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Micro-Learning Through Social Media: Education on the Go

TikTok, the latest leading platform in short video creation and sharing. How does this pertain to eLearning and Online Professional Development? With the design of TikTok’s video production, users only have 15 seconds to one minute to film. Through this, many users have to present the most important information within the limited time span. With an audience of 50% under the age of 34; out of which 26% are between the ages of 18 and 24, the app is seeing a growth of 5.5 times in older generations users in as many as 150 different countries (Wallaroom Media, 2020). This in turn provides a widely diverse audience with Microlearning. 

What is Microlearning?

Microlearning refers to “an educational approach that offers bite-sized, small learning units with just the necessary amount of information to help learners achieve a goal” (Gutierrez, 2018). The use of short, quick videos packed with information allows for higher retention and engagement of the learners. As more corporations turn to microlearning for professional development, safety, and soft skill training, employers see an increase in engagement, retention, and efficiency. “According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, learning in bite-sized pieces makes the transfer of learning from the classroom to the desk 17% more efficient” (Gutierrez, 2018) and creates a rise in 50% more engagement. The ease of microlearning has become an effective way to train adult learners and “allows students to digest things quickly, multi-task between assignments and meetings, and finally, they retain the subject at hand better as it is a more digestible format altogether” (Gutierrez, 2018). 

So how does a social media platform fit into microlearning?

With higher retention and engagement rates through microlearning, programs are better customized to the learners’ needs. By creating “your bite-sized courses to resemble social media content—on-demand, engaging, and media-rich” (Gutierrez, 2018). With the use of a program like TikTok, content can be created and presented in the span of 15 seconds to 1 minute. Hashtags such as #studyhacks and #suchascientist allow for viewers to gain short bursts of information leading to better memory, higher efficiency, and increased engagement. 


Check out the following video for examples in TikTok microlearning:

Since its release in September 2016, users have seen a rise of business professionals on the app. Medical, news, and education professionals have joined the TikTok community in sharing information ranging from self-care, world news, and study tips & tricks. Users such as Carnegie Museum of Natural History, World Economic Forum, and even doctors use the platform to share information, provide updates on epidemics, and promote the latest world findings. Jennifer Nied with Shape Magazine, shares her interviews with medical users who share the same goal in spreading awareness: “M.D.s and D.O.s are taking to the new-ish platform to teach users about specific mental and physical health conditions and spread awareness on timely topics” (Nied, 2020).

In October 2019, TikTok also released the program, #EduToks, in New Delhi with “Vedantu, Vidya Guru, Hello English, CETKing and Testbook to promote e-learning on the platform” (2019). The release led to over 37 billion views in topics of Social Sciences, English, Mathematics, Hindi, Biology, Chemistry, and more. The use of microlearning led to “an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals by partnering with industry leaders to create  educational content in various formats and languages” (2019). 

What should eLearning Companies be on the lookout for?

With the overwhelming surge of information and technology advances, corporations can find it difficult to keep up. With the use of social media and new learning techniques, corporations can share knowledge, expertise, and even snippets of training with the use of short video clips. However, the catch with platforms such as TikTok is not short video clips. With the use of overlaying text, lip-syncing music, and facial filters, the videos become more engaging for audiences. By incorporating smaller, bite-sized information into engaging training, employers can see a rise in engagement, retention, and yes, work-ethic. Many professionals prefer microlearning courses over longer courses as they “are not only more challenging to digest and retain but taking them also gets in the way of their daily work” (Gutierrez, 2018). With the use of microlearning, students and employees have an easier time multitasking between assignments, emails, and training programs. 

For more information on how to incorporate microlearning into your training programs, contact us.


Gutierrez, K. (2018). Numbers don’t lie: Why microlearning is better for your learners (and you too). SH!FT Disruptive eLearning. Retrieved from www.shiftelearning.com/blog/numbers-dont-lie-why-bite-sized-learning-is-better-for-your-learners-and-you-too.

Nied, J. (2020, February 7). Doctors are taking over TikTok to dish out important health information. Shape. Retrieved from www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/doctors-on-tiktok.

Newsroom. (2019, August 16). TikTok collaborates with India’s leading eLearning platforms to encourage digital learning. Retrieved from newsroom.tiktok.com/en-in/tiktok-collaborates-with-indias-leading-elearning-platforms-to-encourage-digital-learning/.

Newsroom. (2019, August 16). TikTok democratizes eLearning with the launch of the #EduTok program. Retrieved from newsroom.tiktok.com/en-in/tik-tok-democratizes-e-learning-with-the-launch-of-the-edu-tok-program.

Wallaroo Media. (2020, March 6). TikTok Statistics – Everything You Need to Know [March 2020 Update]. Retrieved from: wallaroomedia.com/blog/social-media/tiktok-statistics/.

Published 4/30/2020

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