25 January

What is Nano Learning?

What is Nano Learning? 

Nano learning is a learning design trend created to educate learners on a topic through short, informal learning particles, usually less than 2 minutes long. There is no interaction with the instructor as it is carried out via electronic media.

Due to the popularisation of social media platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat, fast paced content is becoming increasingly prevalent, with generations now learning more from short videos than traditional lesson formats.  

Nano learning is self-contained, by offering small, highly targeted nuggets of information with a single objective, to learners. It can contain a wide variety of multimedia such as text, video, sound, and images, all of which keep learners engaged. Nano learning is also very responsive as it can be viewed on a range of different devices. 

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Difference Between Micro & Nano Learning 

Essentially, nano learning is a sub-section of microlearning. Both have similar role and design style. However, nano learning is usually shorter in duration (between 3-5mins), than microlearning (5-15mins), thus making it more focused. (Gautham AS, 2020).

How to Apply it?

Nano learning can be applied in many different fields such as: medical, leadership, customer, tourism, and coaching. (Moonshot Jr. 2021) Due to the design approach, there is only a short moment to grab the learner’s attention, hook them in and efficiently deliver content. All the while attempting to leave them with the longing to learn more. (Laverty R, 2020). 

It is most effective when learners need a quick refresher or to support an on-the-job activity, for example: 

  • How to create a pivot table or insert multiple rows on an Excel spreadsheet 
  • How to use a specific feature of an app, like sharing location or making a payment  

With nano learning, learners should be able to immediately benefit from the resource or asset. It should be noted that it is not suitable for deeper levels of learning and skills development.  

Here are some practical examples of nano learning in action: 

  • Sending short SMS or email to learners during a course or programme 
  • 13-30 second video clips with animations (similar to TikTok videos) 
  • Visual infographics covering 3 core points 

The Future of Nano Learning

When done right, nano learning can be precise yet entertaining, packing valuable information into a short lesson. Both Nano and Microlearning learning design trends are rapidly becoming a popular part of learning experiences and on the job learning. (Click to read more about Microlearning & The Benefits and the Top 6 Microlearning Tools for 2022.)   

The Next Step

The EdTech industry is constantly evolving, and new opportunities are being created every day. Do you want to reach your professional development goals early this year? With our university credit-rated programmes in Digital Learning Design and Instructional Design, you can advance your career and become job-ready as a specialist in digital learning design. 

(NOW CLOSED) Furthermore, you can click here to join us for our free webinar on January 27th, where we will be exploring Mobile Learning Fundamentals. We’ll examine design principles, authoring tools, benefits & pitfalls of mobile learning and much more.


  • Study International. (2021) Is nanolearning the way forward?. Available here.  
  • Moonshot Jr. (2021) Nano Learning: What is it and will it work in the future?. Available here
  • Katambur, D. (2019) Microlearning and Nanolearning: The Same Game with a Different Name? Available here
  • Laverty, R. (2020) Nanolearning: The Future of Learning – Training Industry. [online] Training Industry. Available here
  • Gautham AS. (2020) Is Microlearning and Nanolearning Same or Different? E-Learning Gamification, Videos and Courses Development. Available here