L&D: Does Your Micro Learning Add Up?

Micro Learning Is Good

But so is Macro LearningIF that’s what it takes to get the learning job done.


What can be bad about Micro Learning is artificially breaking up/chunking it to be short/small … in order for it to be short/small – necessitating starting up over and over again for the Learner – or just jumping right in … and potentially losing many…

What’s This About Again?

I’ve conducted Existing T&D Assessments (ETA) in 75 CAD – Curriculum Architecture Design projects since 1982 – and what I’ve found over and over again is that the gaps and overlaps are the norm. Due to a history of One-Off efforts.

A Bottoms-Up approach – versus a Top-Down approach.


Gaps are One Thing – and may be appropriate – as not every need warrants a investment in Content Building and/or Buying. Due to the ROI forecast and/or perception.

Some potential Content items are more appropriately left to Informal Learning – what I’ve termed since 1982 as Un-Structured OJT.

But it is the Overlaps that can be the real issue – where differing language and models and methods potentially confuse the learners.

Using different terms and phrases that could have been uniform. And using the same terms and phrases to mean different things.

That’s not helpful to the new learners/Performers as they initially climb their particular Learning Curves.


Presenting learners/Performers and their management a suggested sequence of Learning Content so that they can down-select to meet their specific, local needs, is helpful.

That’s what the combo of a Performance Competency Development Path and Planning Guide can do. Note: Performance Competency Development Paths are also known as T&D Paths, Learning Paths, Learning Roadmaps, Development Roadmaps, etc., etc.


I’ve seen and used many terms for this Path concept since 1982 and used whatever the client preferred. You call it tomato and they call it tomatto.

Same diff – as we used to say back in the day.

Top-Down design of a Path – or Menu or Path of Menus – enables creating and placing Spaced Learning for reinforcement where the job itself doesn’t do that naturally. It allows for a better blend of Modes and Media.


In my models there are 3 primary Modes – for both 10-20-70 (Note: I’ve reversed the numbers):

  • Group-Paced: ILT or Webinars
  • Self-Paced: Webinars (recorded), readings (books, articles – on paper or e), Videos and Audios, etc.
  • Coached: Structured OJT and Un-Structured OJT by either a designated or certified coach or just any ol’ coach (boss, peer, customer, supplier, etc.)


In any event, both Micro and Macro Learning – 2 web pages or 2 week long courses – are best and appropriate if they are focused on Performance Competence.

Otherwise – why bother?



See my Reference Tab for over 400 free resources – micro and macro – on various aspects of my approach – The PACT Processes for T&D/ Learning/ Knowledge Management.

And my book 6 Pack which covers all of those methods.


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