Microlearning: the future of online training has arrived

Microlearning is the perfect companion to longer-form training.

As a flexible, on-demand approach to delivering content that is short, focused, and relevant, microlearning gives learners what they want — and what they need. 

Micro-lessons fit easily into the workday, minimizing disruptions and allowing modern learners to control how, when, and where they do their online training.

Need dramatic training results? Try gamified microlearning

Creating conventional training can be cumbersome, time-consuming and costly. And in the end, many learners skim through it quickly and don’t retain the information.

Adaptive, gamified microlearning boosts engagement and improves knowledge retention with continuous, personalized training content delivery. Learners spend less time training and learning — but retain more — than with conventional eLearning or LMS solutions, coupled with adaptive algorithms to deliver relevant content for training that truly elevates your learner experience.

Revolutionize your training — and reduce costs. Microlearning is quick to deploy and update and enables admins to automate key tasks.

Best of all, microlearning gathers the data you need to show true training ROI.

Boost engagement

Improve retention

Reduce costs

Show training ROI

Ready to talk to our experts?

If you want to transform how training happens at your organization our gamified microlearning platform is the answer.

Reach out to our experts today to schedule an OttoLearn demo! If you're still not sure that microlearning is right for your organization, let us convince you! Keep reading about Otto below and you'll discover:

  • How microlearning coupled with gamification will boost engagement with your training courses
  • Why you should care about adapting to your employees' training needs through automation
  • How microlearning can reduce training costs and improve employee performance

Microlearning that solves your toughest training challenges

Real learning

One-time exposure to content does not lead to deep learning. Adaptive, gamified microlearning uses the principle of spaced repetition to build knowledge retention.

Real engagement

Gamified microlearning presents short, relevant content using gamification, interactive content, audio, video, and animations. Learners engage over and over again, learning and remembering the content.

Real results

Learners use microlearning as performance support or to extend and refresh their training. Bringing learning and on-the-job application together improves both training and business outcomes.

Learners love microlearning

Learners love the way on-demand microlearning mirrors the way they find information every day!

Self-directed learners love choosing when to do their microlearning — and love using their smartphones to do it!

Adaptive training and spaced repetition automatically delivers the right content to the right learners at the right time.

Learners love efficiency. Spending just 2 minutes a day empowers them to achieve and retain mastery.

Fun, personalized training that respects learners’ time and prior knowledge and is mobile-first and available on-demand? Microlearning checks all the boxes to deliver personalized training that learners crave!

Administrators love microlearning

Stop chasing learners! Break free from the annual training cycle with continuous microlearning.

Spending too much time on training? Our microlearning platform automates enrollment, reminders, reports, and other admin tasks.

End outdated eLearning. L&D teams love quickly creating, deploying — and updating — microlearning content.

At-a-glance analytics — admins, managers, and learners love watching their progress and seeing how effective their training is.

Microlearning solves training administrators’ biggest pain points with no enrollments and automatic reminders, instant analytics, bringing an end to outdated annual training with short, but effective, continuous learning.


of employees say they don’t have time to learn while working


of new information is forgotten within 24 hours of a single exposure


of employees would stay longer at their company if they had more opportunities to build their skills


of American adults owned a smartphone in 2019

This is an amazing tool — we're getting employees to continually engage in learning to allow that retention. And it allows us to measure where the knowledge gaps are immediately. We can then develop activities to cover any knowledge gaps.

It also allows the principals of the dealerships to encourage their employees because now they will have a dashboard that demonstrates to them ‘this person isn't proficient in the sales techniques’ or ‘isn't proficient in this particular product.’

Edward T.
National Manager for Dealer TraininG,
Nissan Motor Co. (Australia)

The secrets behind effective microlearning

Ultimately, all learning is microlearning. People learn incrementally. We need time to process information and connect it to other information so that we’ll remember it and be able to use it.

Sometimes, that means creating a linear narrative that builds from simple to complex content. Other times, it means creating a network of related concepts and processes — and completing activities that empower us to apply the information to realistic scenarios.

From there you can boost your micro-lesson effectiveness with gamification — offering intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to make training that is truly rewarding.

Why learners learn with microlearning:

Short, narrowly focused micro-lessons provide teaching and performance support.
Learners can choose the most relevant content to review, on-demand.
Multimedia content appeals to learners of all ages.
Mobile-friendly and mobile-first formats deliver training to deskless, remote, and on-the-go workers.
Learners control when and where they learn. 
Gamification encourages engagement.

Adaptive, gamified microlearning is based on cognitive science

Our microlearning platform works because it follows proven principles of adult learning and cognitive science:

Adaptive delivery
Algorithms use learners’ performance and progress to identify knowledge gaps, then deliver the right content to close those gaps and build mastery.
Spaced repetition
Repeated exposure to information and association with other information through spaced repetition builds long-term knowledge retention.
Interleaved learning
Mixing together learning on different, but related, knowledge areas increases retention when compared with sequential learning focused on a single knowledge area at a time.
Instructional scaffolding
Building an information hierarchy from foundational concepts and ideas to higher-level processes guides novice learners to mastery.
Retrieval practice
Continuous microlearning that presents information in different ways offers learners many opportunities to retrieve information, solidifying their knowledge retention.
Formative feedback
Providing short, focused lessons with immediate feedback redirects learners before errors become deeply ingrained.
Recognize learners’ knowledge
Adaptive microlearning delivers the targeted content each learner needs, rather than forcing everyone to cover the same material.
Apply “forgetting pressure”
Adaptive microlearning delivers the targeted content each learner needs, rather than forcing everyone to cover the same material.

Supercharge online training with gamified microlearning

Microlearning offers an effective tool to deploy in four common training scenarios:

Maximize the investment in comprehensive training courses and workshops with preparatory exercises and assessments. Use gamified microlearning to introduce foundational concepts and ensure that all learners start with a grasp of the basics so that instructors can focus on higher-level coaching.
Many learners forget their training within days or weeks. Reinforce learning with a continuous microlearning knowledge retention campaign to review key concepts and processes.
Fact-heavy content
Break complicated content into bite-size nuggets, and expose learners to them repeatedly. This builds mastery and retention in a way that one-time exposure to dense factual information cannot.
Performance support
After learning the information, learners need to apply it on the job. Facilitate learning transfer with an ongoing microlearning campaign that offers searchable content on demand.

Microlearning in action


Move information-heavy onboarding content to microlearning and present values, culture, company policies and procedures, benefits info and forms, and more in short, user-friendly microlearning apps.

Upskilling or reskilling

Teach new skills to time-crunched employees in an efficient, engaging way with focused micro-lessons that fit into their busy workdays.

Recertification or compliance

Build mastery of compliance or safety training content with ongoing “drip” delivery of key content, and ensure it’s always current with easily updated microlearning.

Sales and franchisor training

Provide product details to sales personnel in a mobile-first, always accessible microlearning format; easily change content to support new model rollouts or seasonal promotions.

Improve performance

Support workers on the job with the ability to look up accurate information at the moment they need it.

Choose the right microlearning platform

Microlearning comes in a huge variety of formats. Vendors use different approaches and tools to deliver their bite-sized learning.

Choosing the right microlearning platform can be confusing. Ask the right questions to ensure that your microlearning:

Is accessible to all learners
Follows sound instructional design principles
Is based on cognitive science and a modern understanding of how adults learn
Effectively engages learners and provides a positive, personalized learning experience
Moves learning into the workflow to support busy employees
Offers mobile-first, on-demand access, anywhere, anytime
Supports global organizations with multilingual content and user interface
Reminds learners to do their training and tracks their progress
Builds topic mastery by improving knowledge retention and eliminating skills gaps
Makes it easy to create and update content
Automates enrollment, reminders, and tracking of learners
Will grow with your organization

More questions?
Ready to get started?

Contact an OttoLearn® Gamified Microlearning™ platform expert today!

Talk to an expert

Learn more about gamified microlearning

Want to dig in deeper?

If you’re intrigued and want to learn more about microlearning, you’ve come to the right place! As a thought leader in all things related to online training, we offer several free white papers, blog posts, how-to guides, and other resources describing how microlearning works and why it’s the perfect addition to your digital training toolbox.

Microlearning Platform Buyer’s Guide

Learn what to look for in a microlearning platform and use our handy checklist of features and questions.

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The Case for Agile Microlearning

Microlearning is a modern approach to digital learning. Find out why it’s the perfect solution for your busy learners.

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The Cognitive Science Behind OttoLearn

OttoLearn Gamified Microlearning is firmly based in cognitive science principles. Learn what these are — and why they work.

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What Is Agile Microlearning?

This short video introduces Agile Microlearning, the platform that focuses on outcome-based eLearning — rather than emphasizing training completions.

Read more
Gamifying Microlearning … Without the Games

How and why to gamify adult learning — without playing games with learners or insulting their intelligence.

Read more
Five Signs You Need Agile Microlearning

Watch this short video to discover five ways OttoLearn Agile Microlearning can resolve your key eLearning pain points.

Read more
Microlearning 101

Our robust, long-form series of online articles that will answer your most pressing microlearning questions – including what microlearning is, its history, its benefits, the science behind microlearning, and predictions for its future.

Read more
Microlearning in Action

Download our Microlearning Success Stories and discover how clients are solving their greatest training challenges with OttoLearn Agile Microlearning.