The 8 Biggest Microlearning Mistakes L&D Managers Make And How To Avoid Them

The 8 Biggest Microlearning Mistakes L&D Managers Make And How To Avoid Them
Summary: For training to truly be effective, you must plan and implement your strategy in a way that best fits your learners needs and works well with the methods you are using. Learn how you can get the most out of your microlearning strategy by avoiding these 8 common mistakes.

How To Effectively Use Microlearning In Your Learning Strategy

The use of microlearning is on the rise which is not surprising if you consider that this approach is known to engage modern learners and helps companies overcome many common training challenges they face today. However, using this approach does not guarantee training success. Proper development and implementation are essential components for effective training. To help you better understand how you can get the most out of microlearning, we have shared 8 common microlearning mistakes L&D managers make when using this approach and how you can avoid them.

Microlearning Strategies For Corporate Learners
Learn how to effectively deliver training content in short learning modules with microlearning.

Get The Most Out Of Your Training Program And Avoid These 8 Microlearning Mistakes

1. Failing To Identify Performance Gaps To Align Training

One of the most common microlearning mistakes that are made when it comes to developing a microlearning strategy is not identifying the performance gaps you want the training to address. Training and development programs that focus on the wrong learning objectives are set up to fail [1].

This mistake can be easily prevented altogether by starting with some research to determine what the current performance gaps are. This information can be used to identify what topics the training program needs to cover and what learning objectives will help your organization achieve its goals.

2. Assuming Microlearning Is The Best Strategy For All Learning Needs

One of the main reasons microlearning has grown in popularity is that it can be used to solve many different training challenges. It is also an effective strategy for several different kinds of employee training. However, a common misconception is that this learning method is suited for every kind of training.

Although this Instructional Design method is quite versatile and can be used for soft skills training such as customer service, communication, leadership development, or even product knowledge training, it is not well suited for more technical topics. Highly technical skills and content that is long in nature require a different set of strategies and delivery methods.

This mistake can be avoided by taking the time to assess the skills your training will cover to determine which Learning and Development methods will be the most suitable.

3. Not Developing A Plan For Implementation

Training only works if employees participate and they won't participate if they don't know about the program and its benefits. Failing to develop an implementation plan is another common mistake you want to avoid when you launch your microlearning-based training program. Even informal training methods need to be announced.

Fortunately, this mistake can be averted by creating a simple campaign to spread awareness and build excitement around the program. Be sure to highlight the benefits of the training in your announcements. Many successful campaigns include email announcements, short videos, flyers, and sign-ups for workshops to go over how to use it.

4. Generating Microcontent For A Single Purpose

As mentioned before, this type of training is versatile and can be used in multiple ways. This is often forgotten in the development stage and is a missed opportunity to recycle and reuse learning content.

You can avoid this microlearning mistake by creating microlearning content that is designed to be used in multiple ways. This will save you time and money when it comes to training development. A good way you can do this and get the most out of each training asset is to create a microlearning library of eLearning courses and other training resources your employees can access at any time.

5. Creating Learning Content That Is Too Lengthy

Another common mistake that L&D professionals often make is to create learning content that is too long. Part of what makes this method so effective is that the short format increases knowledge retention. Content that is short and highly focused also keeps the content relevant and is easier for employees to fit into their busy schedules.

To avoid this mistake try to keep in mind that you want an employee to be able to complete each piece of content within 10-15 minutes. This will help you maximize the effectiveness of your microlearning program.

6. Developing Content That Is Not Mobile Accessible

Creating a training program that is not accessible by smartphone is a huge missed opportunity. Mobile learning is no longer a nice-to-have option, it is a necessary part of breaking down Learning and Development barriers. Now that the remote workforce is on the rise, it is even more important that employees can access training materials on their mobile devices.

This mistake can be avoided by selecting microlearning platforms and Learning Management Systems that are mobile responsive to ensure that employees can access training on any device.

7. Forgetting To Incorporate Opportunities For Practice And Reinforcement

Learning and Development professionals often create a series of microlearning content to cover a topic and forget to create support materials that reinforce the initial training. This can have a significant negative impact on the effectiveness of the program. Training should not be approached as a single piece or as a one time event. Employee training is most impactful when learning is layered with content in different formats.

To prevent this microlearning mistake ensure that your program includes support materials and modules, such as scenario-based simulations, that give employees opportunities to practice. This will improve the transfer to learning and increase knowledge retention.

8. Not Using Data To Measure And Improve Training

Forgetting to evaluate the effectiveness of your microlearning assets is another missed opportunity. Using data analytics will help you not only gauge whether or not your training programs have been successful so far but also identify the key insights that are needed to optimize your content to maximize its effectiveness.

This mistake can be avoided by using learning analytics to track learner patterns and behaviors to evaluate your training program on a regular basis. This will help you achieve your short-term and long-term training goals.


Microlearning can be an incredibly effective training method when utilized and implemented correctly. This approach is known for its ability to address the needs of the modern learner and increase employee engagement. To maximize the effectiveness of your microlearning programs, avoid these 8 microlearning mistakes:

  • Failing to identify performance gaps to align training
  • Assuming microlearning is the best strategy for all learning needs
  • Not developing a plan for implementation
  • Generating micro content for a single purpose
  • Creating learning content that is too lengthy
  • Developing content that is not mobile accessible
  • Forgetting to incorporate opportunities for practice and reinforcement
  • Not using data to measure and improve training

To learn more about how you can use this approach to Learning and Development to improve employee performance, read the eBook Microlearning Strategies For Corporate Learners. Also, join the webinar to discover how microlearning can be a game-changer.


[1] Why Leadership Training Fails—and What to Do About It