Microlearning is a learning approach that delivers short and specific bursts of content, maximizing our chances of remembering things in the long run. In short: microlearning believes that less is best.
At Gymglish, microlearning has been an integral part of all of our courses since 2004. Today, Antoine Brenner, Gymglish co-founder, takes us behind the scenes of this pedagogical approach and how we apply it.
Hello Antoine! Gymglish promises to teach learners a foreign language in just ten minutes per day (which sounds like crazy talk). Is that possible?
It all depends on everyone’s goals. If your goal is to learn every single language on earth, or to become bilingual in a couple of months, it’s simply impossible. However, we believe microlearning is most valuable for those who wish to learn a language in which you already master the basics.
Studying a subject for ten minutes every day means that knowledge will stick without interfering with the student’s motivation – I would say this is the true added value of this approach.
It goes without saying that learners will of course progress at a much slower rate compared to on-site daily training, but they will benefit from a regular learning routine in the long run and will retain information for much longer.
I would also add that the main benefit of microlearning is maintaining the learning “gymnastic”. The knowledge learners acquire is available to use immediately, which isn’t the case when we learn things that we don’t use on a daily basis and that we end up forgetting.
Was microlearning an obvious choice when you decided to create Gymglish?
When we created Gymglish in 2004, our ambition was to offer short courses because we knew the key to learning involved completing lessons on a regular basis. Our courses are based on the idea that daily contact fosters memorization, as confirmed by the 2013 study Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques. This study ranks the implementation of placement tests and distributed practice (short training sessions over a long period of time), which – combined with microlearning – make up the two most effective learning methods out there.
Offering longer lessons would take too much time out of our learners’ schedules and end up being detrimental in terms of participation in the long run. In other words, the microlearning approach helps reach a certain level of consistency without overburdening our learners’ schedules. In return, we are proud to showcase a very high participation rate from our students of over 80%.
Does the microlearning approach suit every learner?
Even though a small fraction of the population may be able to dedicate three of four hours every day to learning something new, this is definitely not the case for everybody! I believe the microlearning approach helps be effective for the 80% to 90% of the population that is able to learn through regular and consistent training.
Do you think microlearning and spaced learning are complementary learning methods?
I would say that the spaced repetition approach, which also happens to be at the heart of our pedagogy, makes microlearning more efficient. In order to foster user participation, Gymglish combines several learning methods (adaptive learning, microlearning, spaced learning…), ensuring our learners the best knowledge retention possible.
Each day at Gymglish, we strive to offer our users the best experience possible to promote user engagement, memorization and participation.
If you want to try some of our courses, click here.