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The average human attention span dropped from 12 to 8 seconds in just 15 years.

According to research by Microsoft, our attention spans are now shorter than a goldfish 🙃.

That makes engaging learners and holding their attention pretty difficult.

But there is a solution… microlearning.

Microlearning platforms let you design and deliver training programs in a short, bite-sized format that helps you catch and keep your learners’ attention and improve course completion rates.

But not all microlearning platforms are created equal. To help you find the best microlearning platforms for your organization’s needs, we’ve pulled together our top tips on how to choose a platform and 5 of the top solutions available right now.

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What is microlearning?

Microlearning is an educational strategy that delivers content to learners in mini, bite-sized chunks to help learners absorb more information and boost knowledge retention.

Microlearning programs use small learning units with super quick content including videos, graphics and gamified activities. Each lesson generally takes less than 10 minutes to complete – and many are as little as 2-5 minutes long.

When it comes to individual lessons, microlearning programs also use specific, focused learning outcomes to maximize gains for learners.

Microlearning has risen in popularity in recent years as more educators recognize the power of this learning strategy. For organizations, microlearning is ideally suited to the learning needs of fast-paced, multitask-oriented and digitally savvy employees.

There are now a wide range of platforms available designed specifically for organizations looking to take advantage of microlearning for their teams. The trick is knowing which platform to choose…

How to choose the best microlearning platforms

If you’re looking for a microlearning platform for your organization, it’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and objectives and the must-have features on your list. 

Here are 7 steps to help you choose the best microlearning platforms for you.

  1. Determine your needs and objectives

The platforms that are right for some organizations are not necessarily going to be right for you. To choose the best microlearning platforms, you first need to define your specific needs and objectives.

Before you do anything else, ask yourself:

  • Why are we implementing this training program?
  • What do we want to achieve from training?
  • How will we evaluate performance?
  • What are our measures of success?

If you can set clear goals and objectives for your training program, you’ll find it easier to choose which platforms are right for you.

Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your training program – these will depend on your organization and your specific reasons for introducing the training.

For example, if you’re implementing a microlearning program to comply with regulatory requirements, your KPIs might include:

  • Training completion rate
  • Average completion time
  • Pass/Fail rate
  • Employee satisfaction scores

The KPIs you choose to track should correspond with your goals for the training program to enable you to evaluate the effectiveness of your microlearning program – and make sure you have the right microlearning platform for your needs.

  1. Understand your target audience

To choose the best microlearning platforms, it’s also important to know who you’re targeting with your learning program. That means you need to know who your audience is and what their training requirements are.

Here are some criteria to keep in mind:

These factors will all influence which microlearning platforms are best for your employees.

For example, a younger demographic with high levels of digital literacy may be more likely to prefer a mobile-first platform with video-based content.

To find the most effective solution for your employees, start with audience research to gather as much information as possible on their preferences. Use surveys to learn more about what your audience needs and wants from your training program and help you choose between platforms.

  1. Check out the features on offer

When you’re clear on your goals and objectives for your training program and what your employees’ requirements are, it’s time to start checking out the different microlearning platforms on offer.

Different microlearning platforms deliver a wide variety of features to users – so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting.

From the methods of content delivery to the administrative features you’ll be using behind-the-scenes, every platform has its own list of features and perks.

Some features to look out for include: 

  • Content delivery methods e.g. video, podcasts and live teaching
  • Tracking, reporting and insights
  • Assessment and examinations
  • Administrative features
  • Security
  • Options for gamification 
  • Community-building and social learning

For example, if you’re set on making your microlearning program as social as possible for your workforce, you’ll want to make sure that the microlearning platforms you’re using offer community-building and social learning features to help your employees get the most out of their learning experience.

  1. Pay attention to accessibility

The success of your microlearning program will depend heavily on content delivery and usability.

The truth is, your students won’t complete your training models if the platform is clunky and awkward.

While all microlearning platforms are designed to deliver bite-sized lessons, to be truly effective, your chosen microlearning platform needs to fit into the work day of every employee. 

That means they need to be adaptable and accessible for your entire workforce and meet learners where they are, including on their mobile devices, tablets and computers.

Not all employees learn the same way, so it’s important to make sure that your microlearning platform supports a range of different content mediums and is suitable for Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

  1. See what other people are saying

Like any purchase decision, it’s a good idea to do some digging when you’re choosing the best microlearning platforms for your needs.

Check out what other people are saying, including:

  • Customer reviews
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials

This gives you a chance to see if the promises live up to the reality and make sure your chosen microlearning platforms can deliver what your organization needs.

If there’s the option for a free trial, you can also try it for yourself. See what it’s like to use the platform as an administrator and a learner and how it compares to what you’ve tried so far. You can also ask for a demonstration from their sales team. 

  1. Do the math

Of course, any choice to start using a microlearning platform has to include a thorough cost analysis. You’ll need to do the math to make sure that the microlearning platforms you’re looking at match up with your budget and are the best choice to make sure you get return on your investment.

  1. Gather feedback from your learners

To make sure you’re delivering the best possible experience for learners, it’s important to continually gather feedback to monitor the performance of your training program.

Give learners the chance to provide feedback after every module to assess whether or not the microlearning platform you’re using is providing a good user experience. If the feedback is continually negative, talk to your dedicated customer success manager to find out how you can improve the learning experience for employees.

In extreme cases, you might need to consider switching to one of the other microlearning platforms out there to find the right fit for your organization’s training needs.

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Top 5 best microlearning platforms for 2023

The following list of microlearning platforms are the best on the market right now. 

These can be used for any learning purpose – but we’ve evaluated them specifically for organizations looking to scale their education programs.

  1. Thinkific

Designed to be quick, easy-to-use and efficient, Thinkific provides online course creation software that makes it extra simple to create and launch scalable microlearning programs for your employees. Thanks to detailed onboarding support and a dedicated customer success manager for every Thinkific Plus customer, getting started with Thinkific’s course creation and microlearning platform is seamless and straightforward. 

Trusted by global brands including Hootsuite, Later and Shopify, Thinkific offers plans to fit any business size and accommodate any microlearning program. The platform offers customizable course site themes to blend your microlearning program with your overall brand. With Thinkific’s Branded Mobile solution, you can also stand out with a custom white-labeled mobile app that we’ll build and maintain for you. What’s more, Thinkific Communities lets you build strong, engaged learning communities around your online course to boost learner success. The Thinkific App Store also features hundreds of products to customize your microlearning program even further in just a few clicks.

Key features of this microlearning platform

  • Suitable for businesses of any size
  • Includes community-building features
  • Dedicated customer success manager
  • Branded Mobile app available as an add for just $199/month

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  1. Axonify

Tailored to frontline employee training, Axonify is a microlearning platform that focuses on delivering learning content in a personalized, repetitive and methodical way. It aims to help employees learn what they need to learn – and remember it long-term. Axonify uses AI tools to make learning fun, fast and individualized for every learner. This platform also includes an Employee rewards system based on earnable points to add a competitive gamified element to training.

Key features of this microlearning platform

  • Personalized learning experience
  • Mobile-first design
  • Customizable content for organizations
  1. TalentCards

This microlearning platform offers something a little different for organizations – TalentCards is a mobile learning app that uses digital flashcards to help employees learn essential information. Aimed at deskless workers, TalentCards helps individuals learn on-the-go for as little as 5 minutes a day, helping to boost learner engagement and make employee training easier. Assessments are also gamified and set at regular intervals to reinforce learning gains. The ultra bite-sized microlearning format helps turn training into a daily habit and increase course completion rates.

Key features of this microlearning platform

  • Flashcard format
  • Dedicated mobile app
  • Includes gamified micro-assessments
  1. OttoLearn

Focused on gamification, OttoLearn is designed to boost knowledge retention for students and improve employee performance through a wide range of microlearning techniques. Built especially for mobile workers, this microlearning platform delivers lessons in 2-minute micro-lessons and includes features like customizable leaderboards, contests and badges to celebrate learners’ achievements and milestones. For administrators, OttoLearn features a fully customizable analytics dashboard and intuitive data visualization features to track learners’ progress and success.

Key features of this microlearning platform

  • Range of gamification features
  • 2-minute microlearning format
  • Customized analytics platform
  1. EduMe

Offering mobile-based training for frontline employees and gig workers, EduMe is a microlearning platform that uses bite-sized content like text messages, videos and surveys to engage learners. This microlearning platform is especially suited to safety and compliance training and includes reporting and analytics features like course completion and pass rates, as well as real-time insights into individual and organizational performance. EduMe is designed to integrate with the apps that your team uses every day to make learning routine.

Key features of this microlearning platform

  • Detailed performance insights
  • Can be embedded into existing apps
  • Free course library

Sign up for the best microlearning platform today!

The best microlearning platforms are the ones that work for your organization’s specific needs, objectives and requirements. From detailed customer support to community-building features, your platform should include a range of features to create engaging, accessible programs for your team.

Whether you’re educating 10 students or 10 million, Thinkific offers the easiest technology and best support in the business to help you build sustainable and scalable microlearning programs for your employees. With a focus on community, Thinkific makes training fun and engaging for students – with less headaches for administrators.

Launch your online learning product for free

Start selling your online course and community on a 100% free plan that actually remains free.

This blog was originally published in September 2022, it has been updated in February 2023.