There is often a lot of confusion, disagreement and argument surrounding the topic whether “microlearning and nanolearning is same or different”. So I have analysed both of these learning styles and attempted to demystify these learning strategies.

A Microlearning is a mode of e-learning delivery that involves microbursts of highly engaging and interactive information, delivered to the learners with mostly a short-term learning perspective.

Nanolearning is as an e-learning module designed to let the learners learn a specific content in an under the 5-minute frame.

Microlearning and nanolearning both focus on providing a learning experience to the learners, which is spread across a short time duration and fulfills the just in time learning objectives of the learners.

If you equate learning with a pizza, microlearning is like dividing a pizza into 8 parts, which can be easily consumed and nanolearning is like having further parts of the pizza with each part having only one kind of topping. While this is probably not the best way to express the differences or similarity between microlearning and nanolearning but by now you must have understood that they are really not different. Both have almost the same learning goals, style of design and treatment of content, however, nanolearning is usually shorter than Microlearning thus making it more focused than microlearning. The usual duration of microlearning might be between five minutes to fifteen minutes and nanolearning is between three to five minutes.

Now let’s look at  some features of Microlearning and nanolearning :

Features :

Both microlearning and nanolearning are based on Pareto principle in common (20% of the effort that results in 80% of results).

– Both microlearning and nanolearning take minimum information at a time and build it up in memorable nuggets.

– Both microlearning and nanolearning are focused on single learning goal. However, nanolearning is more focussed on a very specific learning goal due to its even shorter run time.

– The learners have the complete control in both microlearning and nanolearning and can decide what, when and how much they are  learning.

– Both microlearning and nanolearning support “learn on the go” feature.

– Both microlearning and nanolearning helps the learners to know the immediate feedback and to rectify the mistake on the spot itself thus closing the knowledge gap

– Both microlearning and nanolearning have rich multimedia features such as text, video, images, artwork and sound.

– Both microlearning and nanolearning appeal to all  types of learners and members of all ages enjoy them due to their flexibility.

– Both microlearning and nanolearning helps the learners to complete the modules in an efficient way thus increasing the retention rates and better course completion.

In my opinion, nanolearning is a part of microlearning. Like, if you have a microlearning module on Code of Conduct each of your organizational values can make up one nanolearning module and all combined together will make up one microlearning module on Code of Conduct. So do you have any examples to share on microlearning and nanolearning? We will love to hear your comments!

For more information on microlearning and nanolearning, please refer our youtube video.