Why Micro Learning is the Bikini of Training

woman by pool using laptop
Why micro learning is the bikini of training

What’s a bikini got to do with training? Well, think about if for a moment …

A bikini is

  • small, 
  • sexy, 
  • covers just the essentials, 
  • grabs attention and 
  • as Garrison Keillor said, “it’s hard to stop thinking about it.”1

Aren’t those all attributes and effects you’d like your training to achieve?


The name micro learning is probably self-explanatory – it refers to units of learning that are bite-sized and available at the learner’s convenience. The content is broken into tiny bits, which can be delivered in small units of time.


This ‘smallness’ makes it ‘sexy’ and appealing to people living and working in a fast-paced technological world. It means they can consume learning in short bursts, like snacks during a busy day.
If the micro learning is also mobile-friendly learning, then they can keep it in their pocket and take it out and consume it whenever it’s convenient. This instant access makes it very appealing and also an effective way to learn.

Micro learning is a new way of responding to the necessity of work-based learning, lifelong learning, personal learning, and much more.

"Micro learning has become more popular due to its features such as learner-centric, affordable, interactive, and well designed.2

Covers the Essentials

Like a bikini, the design of micro learning units must be strategic and laser-focused to cover the essential content and to achieve the goal of each ‘bite’. The new content must be tied to what the learner already knows, yet achieve the goal of covering learning gaps and building knowledge and skills. 

Micro learning is effective as it eliminates cognitive overload and facilitates the processing of information by the working memory into long term memory, where it is stored and retrieved:

Working memory uses prior knowledge to 1) filter out information we don’t think we need and 2) select essential elements for processing…Working memory can handle only a small amount of new information at a time.”3

By cutting the demands on the working memory, micro learning maximizes the processing of the essential elements to drive deeper learning.

When the learning content is concise, highly tailored, personalized and delivered just-in-time, it also fulfills many of the scientifically researched criteria for experiential learning to be effective. 

Grabs Attention

Because micro learning is carefully designed to exclude extraneous information, it is very engaging. It may include interactive tasks with rewards that capture and focus the attention of the learner.

Micro learning units which offer gamified activities with scores, leader boards, badges, stars or other rewards attract high-performance by the participants. The units are designed to keep motivating the learner to progress through the units.

Hard to Stop Thinking About It

Ideally, you want to create training that makes an impact. You want learners to be motivated to keep engaging in the training and to transfer the skills they learn.

AdobeStock_240146974-1Modern learners are on-the-go and they appreciate flexible training that can fit seamlessly into their lifestyles. 

Micro learning lessons in mobile format can be consumed while travelling, at the gym, during tea breaks at work or any other available time slots. The content goes wherever the learner is. It can be accessed from any device, anytime.

Like a bikini, the micro learning unit must be used in the correct training context, or it will be inappropriate and fail.  You need to develop a  strategic plan to integrate it into your learning system. But when you use the right data, tools and techniques, micro learning can trigger specific learning activities and allow learners to achieve measurable performance targets, fast.

SimTutor is a simulation elearning authoring tool to create interactive, bite-sized learning activities that change what learners know and can do

By pairing SimTutor with strategic micro learning,  you can supercharge learners and make your training both ‘sexy’ and unforgettable!




  1. Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor is an American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality quoted saying, “A girl in a bikini is like having a loaded gun on your coffee table- There's nothing wrong with them, but it's hard to stop thinking about.”
  2. Jomah, Omer et al. Micro Learning: A Modernized Education System. BRAIN. Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 1, p. pp. 103-110, mar. 2016. ISSN 2067-3957. 
  3. Patti Shank, Practice and Feedback for Deeper Learning, Learning Peaks LLC, 2017, p.18

About the author


SimTutor is a global leader in simulation-based learning.

SimTutor Author is an authoring tool designed to help you build interactive procedural simulations for healthcare, medical education and other industries where immersive training is critical.