconds, so keep your training concise.

RapL is your software for that.

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Myth 1: Microlearning is only about breaking down longer content into small pieces


Microlearning is not just about dividing longer training content into small pieces, commonly referred to as “chunking.” In microlearning, each of the learning pieces is a distinct unit in itself. Each module should fulfill a particular learning objective. It doesn’t involve imparting unorganized and fragmented information, but giving a holistic view of an individual concept. 

Myth 2: All types of training content can be delivered through microlearning

microlearning myths

Microlearning is a great candidate for delivering training around individual, stand-alone concepts. But it is not sound enough to help participants synthesize one or more concepts and create new thought-models. RapL Research Labs has ongoing research to find ways to use microlearning for advanced learning methods.

Myth 3: Microlearning is all about videos and gamification


‘Form over function’ is the thumb rule with microlearning. If you want to coach participants on compliance, an infographic works better than a video. Designers must work backwards from the goal and map them to the content format.

Myth 4: Microlearning helps one master practical application.

microlearning myths

This is not entirely a myth, but misleading.  Microlearning works in a “watch, learn and apply” model. It facilitates practical application by providing instructions that a learner can use. 

Myth 5: Building microlearning courses is cheap

microlearning myths

A thorough and engaging microlearning course still requires considerable effort. For instance, you need to create various content, including quizzes, videos, infographics, or even podcasts and games.  Yes, microlearning helps reduce training costs. Preparing ahead helps one to frame the topics to train people on and use microlearning tools appropriately.

Myth 6: Microlearning is only suitable for employees with short attention spans.

Image of microlearning

This myth is based on the assumption that employees can only retain information in short bursts, but the truth is that microlearning is effective for learners of all attention spans. Microlearning provides a flexible and convenient way of learning that allows employees to learn at their own pace, regardless of their attention span

Myth 7: Microlearning is not suitable for in-depth learning.

Indepth learning

This myth stems from the misconception that microlearning only involves surface-level information. However, microlearning can also be used to delve deeper into a topic and provide a comprehensive understanding. By breaking down complex information into smaller chunks, microlearning makes it easier for learners to grasp the intricacies of a subject. Furthermore, microlearning can enhance engagement and reinforce learning through interactive elements such as quizzes and gamification. When used effectively, microlearning can provide a holistic understanding of even the most complex topics.

RapL and Microlearning

There we have it. We hope this quick read dispelled some notions that you might have heard in your workplace. Like all productivity enhancers, microlearning has its nuances. As a leading name in the space, we thought it was imperative to shed light on the subject.

If you are looking to start with a microlearning agenda for your training needs, contact RapL. We have extensive experience working in sectors like retail, financial services, construction, IT and many more. This has helped shape perspectives and solutions that are needle moving to business. 

Thanks for being with us all the way here

Dear reader, thanks for being with us all the way till the end. We suggest 2 things from here

1. Speak to us if you want a microlearning strategy deep-dive: Microlearning is extremely effective, if approached sensibly. Microlearning is the answer to today’s shortening attention spans and we know how to make learning successful via microlearning. Drop your context here and we shall partner with you for the rest.

2. Lap up more content: We have written some intense literature on how microlearning is the superglue between people and successful business operations. Access all of it here.

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